72 hours between weight-training?

(Denise) #1

Anyone know if this is accurate? I always understood every other day was ok for muscle-groups? That’s what I’ve been doing and I’m 69, 113 lbs, 5’2". I have so much more energy now, especially feel a huge difference in the a.m.'s and sleeping better. Also, shaping up a lot.

I’m sure it has to do with the amount of weight-training I do as well. I do 5 different sets of exercises on Cable/Pulley Machine for upper body, 2 sets of lower body using cable/pulley, and now using Smith Machine for squats. I do 3 sets w/12 reps on all, mostly 20-30 pounds except Smith Machine is 45, bar only. Just one other machine for lower body, don’t know the name but see if I can find it.

So 48 hours in between upper or lower.

(Robin) #2

Denise… since your main goal is to be strong and able, I think your every other day routine is perfect. But body builder’s or those wanting to build visible muscles might have different thoughts on that. I dunno.
My husband has done cardiac one day (treadmill/bike) and weights the other (arms/legs/abs/back)… for years. He has muscular calves and arms and is definitely strong. But you wouldn’t peg him for a gym rat. He’s just trying to stay ‘in shape”.

To me, you are doing great!

(Denise) #3

That’s pretty much what I’m thinking Robin. Some of the articles are either by, or about, bigger goals than mine, like competitors in the BB. I am all about strength, and as a bonus, I get some good toning and feel way more energy.

Your hubby sounds like he has a good routine. Sometimes I do an entire day of nothing but walking Mimmie, but like yesterday, I had a lot of running around to do and was busy clear up to 8 pm. I still feel like a nap about 3, but I think that’s mainly because the most sleep I am still getting is only 6 hours, and that’s with one wake-up in the middle of the night. I know all is improving though so I’m hanging in there :wink:

(Allie) #4

I train full body every other day currently as studies have shown that to get the best results each muscle group should ideally be hit several times a week, but that said, your situation is very different to mine and if what you’re doing is working, stick with it and don’t worry :slight_smile:

(Joey) #5

Using that energy when you’re feeling it sounds like a great idea to me. But that doesn’t mean hitting the same muscles repeatedly every day.

FWIW, as a 65 yr old I do HIIT strength training 3x weekly … but each of those days focuses on a different zone (upper, lower, core). As a result, each muscle group gets a week to recover. But every day I also burn my energy through a no-impact cardio workout.

Lots of ways to burn that low-carb energy you’ve got. Enjoy!

(Denise) #6

Ok so every other day a different muscle group, and I love to bike, or mostly just walking for more aerobic type. I think I’ll try this because I want to do “something” every day now, I am getting down a routine but I tend to see the benefits and am tempted to go the next day and do the same routine. I’ve done that but only twice as I start using my brain much more too :crazy_face: Usually when I’ve done that I feel I haven’t really put a lot into a workout, so I sort of made it up the next day :wink:

Now I’ve learned a lot from folks and am doing lots more types of sets. Just added in the Smith Machine as I have the right form and can do just 2 sets of 12 reps with just the 45 lb bar.

(Laurie) #7

Between your title and the text, I’m not clear on how often you work each part.

Anyway … I used to have a strength training instructor certificate, and I’ve read various things since. There are all kinds of different routines, depending on what you want to accomplish. But for most of us, resting a muscle for 48 hours is ideal, and 72 hours is okay.

So if you do strength training for your whole body 3 times a week, that’s fine.

(Denise) #8

Ok so if I was unclear, I didn’t go back and read it again Laurie but I go every other day, and each of those days are now one day upper body, one day lower. Usually every other day, a different group though Laurie :slight_smile: I haven’t gotten into more “groups”, or breaking them down further than just upper lower. Oh, Lower includes abs for me :wink:

When I go 2 days in a row which is rare, I do a different group than last visit. Hope this makes sense. Also I should add I am doing just 3 sets w/12 reps, can’t do that yet with my Smith Machine squats, only 2 sets of 12.

Also when I feel like the weight is too light, eventually, I move up to the next weight, mostly all mine are 30 on the cable/pulley machine, but the rowing one is still at 20 lb. For me, those weight get me puffing and breaking a sweat, I check my heart rate and it is at 129, usually when I check its close to 130. Not sure how good that is, but sometimes I do two types during same set, but take about a minute between each set.

(Joey) #9

A few research papers that might be of interest. I’ve highlighted the passages I found to be most relevant …

RestPeriods-MuscleAdaptation.pdf (473.8 KB)

HIIT-MetabolicResults.pdf (549.9 KB)

HIITvsTradExercise.PDF (734.6 KB)

ResistanceTrainingOldAdults-.pdf (574.6 KB)

(Denise) #10

Yes, I will read them Joey and thanks so much. I’ll be back to comment on them :wink:

(Allie) #11

Have you considered yoga? That’s what I do on my off days as it helps with mobility and recovery too.

(Laurie) #12

Thank you for clarifying! Don’t worry about “groups”; however you split them is fine. But I’d recommend doing either of the following:

  • Exercise every other day: whole body.

  • Exercise every day: upper body one day, lower body next day.

This might seem impractical if your time or energy are limited. But the way you’re doing it, 4 or 5 days elapse before you get back to exercising the same muscle or muscle group. It’s better than nothing, but you’re not really getting the benefits of weight training that way.


Absolutely no need to wait 72hrs, that’s why workouts are programmed to not work the same bodypart day after day. You can lift 7 days a week if you want to, your programming just needs to reflect that in what you’re working, and when. When you start hitting the level of over training… YOU KNOW IT!

The best results (as far as muscle gain) is typically shown to be hitting everything 2x a week, doesn’t mean you have to, but it’s definitely not a problem either.

If you feel good lifting, have the energy, are recovering properly, and your lifts are progressing, you’re fine!

(Denise) #14

I think I’ll go both ways as I won’t always feel up to days in a row, as I sometimes just realize I need extra rest. So I’ll shoot for one day upper, next day lower as much as I can just to keep busy, and I am making friends so some time is spent yackin :wink: which is really nice as I live alone except for pup :wink:

(Denise) #15

Ok, sounds good Ifod, & Laurie. I will play it by ear. Sometimes I want to be there but I have to listen to my bod when it says “you’re really tired so take one more day off”. But I do other things as well like walking my dog, or helping my neighbor Tom with something, I try to keep moving, just not the heavy stuff at the gym. I am truly loving the improvements though :wink: I see now why people can look so good it’s because they get to loving it. It’s not just a temporary “high” I feel after working out either, I can feel so good next a.m. as well, and the next day too :wink:

(Joey) #16

Twice weekly certainly squares with the available research on muscle gain. Gaining muscle is one valid objective. Another might be not experiencing pain beyond mild discomfort. Yet another might be to avoid aggravating old joints, tendons, prior youthful injuries, and other related geezer parts. :wink:

(Denise) #17

I’m for a little “soreness”, not actual pain, probably goes w/o saying:rofl: A little soreness tells me I “worked” and w/o that, I feel I did not work any muscles. I am after toning up, firming up, and a little muscle gain as I am a stick without muscle, and this is the first time in 69 years I am going for just that, some muscle to replace the fat that some said I looked good with. But all my learning so far let’s me know that muscle gain is wayyyy better that fat gain, no competition between the two.

(Sonia A.) #18

Hi Denise, I think you’re doing phenomenal. If you’re progressing and lifting more weight, you’re on the right path.

Be careful not to overtrain. If you want to change your routine (but I don’t think it’s necessary), you can do 2 or 3 full body workouts per week. Or, if you prefer an upper/lower split, do upper body one day then lower body the next day. Then, you rest for 1 or 2 days depending on how you feel, before doing it all over again.

If you want more information made for regular people, and not bodybuilders, I recommend you go to the Mind Pump Show on YouTube. They have so much information and they discourage the overtraining mentality. Plus they also have another channel, Mind Pump TV, where they demonstrate exercises.

I hope it helps and I wish you more health and strength :blush:

(Denise) #19

Thanks Sonia! The Mind Pump videos sound excellent, I will look this a.m. I do seem to like the combo of upper and lower body as I always want to add in a couple lower body after I’m done with my upper each time I go to the gym. It’s easier for me to remember too instead of switching back and forth :sweat_smile: Also like the skipping a day, or two as I did this last few days. Mainly because I was rushed a bit because of a 2 hour drive down to the cardio’s office yesterday, so I skipped the gym knowing I had worked my whole body last gym-visit :slight_smile:

I actually easily pulled off 2 sets of 12 reps using the Smith Machine (45 lb barbell only) and hardly any soreness like the first time.

(Laurie) #20

Sounds like whole body every other day might work for you!