Is it bad to train the same muscles every day?
If you do the same exercise with the same intensity, your muscles will stop making progress. Letshego Zulu explains why change is good.
Asian personal trainer coaching a bodybuilding woman to perform the weightlifting exercise with dumbells in the fitness gym. Weightlifting and workout training coach business concept. Picture: iStock
In general, you should not train the same muscle groups every day. Doing so can result in unnecessary fatigue, soreness in muscles, and muscular strain.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise every day. It just depends on the intensity of your workout.
Can your body get used to the same exercise?
Yes, your body is amazing at adapting to the stimulus that you give it. If you do the same exercise with the same intensity repeatedly, you will stop making progress. That’s why it’s essential to use progressive overload to change the stimulus throughout each training session.
It’s also beneficial to change the exercise variations that you do every eight to 12 weeks.
Tips for keeping your workout routine varied
Okay, so it’s a good idea to mix it up a bit. But that’s easier said than done. Let’s put it into practice:
- Dedicate one day a week to something else
If you’re a lover of one particular type of exercise, test yourself by changing it on one day of the week. If you have never run before, go for a jog.
If you usually steer clear of the weights section, pick up some dumbbells and put those muscles to work. You can still focus and progress in your preferred fitness area, but complement this with a weekly session of something else.
- Try out variations
There are some super simple go-to exercises which might make up the majority of your routine. And so they should.
Squats, lunges, deadlifts, pushups, rows and overhead presses are fantastic compound therapy exercises that can see you develop well-rounded fitness. But when you get bored of them, take them and add a variation. Try the deficit deadlift. A squat and press. A push up to renegade row.
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There’s an endless list of tweaks and modifications that can make them more full-body, more effective, or more difficult.
- Segment your body parts
For some people, this is second nature. Chest and back day. Arms and shoulders day. Legs and core day. A different day means different muscles to focus on exercising.
For others, this is a bit alien. If you’re not ready to get granular with it, that’s okay. You also might not have that many days you’re willing to spend in the gym.
Try just segmenting your upper and lower body strength training days.
Then add a high-intensity interval training session or a cardio session in, too, if you can. By doing this, you’ll be able to focus a bit better without running out of time.
You might explore equipment and exercises you didn’t know about before.
- Go to different gyms
If only there was a way to visit lots of different gyms with different types of equipment with one flexible pass. Then, you could explore the gyms in your area and other areas.
This would also give you a chance to find out what else there is on offer: a pool, spa, bigger gym floor, more machinery, classes.
A great way to ensure variety in your workout routine is to break it and go and explore somewhere you haven’t been before.
Depending on your gym membership, you should be able to visit the same gym you go to in different areas. Make a note to enquire about that option with your gym prior to exploring.