For many people lifting weights on a regular basis can become quite addictive let alone have a significant impact upon their overall fitness and muscle tone. The chemicals released by the brain during exercise do create a feelgood factor which keeps fitness fanatics coming back time and time again. However, is it safe to lift weights every day?
How does lifting weights improve muscle tone?
Any physical exercise will burn fuel within the body and obviously lifting weights is one such method used by many people to get fit. Aside from the fact that the physical exercise burns fat and other fuel in the body, it is very interesting to look at the way in which weightlifting impacts your muscles. In simple terms, the more you push yourself this creates what are known as “micro tears” in your muscles. The way in which your muscles react is to rebuild bigger and stronger which then allows you to lift heavier weights and the process of creating “micro tears”, repairing and rebuilding goes on. However, unless you rigidly structure your weightlifting regime and the groups of muscles which you are working on, it can have a significant impact upon your health.
Spreading the load and rest time
A rule of thumb suggests that you should not exercise any individual group of muscles on consecutive days. The general consensus seems to be you should wait at least 48 hours before lifting sessions which concentrate on a particular group of muscles. In particularly intense weightlifting programs it is sometimes sensible to wait a minimum of 72 hours before you target a particular group of muscles again.
While this may seem a little over the top and extreme, it ensures that the “micro tears” we mentioned above have time to heal and your muscle strengthen. If you continuously target the same group of muscles they will have no time to repair and strengthen themselves and eventually you will cause damage. Even though many people push themselves as hard as possible when lifting weights, the main idea is to keep yourself fit, build your muscle tone while appreciating your overall health and well-being.
Many people go down the route of split sessions which basically exercise more than one group of muscles on a daily basis. While we are all very different, the general consensus for this particular type of routine is to train four days a week and leave three days for muscle repair. There is nothing wrong with general exercise during these “down days” but it is vital that you avoid any heavy lifting.
It is fairly simple to create your own personal planner whether taking into account split days or days where you simply focus on one group of muscles. We have a number of members on the forum who have gone through such fitness regimes and they will be able to advise you accordingly. As in any walk of life, moderation is the name of the game because if you over exercise one particular group of muscles, without giving them time to repair and rebuild, you are risking significant injury.