Training Too Much Can Prevent You
From Building Muscle Mass
If your aim in the gym is building muscle mass, then the frequency of your weight training is very important. In this article we take a look at the common problem of overtraining, and what the optimal training frequency is for great muscle gains.
When it comes to the subject of how often you should train in the gym, how long you should train etc, the majority of people get it wrong. A common belief, especially amongst beginners, is that the more time you spend in the gym battling away at the weights, then the bigger and stronger you will become.
This couldn't be further from the truth! Ok sure, in many other areas of life this theory holds true. For example, the more you practice football, the better you will become at football. Or the more you study at school, the higher your grades.
But when it comes to the world of bodybuilding, this truth does not apply. Spending hours and hours in the gym, 5-7 days a week, won't give you the amazing muscle gains that you would expect.
So yes, spending less time in the gym will certainly give you more chance of building muscle mass.
The Common Mistake of Overtraining
Every lifter has probably made the mistake of training too much at some point in their life. Overtraining means that you are working your muscles too often, or for too long, so that you are sabotaging your potential muscle gains.
So many people fall into the false trap of thinking that the more they train, the better their results. In my local gym I see the same guys day after day, slaving away at endless sets thinking that their efforts will pay off.
But they never seem to see any decent gains, they more or less keep the same physique. Even if they have a solid weight lifting diet, and they are performing the correct exercises and everything else, they are not building muscle mass. Simply because they are working their muscles too much and too often.
Why You Should Train Less in the Gym
When you push your muscles to their limit and break down muscle tissue during your weights session, what does your body do? It grows the muscle tissue larger and stronger than before to protect the body from future stress.
But for your muscles to grow in size and strength, you need to provide them with enough rest. Without sufficient rest (and proper nutrition of course), your body won't get the chance to build new muscle tissue.
That's why I recommend training no more than 3-4 times a week, with a rest day in-between each workout day. For example, you could workout on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Training everyday will most definitely hinder your results, as you won't be giving your muscles the rest it needs. Remember that you are only building muscle mass whilst resting and eating, not during your actual workouts.
As for how long to train during a workout, as a general rule keep each session under an hour. Training for longer than this will only be detrimental to your gains. Assuming you are training properly for muscle gain, then within 1 hour you should have done enough to fully stimulate muscle growth.
Long marathon sessions in the gym should be avoided at all costs. The longer you stay in the gym, the longer your recovery time will be! You may even lose muscle at the same time.
So to sum everything up, remember these two important guidelines for building muscle mass.
1. Keep your workouts under 1 hour
2. Don't train more than 3-4 times a week
Return to Muscle Building Workouts from Building Muscle Mass: Train Less.