How Many Times Should You Train a Muscle Group Per Week?

How Many Times Should You Train a Muscle Group Per Week? (The Truth)

Image of a man flexing his muscles. Source: Pexels

Whether it’s strength training, resistance workouts, or lifting weights, everyone can benefit from building muscle. Strong muscles make it easier to handle daily tasks—like carrying groceries up the stairs, or lifting boxes—and they help keep you steady and prevent falls. They can also make you look leaner and help with weight loss.

If you’re concerned about how often and how much you need to train each muscle group to see results, don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll explain how often and how many exercises you should do for each muscle group to effectively grow your muscles. We’ll also cover the best exercises for each muscle group and suggest which ones to pair together. This way, you can get stronger safely and effectively, without overdoing it.

How Often is ‘Often Enough’ According to Science?

A comprehensive study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that people who trained twice per week had greater muscle mass compared to those who trained once per week.

Ideally, you should be working on each muscle group at least twice per week, with a minimum of 48 hours of rest between sessions targeting the same muscles. For instance, if you train your legs on Monday, you should not train them again until Wednesday at the earliest.

What if You Want to Train the Same Muscle Group Two Days in A Row?

It is generally safe to train the same muscle group on consecutive days, as long as you manage the intensity and type of exercise you do each day.

When you work out, especially during strength training, you might push your muscles to the point where they can’t perform another repetition—this is what’s known as “going to failure.” Training to failure is very demanding on your muscles, and typically, they need time to recover after such intense exertion.

However, if you avoid going to failure, it’s possible to train the same muscles on back-to-back days without negative effects. This can actually be beneficial.

How to Train on Consecutive Days

Training like this can enhance recovery and prolong the period of protein synthesis—the process your body uses to build muscle. By alternating the intensity and type of workload on consecutive days, you stimulate muscle growth and recovery effectively.

  1. Day One – Heavy Weights, Low Reps: On the first day, focus on lifting heavier weights with fewer repetitions (about three to eight reps). This session is about building strength and muscle size.
  2. Day Two – Light Weights, High Reps: On the second day, switch to lighter weights and increase the number of repetitions (about eight to 12 reps). This lighter session helps in recovery by stimulating blood flow to the muscles, which brings nutrients that aid in repair and growth.
Image of a man lifting dumbbells. Source: Pexels

How Many Exercises per Muscle Group Is Enough for Achieving Hypertrophy?

When you’re looking to build up your muscles, it’s all about giving them a good challenge. Think about it like this: if your muscles are used to lifting the same weight all the time, they get bored and don’t grow. To keep them growing, you can mix it up with different exercises.

Now, you might have heard different opinions on how many exercises you need for each muscle. Some would say just stick to the basics, like squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. These are great because they work lots of muscles at once. Others like to try every exercise they see on Instagram or TikTok to hit the muscles from every angle.

Here’s the scoop: both ways can work. Some studies show that you don’t have to complicate things. Doing just a few exercises, but doing them well, can be enough. But other times, it’s good to switch things up. This can help you reach parts of the muscle that basic exercises might miss. It’s like making sure you clean every corner of a room instead of just the middle.

For example, if you only do bench presses for your chest, you’re mostly working the middle part of the chest. But if you throw in some chest fly exercises, you can also work on the sides and get a more even development.

Image of a man lifting a kettlebell. Source: Pexels

So, what’s the best number of exercises? A good rule of thumb is to have about 2 to 4 different exercises for each muscle group. This way, you can keep things interesting for your muscles without overdoing it. If you use too many exercises, it’s like spinning your wheels—lots of effort, but not much more growth.

And remember, changing your exercises not only helps grow muscles evenly but also keeps your joints happy by spreading out the wear and tear. It’s like not always walking the same path in a grassy field to avoid wearing out a single trail.

In short, mix it up, but don’t go overboard. A few well-chosen exercises done a couple of times a week should do the trick for keeping those muscles growing and happy!

Other Factors That Affect Muscle Growth

Keep in mind that muscle growth involves more than just your workouts. Getting enough sleep, keeping stress levels in check, and following a nutritious diet are all essential for enhancing your training outcomes. These factors help with recovery and guarantee that your muscles receive the necessary nutrients for growth.

A diet rich in protein can support optimal muscle growth and recovery. Remember, what you feed your body post-workout can make or break your muscle-building efforts.


While research suggests that training twice per week is typically effective, how often you should train a muscle group per week doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s crucial to consider factors like recovery, nutrition, and personal circumstances. The ultimate truth? Consistency, balanced with smart rest and nutrition, is the recipe for sustainable muscle growth.

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