How many days should I wait before reworking a muscle?

I’m trying to get more size by working out some of my main muscles, such as the chest, back, biceps, triceps, legs, and shoulders. For EACH of these muscles, I have 3 or 4 exercises. If I workout one of the muscles with the 3-4 exercises one day, how many days should I wait before working out that muscle with the same 3-4 exercises again? Someone told me to go every other day and someone else told me to do it once a week. Who’s right? I’m trying to figure out how much rest is necessary to maximize muscle growth. I usually try to lift intensely based on my current size. Thanks!

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18 Responses to “How many days should I wait before reworking a muscle?”

  1. Prodigial Mouse said:

    I’d agree with the person who said every other day. A day will give your muscles ample time to rebuild from the workout. Least ways, I work out every other day, and it’s worked great for me!

  2. Monte said:

    I’ve seen the every other day and once a week argument. But what is usually overlooked is that once a week muscle targeted workout is so intense and draining it takes a professional lifter to do it properly.
    I do the every other day routine. I’ve been lifting for 19 years and the once a week routine scares me 🙂

  3. ryoga said:

    It’s hard to answer without knowing what your exact routine is. Based on the info you gave, do the once a week routine. A muscle that is worked out very hard actually take around 3-4 days to fully recover.

  4. Chuy M said:

    I only hit each muscle group once a week. Here’s what I do and it has been working for me. Obviously a workout needs to be tailored to the individual, but these exercises may help.

    Arms
    Lying dumbbell triceps extensions
    standing barbell curl
    behind head reverse hammers
    one-arm preacher curl
    Close-grip pushdowns
    incline dumbbell curl
    Parallel bar dips
    hammer curl
    Single-arm reverse-grip pushdowns
    reverse grip EZ bar
    rope push downs
    super light dumbbell curls

    Chest
    Dumbbell Incline Presses,
    Pullovers and Presses,
    Dumbbell Bench Presses,
    Narrow-Grip Bench Presses,
    Incline Dumbbell Flyes,
    Barbell Incline Presses,
    Push-Ups Between Benches,
    Cable standing incline flyes
    Cable standing decline flyes

    Back
    Barbell row
    Dumbbell Row
    Lat Pull Downs
    Cable Row
    Lower Back Machine
    Forearms
    lite wide lat pulldowns
    Supermans

    Shoulders
    Lateral Raises
    Bent-Over Lateral Raises
    No rest front raises
    Shrugs
    Military Presses
    Front Raises
    Rotator Cuffs
    Superlight lateral raises

    On incline bench, with 2 10lbs dumbbells:

    1st: Facing forward bring dumbbells up from sides to parallel to ground palms inward, slow repeat for ten reps.
    2nd: Facing bench bring dumbbells up from sides backwards as far as you can palms inward, slow repeat for ten reps.
    3rd: Stand up with dumbbells and do 10 lateral raises.
    4th: Back in position 2, raise arms so they are forward, palms inward, arms bent in a semi bear hug position and parallel to ground. Bring to sides and back to center for 10 reps. I usually do 5 lbs here because this exercise is hard.

    Do this set three times with out rest. The third set I change to all 5 lb movements. All of this is slow pace, like 1 second up and one second down.

    Legs
    Squats
    Leg Extentions
    Leg Curls
    Adductors
    Abductors
    Calf Lifts
    Glute Machine
    Leg lifts

    I also do 100 crunches per night.

    My idea is to hit a variety of ranges and movements in order to work the muscle to the maximum. I tend to use a weight I can do for 10 reps and for 25 reps on the last two movements. Apart from this I do 20 minutes or Cardio every day and stretch before and after the workout, as well as frequently during. Stretching is very important to muscular growth because not only does it help prevent injury and alleviate recovery pain, but it also stretches out the fascia tissue that surrounds the muscle and inhibits its growth. When you are pumped and you stretch is when you get the best stretch of the fascia. Lastly rest and nutrition are every bit as important as the workout itself. Eating enough protein for the muscle to recover and grow as well as enough carbohydrates to replenish diminished glycogen stores in the muscles and liver is vital for repair and being ready for the next time you tax those muscles.

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