Wondering whether it's a good idea for you to work out the same muscle group two days in a row?
You hear people talking about this all the time.
You'll hear people talking about how you need to allow your body to rest, and how you need to carefully think and plan out the structure of your workout program so that you can maximize each session you do.
This is why so many people enjoy and promote splits such as the push, pull, legs split or an upper body/lower body split.
These splits are carefully designed to work around your body's recovery times, and are geared towards allowing yourself a chance to rest between sessions and give your body a chance to do its job before you go out and crush it again.
They're designed to help you avoid training the same muscle groups two times in a row.
But what if you really can't make it work that way?
Sometimes, people do find themselves in a situation where they really have no option but to train the same muscle group twice or two sessions in a row.
Should you still head to the gym and train?
Or would you benefit more from simply staying home and resting?
Let's find out in this post!
Can You Train the Same Muscle Group Two Days in a Row?
The answer to this question is going to depend on several different factors.
Your training experience.
Your personal or individual recovery ability.
Your training intensity in each session.
But before we get into that, you need to understand the gist of how the process works and why we need to rest out muscles in the first place.
When we work out in the gym, we do not actually grow our muscles.
We break them apart and tear the muscle tissue by placing them under tension and stress.
Then, when we rest (sleeping and giving those specific muscles a chance to rest), we allow our bodies to repair themselves and get our muscles t grow back bigger and stronger than before.
This is so that the next time we do this specific exercise at that given intensity, it's not as difficult.
This is also what makes progressive overload so important in weight training.
However if you train the same muscle two days in a row, you're not going to be giving your body a chance to do its job in repairing the torn muscle tissues.
You could effectively be wasting your own time in the gym.
Hopefully that makes sense.
Now with that being said, let's get into the factors that could have an impact on whether or not you can train the same muscle two days in a row.
Firstly, How Advanced or Experienced Are You in Your Fitness Journey?
This is one of the most important factors that you need to look at when it comes to deciding whether or not you can train the same muscle two days in a row.
If you've just started out in the gym and haven't really spent that much time working out, then you're most likely not going to have developed a strong ability to recover from your training sessions yet.
You may have noticed that the first day you went to the gym and lifted some weights, you woke up feeling extremely sore and tight the next day.
Even if you didn't train all that hard.
Now this is due to the fact that your body is new to these kinds of challenges and stimuli.
It had never or rarely been exposed to intense strength training like this before, and therefore felt extremely taxed immediately afterwards.
This is going to remain for a while, as you wait for your body to slowly adapt to the stress that you're putting it through.
You see, the human body is designed to slowly adapt to the environments that we're in.
And if you're in the gym hitting the weights 4-6 times a week, it's going to realize that this has become a normal part of your life, and it's going to adapt to this.
This means it's going to become more accustomed to the workouts you do, and over time you're not going to feel as sore the day(s) after your workouts.
If you're been training for more than a few months, you'll probably already have noticed that some workouts don't make you as sore the day afterwards.
This doesn't mean that your workouts aren't effective, it simply means that you're adapting and growing more accustomed to the stress and tension you put yourself through.
The more and more advanced you get through your weight training journey, the less you're going to feel sore and the less recovery time you're going to need in between workouts.
Your body is going to get better at repairing your muscles, and it's going to be able to do it faster, allowing you to recover quicker.
Now Why is This Important?
This is important due to the fact that muscle soreness is one of the primary reasons that people say you shouldn't train the same muscle two days in a row.
Muscle soreness is a major hindrance to performance and output, which really does matter when it comes to strength training and muscle building.
The weight that you lift and the intensity that you're able to train at are massive factors that determine your success in muscle building.
If you're not able to train hard for the majority of your week due to the fact that you're training the same muscle two or more days in a row, you might be simply wasting your time and even negatively affecting your gains by not giving your body a chance to do its job.
And even if you're not feeling that sore, training the same muscle two days in a row is still probably not the smartest thing to do in the world.
Your body still does need a chance to recover, and the absence of muscle soreness is not an indicator that it's finished with this process.
So generally, if you're not advanced (if you haven't been training more than 3 years), it's probably not going to benefit you in any way to train the same muscle two days in a row.
If you're a more advanced trainee, then it might be more acceptable but even then, it should be avoided if you can train other muscles.
Secondly, You Have to Look At Your Individual Ability to Recover
Everybody is different.
We all know that.
However, what some people don't know is the fact that we all have different abilities to recover from our workouts.
Some people are naturally going to have an easier time than other recovering from their workouts and preparing for subsequent sessions.
You won't be able to tell whether you have good, average or bad genetics in this department.
The only way for you to find out is to train, and make a judgement for yourself.
If you constantly feel like you're sore after every workout and need more than a day's rest in between sessions, even after training for a couple of months, then you may be the type to require a little bit more recovery than others.
This doesn't mean you're weaker than others, or that there's no point in you training, it simply means that you may need to plan out your workout schedules more carefully.
And remember, this ability does improve as you get more and more advanced in training.
Unless you feel that you've got an extremely good ability to recover from your workouts, it's probably not smart for you to train the same muscle two days in a row.
Lastly, It Depends on How Hard You're Training
If you're not training all that hard (which you really should be), then you can probably get away with training the same muscle two days in a row.
If you're not training all that hard, then your body isn't going to need two full days of rest before you can hit your muscles effectively again.
Realistically, you should be training so hard in the gym that you physically feel like you can't train more than 5 or 6 days a week.
Otherwise, some of the time you spend in the gym is going to be wasted and you otherwise could've spent that time on other important things such as family time, relaxing or working to produce income in some way.
Training hard includes:
getting the right amount of volume
taking your sets close enough to failure (working sets within 3 reps)
lifting heavy enough.
Why Might Some People Need or Want to Train The Same Muscle Group Twice in a Row?
In case you were wondering, yes, people can sometimes find themselves with no option but to simply train the same muscle group two days in a row.
If You're Injured, You May Have Limited Options
It has definitely happened before, and I've experienced it myself too.
Sometimes people are injured and can't train certain body parts, leaving them with limited choices when it comes to what they can work out in the gym.
For example, you could have an injury in your knee(s), as well as a wrist problem that could prevent you from training both your lower body and your upper body pushing muscles (chest, shoulders and triceps).
This could leave you with no choice but to train your back, and maybe your biceps if your wrists didn't get in the way.
Depending on several factors and some judgements that you can make for yourself, training the same muscle two days in a row COULD work for you.
However, it's almost never going to make more sense than simply training different muscle groups throughout the week.
It's not the most efficient way to train and it's more than likely that you've got better options.
You just need to know what they are.
I hope you've found value in this post and have enjoyed reading through it!
If you did, remember to share it with your friends so that we can reach more people and help more reach their goals in fitness!
Have you ever trained the same muscle group two days in a row?