One of the hottest debates in bodybuilding circles has always been training frequency.
How often should I train is a question that bothers many muscle worshipers during the later hours of the night when all the noise dies down and self criticism claims the spotlight.
What if I told you that you can train everyday even as a natural?
People are puzzled when they learn that even naturals can train everyday. It’s actually true but there’s a catch.
The factor which influences training frequency the most is total workload or total volume. For example, 10 sets of pull-ups every day would be considered overtraining in general. However, if you can do 20 pull-ups in a row easily, 10 sets of 3 reps every day will not be impossible to recover from. That’s because the total workload is not high enough to cause damage. If 10 sets of 10 reps are done every day, you will probably suffer from a ton of pain without at least a day or two of rest.
Another important part of determining whether a certain workout is way too much is the number of exercises. Adding more exercises to your workouts will increase the workload by adding variables to the equation. That’s why it’s way easier to come up with a high frequency plan when a few exercises are performed. You can only do so much at a time. Learning English is easier than learning English and Chinese simultaneously.
The conclusion is fairly simple: training frequency depends on your recovery abilities, goals and the amount of work done during one workout.
The Exercise Factor
Different exercises call for different planning. The hardest exercise to recover from is the deadlift. Maximum attempts may require 2 weeks or more to fully recover from once you’re lifting heavy weight. That’s why it seems illogical to train the deadlift every day. However, it can be done through manipulation of your working percentages.
If your deadlift is 400 lbs, you can deadlift 225 lbs pretty much every day for at least a few reps without serious damage. There are people who’ve done similar low volume/high frequency routines with success. Whether that’s the most optimal way to do deadlifts is questionable, but the idea is to demonstrate what it takes to make everyday training work.
It’s about finding balance by spreading the overall work volume over an entire week. That’s the only way to survive without overtraining. You can’t possibly be doing hardcore workouts 7 days a week. You can try but the results will be depression and inability to get up in the morning without much progress.
The Benefits Of Training Everyday
The main benefit of everyday training is practice. Frequent training conditions the body and the mind while essentially making you a machine in a specific endeavor. Ask a pull-up master and you will see that the exercise is done super frequently.
However, saying that this is needed for progress would be a lie. Bodybuilding movements in general are not highly technical which reduces the need for frequent practice. Why do gymnasts train so often and for many hours? Because the skills they need to develop are high and require frequent practice in order to be in top condition. Of course, top gymnasts actually reduce their working hours because they’re just maintaining form which is also a really hard task.
Experienced dogs follow the principle: “Do less to achieve more.”. They’ve paid their dues already and now enjoy higher interest rates.
Forget About Professional Bodybuilders
Regular people should not emulate the everyday training sessions of bodybuilders like Rich Piana for example. Those guys can afford training at the gym for a hours each day because it’s part of their job and steroids help you recover faster.
The average person does not have the time nor the ability to recover from daily high volume workouts, especially when lifting weights is not being done for a living with plenty of rest and cash to follow.
Below are a few fine points and tweaks targeted at specific bodybuilding situations which natty bodybuilders may found themselves in.
– Bodyweight exercises are highly convenient as everyday exercises because they don’t require a lot of equipment and you can do them at home or the local park.
– Any exercise can be done daily as long as the total workload doesn’t exceed the working capacity of the individual.
– When training daily the shoulders and the elbows will be the first to complain as far as the upper body is concerned. On the other hand the knees, hips and lower back will set the alarm, if you’re overdoing your lower body training.
– The more advanced you get, the more work you will be able to handle everyday. Ironically, you will benefit less from frequent training since you would be much closer to your genetic potential to begin it.