It’s generally believed that you should alternate body parts when working out to give each muscle group a break. This is thought to help the muscles recover, allowing them to strengthen over time. But what happens if your schedule changes and you need to work out two days in a row?
You can do a full-body workout two days in a row once your body has grown accustomed to it. Train on alternating days at first to build up your stamina and improve your tolerance for heavy workouts. Stick to a routine, and you should be able to work up to full-body exercises on back-to-back days.
This article will explore what can happen if you choose to work out two days in a row and if it’s safe. We’ll also cover full-body workouts and how to do them effectively and safely.
What Happens if You Do a full-body Workout Two Days in a Row?
If you do a full-body workout two days in a row, you may feel sore and unable to push yourself as far on the second day. However, if you stick to a routine, your body will become stronger and adapt to working out daily. It will take your body time to recover regardless of the muscle group you train.
If you’re considering working out every day, chances are you are looking to improve your health and fitness. With that in mind, you’re probably not going to wait for every muscle to heal fully before working out again because the healing process may take some time.
Take a look at hard laborers — they don’t take a holiday after every tiring working day. That’s because our bodies are able to adapt and get stronger over time.
Of course, some people may find working out the same muscle group consecutively overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a back-to-back full-body workout two days in a row.
If you are not a beginner, there is no harm in doing a two-day full-body exercise, even on consecutive days.
If you are a beginner, you should commit to a weekly full-body workout to build your strength and stamina. This will involve working on a different muscle group each day until you feel strong enough to start working on them daily.
Working out on consecutive days can be as good as alternate day training when done right. A study found that people can recover from back-to-back workouts and show improvements. Although more research is needed regarding this matter, many people find that working out specific body areas, even full-body training, can be beneficial several days in a row.
One study found that people who train a muscle group two times a week made about 70% of the strength gains than those who exercise three times a week. That tells us that a full-body workout twice a week can be good.
Another study in Singapore found that training three consecutive days is just as good as working out on alternate days. That means you don’t need to insert a recovery day between every exercise day.
Is It Safe to Workout the Same Muscle Two Days in a Row?
It is safe to work out the same muscle two days in a row, provided you work up to it and don’t expect high performance on the second day. Beginners will likely feel the effects of a workout the next day, including soreness or aching in the muscles, so it’s better to build up your strength first.
As previously mentioned, many people exercise different body parts on alternate days to allow specific muscles a break before working them out again.
For example, if your typical leg day is Monday, it’s better to let those muscles rest on Tuesday, picking back up with leg exercises on Wednesday or Thursday.
People often plan their workout splits this way to avoid putting too much stress on their bodies. Many gym-goers argue that your body won’t have time to recover if you exercise continuously for several days in a row.
Beginners are particularly at risk, as their muscles are still getting used to the new exercises. In this case, it’s a safer idea to take things slowly, working out a few times a week on alternating days, to allow the muscles time to strengthen and get used to the new routines.
Benefits of Doing a full-body Workout Two Days in a Row
Many people avoid training the same muscle group two days in a row for fear of injury. While that’s understandable, we should not limit ourselves and assume it can’t be done safely.
When done correctly, training your whole body two days in a row can be rewarding.
Doing a full-body workout two days in a row can:
- Help with recovery
- Extend your body’s time on building muscles
You can achieve this by training a muscle group hard one day and the same muscle group the next day but with less pressure. On the second day, do higher reps but with lighter weights to encourage hypertrophy.
However, working out your whole body two days in a row won’t affect your overall result. According to a study by Brazilian researchers, you can train a muscle once per week and still get the same result if you were to do five-day full-body workouts consecutively.
How to Do a Full-Body Workout Two Days In a Row
There are a number of reasons you may not be able to work out on alternating days. For many people, the weekend is the only free time they have, meaning they have to work out two days in a row.
The good news is, there are safe ways to do this and get the best results.
Beginners Should Take It Slow
As mentioned above, if you’re a beginner, you should always exercise slowly. Chances are you haven’t exercised some of these muscle groups very much (or at least very recently), which means they will need time to adjust.
Remember, you don’t need to exercise quickly because this can put too much stress on your body. Also, you must take plenty of rest after every workout to give your muscles some time to relax.
Once you feel yourself getting stronger, you can start to look at working out two days in a row.
Fitness Enthusiasts Should Proceed With Caution
Experienced fitness enthusiasts can invest more hours into their two-day full-body workout as long as they don’t move towards failure. What this means is their bodies should be able to perform during those workouts without getting too tired.
No matter your level, you will feel the effects of a good workout the following day. So, it’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too far. This is where injuries happen.
In time, the body will get stronger, and you will be able to do more in a shorter period.
Vary Your Exercises
Training will be easier if you vary your exercises, working the muscles out in different ways.
Spice things up by dedicating half of your workout session to targeting your upper body and the other half to your lower body.
Below is a split example for your full-body workout:
|Day 1||Day 2|
|Bench press||Dumbbell overhead press|
|Barbell back squat||Heavy deadlift|
|Hamstring curls||Face pulls|
Planning out your workout split will help you get through your two-day full-body workout without feeling overly tired. How many reps per exercise will depend on your strength and stamina.
It’s a good idea to take note of the weights you use and the number of reps you perform. That way, you can lower the weights slightly on the second day to allow for recovery.
Remember to be safe, take it slow, and don’t rush.
Don’t Overwork Yourself
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced workout enthusiast, you want to make sure that you exercise your body in the amount you’re used to doing.
Start with a full-body workout once per week for a couple of months. You can then move on to do two consecutive days of a full-body exercise once you feel strong enough.
When your body has become accustomed to a full-body workout two days in a row, you can always work up to more if needed, but you don’t want to jump from two days to four days in a row overnight.
It would help if you also remembered not to overwork yourself.
Earlier on, I mentioned that you should vary your exercises and create a balance between your upper and lower body. This will help to save the most strenuous activities for your heavy workout day.
If you intend to do your full-body workout on weekdays, you may want to consider doing it on Thursdays and Fridays so that you can have the whole weekend for resting. Some people prefer to do theirs on Fridays and Saturdays, and that’s fine, too. Whichever day you choose, your body will adapt but never push it too far.
Many people avoid doing a full-body workout two days in a row because they believe that working out the same muscle group can be stressful, affecting their overall workout performance and goals. However, there’s no reason you cannot do so safely.
The body constantly adapts when trained, so start by committing to one day per week at first to help build your stamina. Then, you can do it for two consecutive days every week, consistently. Remember not to overwork your body and rest well after your workouts.
- ASEP: The Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Strength Gains
- Pubmed: Resistance training frequency: strength and myosin heavy chain responses to two and three bouts per week
- Frontiersin: Effects of Consecutive Versus Non-consecutive Days of Resistance Training on Strength, Body Composition, and Red Blood Cells
- Pubmed: High-Frequency Resistance Training Is Not More Effective Than Low-Frequency Resistance Training in Increasing Muscle Mass and Strength in Well-Trained Men
- NASM: Hypertrophy