Can You Train the Same Muscle Every Workout?

Train a Muscle Every Day | Fitness Revolution Rowlett

I remember when I was just starting out in the training game I followed the same principle that every gym rat was told

“Make sure to give you muscles at least a 24 hour break after your workout so they can grow otherwise you’ll over train them and they will NOT grow.” Also the rule “keep you sets between 3-4 of 8-12 reps otherwise your just training them to be endurance muscles and they won’t grow.” So just like EVERYONE else I adopted a bodybuilder routine, one muscle group a day, and didn’t train the muscle again until next week.

In the beginning I did notice SOME development but honestly when you first start out about anything is going to work, but I do remember watching some people in certain sports gain FAST development of size and definition but yet seemed to break this sacred rule of the 24 hour break and on top of that they were doing COUNTLESS reps. WAY MORE than the media prescribed 10-12 reps routines for development.

 

If you look at an swimmer with WIDE V-taper

A cyclist develops just amazing thighs

Boxers with awesome shoulders

AND we can’t forget a male gymnast’s arms… I mean damn I’m a bit envious.

 

In my younger days I couldn’t figure it out… how the hell could these people gain such an impressive development but not following the muscle building rules set in stone by all the local meat heads at the gym?

Really this is a phoneme that, we in the fitness industry, have noticed but never really took the time to understand why or how to exploit.

Some have tried and have developed some interesting theories but we must remember that fitness is a fairly young field in regards to clinical studies. For all the muscle junkies out there, there has not been a popular demand for science (mostly due to limited funds) to find out how to drastically increase muscle hypertrophy, so it’s remained still a relatively small field of study.

One thing’s for sure, you can NOT argue with the results that these athletes are getting training those muscles everyday.

I once read a quote that “Science is the act of observing the world around you”… so in this case looking around at these gymnast arms and simmer’s lats obviously there were some rules that could be broken to gain FAST development in those lagging areas.
 

Nerd Alert

First off lets break down what HAS to happen for muscle growth to occur.

As most may know muscles have to have some form of damage/trauma (on a cellular level) for the response of muscle building to occur and thus stimulate a process called “protein synthesis” (think of the body producing NEW proteins, the building blocks of muscles).

We are predominately in three states of protein function in regards to development: Growth, Neutral (nothing goes on), Breakdown. So… muscle growth occurs whenever the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown.

Again we HAVE to be in a frequent state of protein synthesis for growth to occur and this typically occurs as a result of challenging resistance training.

We are going to skip a lot more of the biological process of muscle growth to get more to the things we want to know… when the muscle is also damaged a process is initiated in the body called Mechano-Growth Factor (MGF). WE want frequent pules of this phenom to occur to continue to tell the body to repair and make larger/stronger the damage muscles from resistance training.

So the more often you stimulate MGF the more muscle you build.

The question then becomes HOW can we stimulate MGF more often to initiate growth and development?

 

The Theory

If we go back to the beginning of our blog we talked about how EVERYONE always said that to get a muscle to grow you need to let it rest for at LEAST 24 hours, if not longer, to give it ample time to allow the growth process to occur.

That has worked for a good period of time, we can’t argue with the results of muscular development over the years of the fitness industry, BUT then we go back to those athletes that just seem to spout IMPRESSIVE development in a short period of time that did NOT follow that 24 hour rest rule.

Can you train a muscle every day | Fitness Revolution Rowlett

Robert Forstemann

So what the hell happened that caused a gymnast arms to spouts like they were on Miracle Grow?

The theory is that since they were using their arms more often in their workout’s they experienced more MGF pulses than a traditional bodybuilding split routine.

Everything that gymnast did involved their arms and because of all the demand they were placing on their biceps they were forced to grow and develop faster and larger to accommodate the increased workload.

Does that mean that ever guys should go out there and joining a gymnastics studio to gain some guns? No, remember this is explaining the theory WHY the gymnast arms grew so quickly; their arms were constantly being broken down and need frequent and fast repair. (I can hear the questions and rebuttals happening already but I promise I’ll get to those)

Now lets take a look at a speed skaters or cyclist quads, if you never seen a speed cyclist quads those things are absolutely ridiculous!

Those people do thousands of reps just about EVERYDAY and look at their legs! They did NOT follow a bodybuilder routine but their legs are enough to make most meat heads stare with envy.

So these athletes are breaking the rule of letting your muscles rest for days between workouts to allow muscular growth to occur, not only are they breaking it but they are proving it WRONG.

You simply can’t not argue with RESULTS.

 

Yes, You CAN Train a Muscle Every Day

Slow down though turbo before you jump in the gym floor and do curls every day there ARE some stipulations to this that we need to address to keep people from going stupid.

We do realize that if all it took was just doing countless reps of curls we would all have Olympian class arms and I’m sure everyone of us has come to that conclusion that hasn’t worked yet.

So what does work?

What I think helps, from my personal experience AND from some of my clients results, is that the movement needs to be different in some way.

If we go back to the gymnast with the guns we notice that they will do pull ups in every workout (maybe not even as part of the workout but to at least pull themselves up to a bar to get ready for the next skill attempt), what you will need to take into account though is that they do NOT do the SAME type of pull up every time they grab the rings or bar.

Some of the pull ups are with the hands pronated forward, others turned inwards, some neutral and heck even some go through the full range of motion with rings thus activating muscle fibers from different angles.

You might be saying “Well duh Travis, this is nothing new. Your suppose to train muscles from different angles”

Yes you’re right, but this is where I think things get interesting…

 

(Part 2 to Come Soon! We will talk about HOW to make this work for those lagging body parts)

 

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In Health and Awesomeness,

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Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other cool letters behind the name) is the Owner of Fitness Revolution in Rowlett, TX.

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Comments

  1. What about a speed cyclist? They do the same motions.

    • From the research I read it was because they had were working more type II fibers, which have a higher capacity for development.

  2. Thanks for the theory about each athletes cos I too have been thinking about how they train to get their physics. I was training the usual one body part a day for the last 3 years. Got stronger and bored of the same routine. So I now do full upper body a day and lower other days. Friends at gym started questioning me about it in doubts. But now I have a real theory to answer back. I always want biceps like a gymnast?. Just to try something different do you recommend doing one body part for one week then another the following week and so on?..

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