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Old 06-12-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
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Strerngth training - is 3X per week (or every other day) really too much?

I've been hearing lots of advice on strength training. Some of it good, some of it questionable.

Anyway, I've been hearing that a muscle group should only be trained once, or at most, twice, per week maximum in order to build the most muscle. Would three times a week (or every other day) really be too much? The claim is that it takes many days for the muscle to rebuild and grow, and if I work it out every other day than my muscle does not have time to grow.

(I already agree that there should be 1 day of rest, do I really need more than that?)

Adding to that...one of the sources said that every time you train you should feel sore the next day. He states that if you are not sore, you are just rebuilding the same muscle and not making strength gains. He is obviously gaining because he has huge muscles, but I want some other input.

I would like opinions and thoughts on these, but even better would be links to some science that supports or refutes these thoughts. Your own testimonials are great too!

Thanks for your help!
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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I'm no expert, but when I was oriented by the trainer at my health club, I told him that I intended to work out 3x a week, but he was very definite that I should do only 2x. I've done just 2x a week for the past year, mainly because of his advice.

In addition, when I had physical therapy in the past, the therapists always encouraged me to do the exercises at home only 2x a week.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:39 AM   #3
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I go 4x a week and do upper lower. I used to go 3x and do full body.

Muscles grow when you feed them and you rest them.

Google Matt Perryman DOMS and myosynthesis. He has an older article on soreness. He sells things so I can't post a link.

Last edited by Jenn_in_NJ; 06-15-2013 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:39 PM   #4
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if you just want muscle maintenance twice a week might be ok. I like Jenn train 4x a week, usually upper lower but every blue moon, body part split.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:31 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone - I definitely need more than maintenence. I am leaving a sedentary year of life so I need to build, rather than maintain. Thanks everyone!
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:38 AM   #6
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I went from sedentary to daily workouts the first week in April, mostly moderate intensity cardio classes. I did not intend for it to be daily but I had a lot of classes to try out lol. So I spent anywhere from 1.5 - 2.5 hrs (including sauna time) daily in the gym.

In May, I added strength training because (1) I was not satisfied with the way my BF% was headed and (2) I had success with it in the past. I did it every day for about a week and then every other day (3 or 4 times depending on which day I started) for about two weeks. I used the Lean Gains method Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health[/url] (followed each session with protein powder) and low weights/high reps. My overall lb loss was almost stagnant but I was losing fat weight and gaining muscle weight. My BF% had dropped to 21 point something by the end of the third week. (I know it would be helpful to say what it was when I started out but I was using a different measuring method so I've let that go lol.)

I was still spending 1.5 hrs to 2.5 hrs in the gym daily but no sauna time so in June I stopped to regroup. I had better results in less time before but I was lifting at a weight that fatigued my muscles by the end of a set so I made the necessary weight adjustments and started training 3 times a week (both cardio and strength training) with at least a day of rest in between. I still do the protein powder afterward but am less concerned about exercising on an empty stomach/lean gains. I'm at no more than 2 hrs/3 days a week including sauna time but I have upped the intensity of my cardio.

Since it's still June, the jury is still out but I have had great inch loss this month. I'm
supportive of the day of rest, but not because I've read muscles need at least a day to repair. If this were true, movers would not be so freakishly strong and have the endurance to perform their jobs all day, day after day. I support it because I now realize that some of the post-strength training bulk ( for lack of a better word) is only temporary and not really representative of a actual increase in muscle density. I need the day in between so I can see what my muscles actually look like at rest.

As I get closer to entering maintenance mode, I have all sorts of things that need tweaking. I lead a more active lifestyle now, and it was never really a goal to build my life around the gym. I'm planning to try two days/wk strength training (not cardio) in Aug or Sept.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:36 AM   #7
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I'm curious about the advice given to leo.
Training 3x weekly is not over doing it at all.
It seems odd to me that a professional trainer would say to limit yourself to 2x weekly.
Are there other issues at play here?
Just curious, because it seems so unusual.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:38 AM   #8
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some people have issues with recovery but i find it odd as well. Most trainers have no friggen clue what they are doing.. <rant off>
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