which muscles can be trained every day? and why?

In my life-long, albeit sporadic, quest for increased muscle mass and strength, i’ve always given each muscle group at least 48 hours to recover before working them out again with the exception of my abs and calves. I had been told by several trainers that those could be worked out every day, sans problème.

  1. Is this true?

  2. Why?

  3. What other muscles/groups can still grow under daily wear and tear?



READ this and IGNORE all advice in the muscle comics. They are owned by the supplement companies and do not promote sensible (read: effective) training methodologies.

Even more OT, but back onto my pet subject - you should train the basic compound movements (Squat, Deadlift, Bench/Dip, Press and Chinup) twice per week. Reps of 10-20 TOTAL per movement should be used. Eg This usually means that I spend no more that 2 HOURS per week in the gym. The caveat to this is that you learn proper form, aim to increase resistance week-on-week, year-on-year and train to at least near failure. Strength will follow!!!

Hope that is useful or at least food for thought.


PS If you are on steroids then feel free to train 12 times per week, for 6 hours at a time and eat nothing but ice cream… you will probably still gain lots of muscle, though you may find that the side effects are less than desirable…

Every muscle can be trained every day but it takes your body a certain amount of time to repair the cells you damage when you train (which is what makes the muscles bigger).

Some muscles get a big workout every day so are used to quicker recovery - your calves get exercise every time you stand up, your abs even when you are merely sitting up in a chair - and they don’t grow as much as the other muscle groups (would you like abs the size of your biceps?) so they don’t need as much recovery time. Also, the damage you do to muscle tissue during a bicep curl is much more intense than an ab crunch.

It depends on how much you overload a given muscle. You could find a calf routine that would make it tough to walk for the next 48 hours, let alone train. But you could also do one that doesn’t do that much damage and doesn’t require much recovery.

Basically, you should use your soreness as an indicator of whether you’ve recovered enough. If you’re not sore at all, or only when you contract, then you’re ready to go. If you’re sore when you move, it’s up to you. If just breathing makes it hurt, there are a couple things to do: do some active recovery work (light weights, moderate volume), and figure out what you did to get this level of soreness and never do it again.

Forgot to add: muscle soreness is only one indicator of whether you’ve recovered enough. Feeling down and dumpy, or fatigued, or just plain not so great can be an indicator that your central nervous system needs more time to recover. The proper thing to do there is to sleep.

However, most people’s training doesn’t stress the CNS enough to worry about this too much.

Here’s a link to an excellent site.


The principles and approach towards bodybuilding advocated at this site, IMHO, are the best around.

And look, I’ve got a study showing that three sets are better than one for 1RM. Who’s right?

interesting study ultrafilter, if your comment was aimed at me, and I think we have clashed a few times on this subject, let me be clear. I advocate no ONE way to train (despite my own strong opinions). That said there are many widely held training misconceptions which I strongly believe should be brought up and tested.

3 sets, 1RM, failure, negative, Superslow, HIT etc are all ways of achieving results, the individual will often respond slightly better to certain schemes, but the bottom line is hard work and proper form in the most effective movements. (ie Squat, Dip, Chin), in a progressive manner over a period of time. It amazes me the number of people (no1 misconception) who believe that they can circumvent hard work by using psuedo scientific short cuts which patently do not work, and often line someones pocket.

Anyway. Thats my .2 cents worth… we are way OT now :wink:

Just as a quick aside, here are a few studies you might find interesting, jimdigritz.

To get back to the OP, all muscle fibers are basically the same, up to their type. So a fast-twitch fiber from the hamstrings is indistinguishable from a fast-twitch fiber from the calf, and a slow-twitch fiber from the quadriceps is indistinguishable from a slow-twitch fiber from the pecs. Since all muscles are made up of the same types of fibers, they all have similar recovery needs to a similar amount of stimulation.