As far as I know, training the same muscles every-day (or in consecutive days) is not a good idea. The muscles can't rest long enough to regenerate and you are "over-training".

But, as far as I know, the muscles need 36 hours (roughly) to rest. So, in theory, if I want to grow muscles and I have an optimal diet for this purpose, is a routine like this one OK :

  • Day 1 : Legs (every muscle)
  • Day 2 : Upper Body (every muscle)
  • Day 3 : Legs
  • Day 4 : Upper Body
  • Day 5 : Legs
  • Day 6 : Rest (it's week-end dude !)
  • Day 7 : Rest
  • Day 8 : Upper Body
  • Day 9 : Legs
  • Day 10 : Upper Body
  • Day 11 : Legs
  • Day 12 : Upper Body
  • Day 13 : Rest
  • Day 14 : Rest

(Example on two weeks so your upper body won't be smaller than your legs)

Is there enough rest in this routine ? Knowing that this routine is for "bodybuilding".

UPDATE FOR CLARIFICATION

Since some answers are not really answering my question, it seems my question is not really clear.

So, the main question is this one : is training to failure (in 8-12 reps) the same muscles every other day (and with two days of rest per week) over-training ?

  • 1
    Welcome to Fitness.SE, I have a short question, is there a reason you want to have 2 consecutive rest days rather than spreading them over the week? If you'd go upper body, lower body, rest, upper body, lower body, rest. You'd have the same amount of training and rest days as in your plan but you'd never be training the same bodypart again while it's still recovering (recovery might take up to two full days). – MJB Sep 12 at 13:09
  • @MJB I go to the gym the morning, before work (~6.30am). On week-ends, I can't spend an hour at the gym and if I wake up at 6am on week-end, my girlfriend will kill me ;) – P154 Sep 12 at 14:34
  • @Raditz_35 I work out to gain weight/size, I do various exercise to train all upper body (resp. lower body) every other day, trying to reach failure. Basically, it's 4 series of 12-10-10-8 reps, and I try to got to failure at least the last serie (8reps), with 1min rest between the series (at least, sometimes up to 1min30). I don't feel any sign of over training and I haven't been injured. I focus on my nutrition every day and I see nutritionist – P154 Sep 12 at 14:43
  • @P154 No idea why it would be overtraining, especially if you don't show any signs. However, if you are seeing a nutritionist, are you also seeing a trainer? You should perhaps have someone who knows best if you want to experiment a lot. Not because overtraining, that basically doesn't exist, but because of other stuff. Your form needs to be spot on for example so you stay injury free. – Raditz_35 Sep 13 at 21:00

2 consecutive days of resting will surely be enough but since you work at least 2 or more muscles in a day, I suggest you to focus on your nutrition very well in order not to feel exhausted all the time.

It is indeed, possible to train a body part each day. The difference in required rest is the intensity that you train. If a body part is trained resistance that causes failure within an arbitrary min-max of 6 - 15 reps, that body part will not have sufficient rest in less than 24 hours due to the effect on the nervous system, for one. However, If the intensity is dialled back enough, it is possible to train every day and experience a cumulative effect over time of increased strength and muscle size.

Another important question is whether your goal is for an increase in strength or size. Given someone who wants to train effectively every day, for strength, the intensity should be around 80%. For size, the intensity should be around 70% to allow more sets to be completed in a workout.

  • Hi ! Thanks for your answer but it does not answer my question : I don't train the same body part each day, and like I said in my question, it is a "bodybuilding" workout to grow muscle (so the target is size). – P154 Sep 12 at 7:30
  • 1
    Thanks for the clarification. Some people that bodybuild do it with a mind to also increasing strength, and no, training to failure every second day with two days per week rest isn't overtraining as long as you are not doing too much volume and are remaining within your stated rep range. For example, a single set to failure in this scenario would be fine, however, 5 sets to failure would be too much. Some individuals would be fine if only there final set was to failure. In summary, as long as you can handle your total amount of sets, you can continue to make good progress. – Lloyd Moore Sep 17 at 9:30

As far as I know, training the same muscles every-day (or in consecutive days) is not a good idea. The muscles can't rest long enough to regenerate and you are "over-training".

The premise is wrong, there is not any evidence that muscles need rest days between training days, it's just a gym myth invented by bodybuilders. You can train a muscle 7 days a week 365 days a year without any negative consequences. It's all a matter of volume.

Beginners need minimum 10 hard sets per muscle therefore it's easier to divide it in 2 days and do 5 sets each time than dividing it in 7 days.

Advanced athletes need a minimum of 15 ** hard** per week and they no actual limit... theoretically a pro athlete could do 48 sets each week and still benefit. So it's easier to do 6-7 sets each day than doing 24 sets two times a week.

In the end the effectiveness of your routine depends on the number of sets and effort you put in not on how you split your training days.

  • Hi ! Thanks for your answer, do you have any source to back it up ? – P154 Sep 10 at 14:49
  • Overtraining is not working tired muscles. – JohnP Sep 13 at 20:30

So, the main question is this one : is training to failure (in 8-12 reps) the same muscles every other day (and with two days of rest per week) over-training ?

No, not at all but it might be under-training. We as humans are build for endurance and high work loads as we are probably the top when it comes to endurance out of all land animals.

Also because as it is seems the more you train the more muscle you build in a direct dose relationship. 10 sets build 2 times more muscle than 5 sets for example.

42 hard sets per muscle group give 0 sign of over-training

From the Norwegian Frequency project comparing training 3 times vs 6 times a week. enter image description here Seems like Frequency plays a strong role too even though Volume has more impact. As you can see, the effect sizes favored the 6x group for the bench press and the deadlift but interestingly not the squat. The differences are small, however. The only effect size difference that really stands out is that for fat-free mass, considerably favoring the 6x group. This suggests better muscle growth in the group training each muscle 6x per week.

Conclusion

Training is dose dependent, the more the BETTER. No actual limit seems to exist and if it does no one has found it.

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