How Many Times a Week Should I Lift Weights to Gain Muscle?

If you are new to bodybuilding or want a better understanding of lifting weights to maintain a healthy muscle build, you came to the right place. The last thing you want to do is overwork yourself to the point where your muscles tear, and you can hardly move that area of your body anymore. Lifting weights is an excellent way to improve your sleep, a better posture, and relieve stress. Now, who does not want that? 

So how many times a week should you lift weights to gain muscle? This question’s answer is roughly 2 to 3 times per week for a beginner, 3 to 4 times a week for an intermediate, and 4 to 5 times a week for advanced weight lifters. This will allow your muscles to contract and retract properly, hence growing more. 

That amount of days is recommended because you go all out with lifting weights every day at the very beginning of building your muscle mass. But since your muscles are not used to this much stamina, your body winds up feeling very sore and not doing what it is supposed to, hence why many of us give up so easily.

Is It Okay To Lift Weights Every Day?

Although some may want to bodybuild every single day, it is dire to have a day of rest. Since we already know that the recommendation for an advanced weight lifter is 4 to 5 days a week, it is safe to say that no, it is not okay to lift weights every single day. The reason is that just how we need adequate sleep, our muscles need to relax as well. 

Not only this, but many people believe that the sorer our muscles are, the better and quicker we see our results. I remember thinking this back in the day too. On the contrary, our muscles do not truly get more assertive if you’re cranking out nonstop. They are stronger when we give our bodies a rest. We know of this because of protein synthesis, which is the process in which your cells are being made.

Is Lifting Weights 3 Times a Week Enough To Build Muscle?

Spending all day at the gym will not do you justice unless you wish to remain sore for the rest of your life! Studies have shown that you can build muscle by weight lifting for 2 days a week instead of one. So it is safe to say that yes, you can see a difference in muscle mass by doing some bodybuilding 3 times a week. 

How Many Weights Should I Lift To Build Muscle?

Sometimes you might not be gaining muscle build right away, which is most likely because you are either lifting too many weights or not enough at all. You may be experiencing this because of working in the same area daily. This does no good for your muscles, as they need to rest, which we will go over momentarily. 

If you suspect you are not lifting enough weight, choose a mass that will tire your muscles after 12 to 15 repetitions (or reps), with 30-second intervals between each lifting session. This allows your muscles to regenerate for the next reps.

When you feel yourself going above the initial 12 to 15 limit, then it is time to increase your weights once again. On the contrary, you will know if you’re lifting too much when lifting gets tiring after only a few reps.

How Long Should a Weightlifting Workout Last?

As a beginner, lifting weights should not take anymore than 30 minutes, with 3 exercises per muscle group. After getting used to this, you can start pushing it slightly more. However, weightlifting should not be a little more than an hour for each session, as this can tire your body out more this way.

Advanced bodybuilders will take a lot more time because their body can handle it better. It is recommended that we eat 5-6 small meals a day, the same goes for bodybuilding. If your schedule allows it, try to work out in short, more frequent doses. Having an in-home gym will let you do this better.

How Long Does It Take To Build Muscle?

You are excited because you’re finally taking charge of your body and making it stronger and healthier. In that, congratulations! With that, one of the many questions you ask yourself is, how long will it be until you start seeing results for muscle building?

This question is entirely dependent on how much work you are willing to put into it, as building muscle up takes much needed time and patience. Most of the time, it takes between 2 to 3 months to start seeing results, while more experienced lifters will see results between 2 to 3 weeks. 

Although we know lifting weights can help you gain muscle, there are a few other ways aside from weight lifting to help your body progress much better. 

  • Eat enough protein.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables for nutrition.
  • Have multiple, small meals a day.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Use resistance band exercises.
  • Bodyweight exercises: Such as squats, sit-ups, and lunges.
  • Use stationary weight machines.
    • Rowing machines — A device that simulates being on a canoe and the action required to propel you through the water, works your arms and back primarily.
    • Ellipticals — Replicates the activity of riding a back without the need to directly go outside and expose yourself to the elements, or people for that matter.
    • Treadmills — Fundamentally the same function as an elliptical, only this is catered towards running instead of riding a bike.

Can You Build Muscle Without Rest Days?

It is best to have rest days for your muscles. That way, your muscular system can actually do what it needs to do, which is strengthened. If you do not have growth days, it can cause muscle breakdown, or rhabdomyolysis, a rare pain that releases a protein that can damage your blood.

It must be caught early enough to reduce any injury, so treatment can be done with excessive fluid replacement. Symptoms of muscle breakdown are:

  • A dark, reddish urine
  • Decrease in urine
  • Muscle aches
  • Weakness

This can easily be prevented by allowing your body to rest. Since many people do not realize this, doing the research before getting started on anything workout related is necessary to ensure your safety.

If you wish to work on your body 7 days a week, do not work on the same part twice in a row. Instead, work on opposite muscles to keep your body balanced. One way to allow this to come into play is assigning a body part for each day, such as legs on Tuesday and arms on Wednesday.

Do You Have To Lift Heavy To Build Muscle?

You are at the gym building up your body. You look over to a massive person lifting 250 pounds with ease and thinking to yourself, “wow, I wish I can lift heavy like that!” but it just hinders your progress.

Doing low reps with a solemn mass will increase your muscles, yet you will wear your body out faster. On the other hand, doing higher reps with a lighter density will increase muscle endurance, reduce the risk of injury, maintain your body mass, and increase movement within your body. Making sure you allow your nervous system time to adjust in weights is dire to prevent serious injury.

Can I Build Muscle Without Lifting Heavy?

When you experience joint pain and many aches once you start working out with heavy weights, light lifting will allow you to build muscle. It is beneficial when you are limited to what type of equipment you have, such as no gym membership or some sort of DIY weights within your home. 

But one must ask, how can you build without lifting heavy? We are wrongly taught that the higher the weight, the more muscle we build. In fact, studies show otherwise. 

  1. Slow down your lifts’ speed: research shows that reducing the time to 10 seconds per rep (5 seconds going up and 5 seconds going down) decreases chest activation by 36% with a bench press. 
  2. Make rest time shorter: The body part you’re trying to strengthen will gain more metabolic stress, or training for a significant burn, by shortening rest time.
  3. Increase range of motion: Instead of adding 10 pounds to a squat, add an extra inch or two for deeper squats in each rep. This will increase your muscle growth without using more weight. 
  4. Increase your reps: This will build muscle growth compared to lifting heavy with lower reps. You can go up to 30 reps per set. 

How Do I Know If I Am Overtraining?

Overtraining happens when you do not have a break for those specific muscles or wind up working out way too hard than you should be doing. This is called an overtraining syndrome, which happens when you excessively exercise without any sort of rest. 

That being said, there are many ways to tell if you are overtraining. If you suspect that this is happening to your body, it would be best to take a day or two of rest. 

  • Little to no sleep.
  • Gaining weight. 
  • Not eating enough. 
  • Motivational loss.
  • Performance decrease. 
  • Fatigue. Although it is normal to be tired after working out, generally speaking, it should increase your energy after a while. Finding yourself tired constantly means your muscles have not had enough time to heal.

How Can I Prevent Overtraining Syndrome? 

We talked briefly about overtraining syndrome, but many athletes tend to forget about this issue. When it happens, it is too late to do anything about it. Some people may call this burnout or feel stale. If you ever feel yourself getting any of the symptoms listed above, remember to always take a break, as rest is more critical than accidental harm within your body. Here are plenty of ways to prevent overtraining:

  • Create your own training system that is geared towards your body’s needs. 
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Don’t go above what your body can handle.
  • Keep a training log.
  • Do not create stress within your personal life. If something comes up, deal with this first and foremost.
  • Massage, stretch, and ice your muscles regularly.
  • Eat a proper, healthy diet.
  • Get a good night’s rest.

Is 24 Hours Enough Rest For Muscles?

Since we know our bodies need to rest, we often ask if 24 hours is enough rest time to give. To prevent injury, anywhere between 24 to 48 hours of rest in the same muscle group is dire. This will give your muscles a chance to heal and repair themselves. Make sure you work on opposite forces to balance your body out. Another thing to keep in mind is that if your muscles are sore, rest them for 2 days until working on that specific area of your body again. 

Final Thought

For the takeaway, the number of times you should lift weights is between 2 to 3 days, depending on how long you have been doing so. If you are someone who needs to do it more often, then adjust accordingly. Since you are the one who knows your body best, you know what limits you can handle. Do not overwork yourself to see results faster. The more patient you are, the better results you will see. 

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