Feb 13, 2009 2:51pm

DigitalFirefly DigitalFirefly
1 post

I’ve been reading some books and listening to some podcasts about weight training and they recommend giving your muscles 48 hours between weight training sessions. Does this apply to Sit ups and Push ups too? Am I risking injury by doing them everyday instead of every other day?

 
Feb 13, 2009 3:02pm

witeowl witeowl
515 posts

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They say you can do situps every day, but you don’t want to do pushups every day. (I don’t agree with the daily situps, personally.) You’re not risking injury, but you are blocking your progress.

 
Feb 13, 2009 3:14pm

Capt KiRkLeS Capt KiRkLeS
72 posts

I Lost 20 Lbs!

would you bench press or squat everyday?

I’d hope not. Your abs and pecs/sholders are muscles too, they need time to rest…that’s when they grow!

 
Feb 13, 2009 6:07pm

dus10 dus10
30 posts

The thing with abs is that you don’t necessarily want to have big and bulky abs, which is why it is “okay” to do them daily. I don’t do them daily, but that seems logical if you want to…

 
Feb 13, 2009 10:14pm

witeowl witeowl
515 posts

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As a woman, I don’t want any “big and bulky” muscles, and I still won’t train any muscle every day. ;)

 
Feb 13, 2009 11:05pm

JuryDuty JuryDuty
629 posts

Contributor

I Lost 5% I Burned 50K Calories! I Lost 10 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs! I Burned 25K Calories! I Ran 100 Miles! I Burned 5,000 Calories!

I never even thought it was possible to do exercise every day. :P

 
Feb 14, 2009 12:54am

strongshape strongshape
1 post

It depends on the type of exercise. Some types of exercises are ok to do everyday. Don’t do sit ups and push ups everyday because as others have said your muscles need time to recover which is about 48 hours.
But you can do stabilization exercises everyday like the plank.

Witeowl: working out every day won’t make you big and bulky but is a sure way to overtrain and cause injury.

 
Feb 14, 2009 1:13am

witeowl witeowl
515 posts

Prefontaine's Prodigy I Burned 50K Calories! I Lost 50 LBS! I Ran 100 Miles! I Burned 25K Calories! Honorary Olympian I Walked 100 Miles! I Burned 5,000 Calories! Gold Medalist I Lost 35 Lbs! Champion I Biked 100 Miles! I've Lost It! I Lost 20 Lbs! I Lost 10 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs!

@strongshape: Yep; I know that. I was responding to dus10’s implication that working out every other day creates “big and bulky” muscles while working out daily doesn’t. If it was that simple, body builders would be ecstatic… and much more common.

 
Feb 14, 2009 3:00am

IronDave IronDave
386 posts

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I work out everyday, 7 days a week. I don’t always lift weight or do pushups every day, but almost every day. I usually do dips avery day.

I know maybe I should alternate or get a rest day from time to time. This past week I kind of did, because I was sick, so I didn’t exercised every day.

Is working out every day really “block” your progress. I haven’t feeling so. Maybe my body would improve even more if I were taking days off…. I don’t know.

 
Feb 14, 2009 4:37am

arnthorla arnthorla
832 posts

@IronDave

I would personally experiment with a one OFF day a week, and see how your body responds. Active recovery is also an option. The hard part, especially for guys like you, is doing it EASY.

It could swing both ways, as you seem to be in good form, so you need to keep up your training to maintain your fitness level. However if you are over straining your system just a little, you might see a improvement by letting your body rebound by resting.

You are probably familiar with protocol of having the forth or third weeks as easy weeks, to give your body that rebound effect.

But as hard it is for guys like you to do, going easy is sometimes the fastest way forward. ;)

 
Feb 14, 2009 9:39am

IronDave IronDave
386 posts

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@arnthorla: I know what you’re saying. It’s tough for me not to work out (even though I started being active only about a year ago, so that’s still pretty new).
While I was sick last week, I still went to the pool every day, I couldn’t think about not doing something.

I try to listen to my body and I try to adapt the intensity of my workouts if I feel it doesn’t respond as well as usual. Taking a day off is usually worse, and the day after is a bit tougher. This goes for running, biking or swimming. For weight lifting, it is true that not pushing all the way every day is usually better. I usullay don’t do that much weight lifiting every day, more like twice a week.

Thanks for the tips!

 
Feb 14, 2009 12:51pm

lecycliste lecycliste
55 posts

I Lost 10 Lbs! Skiing God! I Biked 100 Miles! I Lost 5 Lbs!

IronDave

FWIW …. for cycling at least …. after some tough days on the bike ….. a light ride (very low intensity) can be better for the legs than a rest day.

 
Feb 14, 2009 1:04pm

witeowl witeowl
515 posts

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I think we’re talking about different things here. I don’t see any problem at all with exercising every day. I do see a problem with doing strength training on the same muscle groups two days in a row.
.
And yes, “blocking” may have been the wrong word; “hindering” may be more appropriate.
.
lecycliste makes a good point. I wonder if it has any implications for strength training…
:insert thoughtful face a la My Name is Earl here:

 
Feb 15, 2009 1:29am

ebykov1 ebykov1
35 posts

working out a muscle group every day does NOT cause that muscle to be big and bulky. muscle growth comes from adequate rest and excess calories and protein. that said, abs and other select muscles are Type I slow twitch and thus have more endurance, can be worked out more often but you still need breaks for certain. also, don’t expect massive results from pushups and situps (situps are a bit more useful) as far as muscle growth or fat loss. doing them often will only make you better at those movements, you need to incorporate real resistance training to gain muscle and real cardio to lose fat (or calorie management)

 
Feb 15, 2009 1:32am

ebykov1 ebykov1
35 posts

as for taking rests, rest in between lifting sessions allows for muscle growth. cardio/conditioning hinders that a little but if thats part of your training, so be it. i used to be an obsessive biker/runner so i understand. however for serious lifters you need rest, esp. since your cns can burn out and even if you have the strength/muscle youll find yourself unable to recruit it for key lifts.

 
Feb 15, 2009 9:16am

lizanneh lizanneh
757 posts

I Burned 5,000 Calories! I Lost 10 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs!

I disagree that situps are more useful than pushups. Situps tend to work the hip flexors more than other ab exercises, particularly if you have someone hold down your feet or lock them down in a similar fashion. That won’t help you much. And ab exercises do not help you reduce your body fat. They increase your abdominal strength, but the abs can’t make as much strength progress as other muscles, so your gains won’t cause your BMR to increase significantly.

Push-ups, on the other hand, work the chest, triceps, shoulders, and depending on the variations you use, can work other muscles like the biceps and abdominals. There are some larger muscles in those groups, which means that gains there can help increase your BMR and, with a healthy diet, can reduce your body fat.

But I agree with the other posters that working the same muscles each day seems like a plan that could lead to overuse strains and injuries. Why not add other bodyweight exercises on your off days, like squats and lunges?

 
Feb 15, 2009 12:32pm

ebykov1 ebykov1
35 posts

the fact that abs can’t make as much strength gains as other muscle groups is why I said that sit ups are more ‘useful’ i.e. doing situps is closer to the ideal workout for abs then pushups are to the ideal workout for upper body.

 
Feb 15, 2009 12:34pm

ebykov1 ebykov1
35 posts

sorry hit enter too quickly… you will not gain significant muscle doing pushups. if anything pushups are a formula for injury since you can’t adjust the weights or positioning as comfortably. pushups have a place but not as a core exercise for muscle development. if you want to increase mass to increase BMR, lift weights.

 
Feb 18, 2009 10:09am

missdani missdani
94 posts

I Burned 50K Calories! I Ran 100 Miles! I Burned 25K Calories! I Burned 5,000 Calories! I Lost 5 Lbs!

Maybe not completely related – but I think pushups can be a really great way to see your progress – for instance, I went from barely being able to do any pushups – to about 30 in a superset round. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it makes me feel pretty awesome! You can see those gains when lifting weights, but for me, at least – it feels really good to just get down there and be able to do pushups!

 
Feb 23, 2009 5:07pm

Darksmith Darksmith
1 post

I was doing the Hundred Pushup Challenge and decided to alternate it with the Two Hundreded Sit-up Challenge as well. They say that you need to give your arms a rest day between doing in which I promptly filled with the cruches. So you can exercise everyday you just need to work on different muscles to give your other muscles time to rest and recover.

 
Feb 23, 2009 6:21pm

D_Lifter D_Lifter
135 posts

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“Horses for courses” as they say.

I treat push-ups and crunches as “warm-up” exercises when performed without additional weight and in “moderation”. For me that’s usually 20 of each (plus a few more like scissors, leg pull-ins, chops). Sometimes these could be daily, sometimes every other day. So these aren’t in my humble opinion – strength exercises – for me at least with these number of reps.

BUT, when I do declined weighted crunches I’d definitely give myself a couple of days recovery time! Same with push-ups if I am pushing the boat out and aiming for > 50. e.g. 100 push-up challenge.

 
Feb 23, 2009 7:52pm

witeowl witeowl
515 posts

Prefontaine's Prodigy I Burned 50K Calories! I Lost 50 LBS! I Ran 100 Miles! I Burned 25K Calories! Honorary Olympian I Walked 100 Miles! I Burned 5,000 Calories! Gold Medalist I Lost 35 Lbs! Champion I Biked 100 Miles! I've Lost It! I Lost 20 Lbs! I Lost 10 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs!

Good point, DaddyBoy! For me, six modified push-ups is most definitely strength training. For some, depending on how it’s done and their current level of strength, it’s just cardio.
.
Kind of how my elliptical machine was more of a strength training machine before it (finally) became the cardio machine it’s meant to be… (insert sheepish smile here)

 
Feb 23, 2009 8:24pm

two10eleven two10eleven
16 posts

I Ran 100 Miles! I Did 1,000 Pushups! I Did 1,000 Pushups! I Lost 5 Lbs! I Lost 20 Lbs! I Lost 5 Lbs! I Lost 10 Lbs!

Thanks for all the insight and comments here. I was just thinking the same thing tonight. I recently started the 100 push-up challenge (which I could do no problem in college). I’ve pushed through the 100 push-up workout almost daily since I started over a week ago. Tonight was the first night that I really struggled finishing the last set…

...I suppose a day off wouldn’t hurt any…

 
Mar 4, 2009 4:44pm

Cassi Reardon Cassi Reardon
4 posts

I have taken plenty of exercise/nutrition classes and it is always emphasized to wait 48 hours (or 2 to 3 days) before working the same muscle group again. Your muscles need time to recover and if you do not give them that time you can risk “overtraining” which includes increased fatigue, decreased performance, muscle soreness, and feeling burnt out on your work out. If you do not give your muscles time to recover, your muscles will most likely not get any bigger or stronger. May I suggest doing push ups and/or situps every other day to give your muscles a break. Then when you feel like your exercises become to easy, you should increase the number of sets you do per exercise which will let allow your muscles to become stronger.

 
Jul 6, 2009 2:09pm

turgonx turgonx
1 post

Witeowl -

I wonder why you consider yourself qualified to give exercise advice to anybody if six modified push-ups is “definitely strength training” for you. Even if you are a woman, that is extremely beginner-level training.

While it is extremely important to “listen to your body,” I think many people use that as an excuse to not push themselves. “No pain, no gain” is the truth. Your body should be screaming at the end of your workouts.

And the notion that everybody needs to wait 48 hours before working the same muscle group runs directly contrary to the maxim of listening to your body. If you feel no soreness after 24 hours, go ahead and work those muscles out again. Make sure to stretch out first, of course, but don’t be afraid to exercise just because of some arbitrary rule you read online. Some of the most ripped people are those whose jobs require daily lifting – people who move sofas all day, people who carry bags of cement all day, etc… They don’t miss days of work because the internet says they have to wait 48 hours!

Speaking of push-ups, specifically: this is an extremely versatile exercise (like most body weight exercises). Most people assume the exercise just works out the chest, but it really works out many other muscles, including abs, legs, triceps and lower back. If you want to see just how much push-ups work your abs, try holding a plank position for a couple of minutes (the “up” position in a push-up, with your arms full extended). Because push-ups are not a purely isolating exercise, and thus spread the work across the entire body, they can and should be done as often as feels manageable. Just remember to listen to your body!


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