Claiming "Everybody knows..." simply means you heard someone say it so believe it but don't know why.
I don't think there really is anything that everybody knows.
I could be wrong.
Are you ready to be shocked? Everybody DOESN'T know.
Here is the story.
I was teaching a fitness class and we were doing a circuit. One of the circuit exercises was the overhead press. When that exercise came around to one lady she said, "Oh...I did overhead press yesterday at the gym. EVERYBODY KNOWS you can't lift weights two days in a row. What other exercise can I do?"
Everybody doesn't know. As a matter of fact that statement in DEAD WRONG. It's kinda based on fact but to 99% of people it really is not correct.
I will answer the question: Why?
First let me tell you how it's based on fact then I will tell you why "everyone knows".
The fitness craze of the 70's really is what started the myth. The truth is that if you are a body builder and your one and only goal is to grow freakishly large muscles that don't really belong on your body then you need to rest you muscles for several days after you absolutely destroy them for hours at the gym.
I don't know why but body builders will literally spend hours in a gym working one or two muscle groups. When you rest the muscles they grow. Truth.
So why do people think they need to train like body builders?
Here the answer gets a little convoluted.
I think that gyms tell people this because it is easy to teach, easy to do, easy to repeat and NOT VERY EFFECTIVE so people will stop coming to the gym because they are not getting results but not quit their memberships because they feel like it was their fault when really the plan was wrong to begin with.
Holy crap. Was that out loud? (and highlighted in RED!)
Why do we tell a 50 year old women that just quit smoking, is on blood pressure and cholesterol meds, is 75 lbs overweight and has never exercised a day in her life to do the same plan as a 20 year old dude that wants to add 40 lbs of muscle to impress the girls at the beach?
It's stupid and guess what? I did it for years and many thousands of trainers tell people this garbage everyday.
You can't train the same muscles two days in a row. I'm sorry if I ever told you this. Quite frankly it is a bold faced lie.
So you kind of understand the basic history and reason we tell people to do "weights" every other day.
One of the reasons I left the security of the full time position of "Wellness Director" at the YMCA is because I was tired of showing people the "circuit" and lying to them about how to get results day in and day out.
I want to keep this relatively short because I could go on all day about this topic.
I do want to give you some value and tell you what to do if I tell you what not to do.
Truth is that you can lift weights as many days in a row as you want. Is this ideal? Of course not.
What is ideal?
What is the best way to get in shape?
Here you have 7 keys to get in shape and rush to the mirror instead of away from the mirror. Do this plan and you will feel and look better guaranteed.
1. Do "cardio" 2-3 times per week. Cardio is doing the same movement for 20-60 minutes. Running, walking, rowing, skiing, biking and swimming. Do most of the sessions as intervals. Never do all intervals or easy all the time. Mix is up. What the intervals are doesn't matter. Just don't go the same pace all the time. This could be a whole another blog post....(I'm sure it will be)
2. Do not ever do "machines" or "abs". Those are dumb and are a waste of your time. Do your resistance training with bars, dumb bells and kettlebells. If "abs" worked would we all "have abs".
3. Vary the things you can vary. What does that mean? Why do 8-12 reps all the time? Another myth from body builders. How about doing 5 reps of a heavy weight then 25 of a lighter weight? Shut the front door! Can you do that? Yes. Here are some ideas for adding variety:
- Weight: light vs heavy
- Speed: slow vs fast
- Reps: Number vs time
- Exercises: Circuit vs 2, 3, 4 or more exercise repeated
- Isomentric vs movements
- Calories burned vs feet climbed vs distance vs METS
- Rest: timed rest vs no rest vs rest when a song is on vs rest when your partner is working
4. Pre-program your workouts. OK, here is a quick test to see if it was a good workout. Are you tired? Yes. Good workout. Don't do it again. Make up a new one. The basic reason we write out a workout is to time it and post it to Facebook. True story.
5. Do 2 a days. Crazy, right? Same workout or different workout. Want results? Do this and see what happens!
6. Rest. I try to completely rest one day per week. Sometimes use a rest day to do cardio. Do you need rest to recover? Sometimes you do. Listne to your body and not what the fit guy at the gym says. (Unless the fit guy is me then...well....listen to the fit guy)
7. Fuel your body. If you don't put the right stuff in your body then you need to get every other day. I am a huge fan of not only eating A LOT by taking my Advocare Nighttime Recovery and Post Workout Recovery each and every day.
You need to workout each and everyday. You need to mix intensity with just plain easy movement. Do you have to lift a lot of weight? No. Do you have run a marathon? Do. You just need to move your body in a way that is challenging.
No more. No less.
Can you left weights on consecutive days?
Everybody knows that is fine. Go at it.
Hope you got some value out of this post. If so we appreciate if you like and share.
Live fit...of die!
Rick Copley, Your Best Fitness Coach
"Empowering YOU to be a champion"