Tip:Scientific research finds that two to three times per week is the best schedule for people in average shape.
Elite athletes:They can lift weights even twice a day with good results. But lifting too often is harmful.
Heavier not always better:Lifting lighter weights can yield better results. This is variable-resistance training.
For soccer players:Lifting weights one time per week was sufficient to maintain strength and muscle mass.
The practical recommendation from the present study is that during a 12-week period, 1 strength maintenance session per week may be sufficient to maintain initial gain in strength and sprint performance achieved during a preceding preparatory period.Effects of in-season strength maintenance training
Gains:After this initial ten weeks, the gains were maintained for 12 weeks with only one workout per week.
The players performed the same strength training program twice a week during a 10-week preparatory period.Effects of in-season strength maintenance training
A program of once or twice weekly resistance exercise achieves muscle strength gains similar to 3 days per week training in older adults and is associated with improved neuromuscular performance.Once-weekly resistance exercise
Further research is warranted given the once-a-week exercise intervention should cost less, had higher compliance and was nominated as the preferred exercise frequency by most of the participants.Effectiveness, once-weekly exercise
And:For the subjects, the favorite schedule was once a week. This increased the likelihood they continued lifting.
Note:The study was done on older adults. Still the general principle could be applied to younger people.
And:At 50% capacity the heaviest weight lifted was only half the weight of the heaviest that person could lift.
Despite similar increases in strength and fat free mass, the [variable-resistance] group decreased difficulty of performing the carry task more than the [high-resistance] group. These data suggest that larger improvements... may be achieved if frequency of high-resistance training is less than 3 times per week.High-resistance versus variable-resistance training
Tip:He might have more success with only one super-heavy workout per week. The other two workouts could be lighter.
So:This study provides evidence for variable-resistance training, where lighter weights are sometimes preferred to heavier ones.
Three days:The three days a week schedule is great for young people and those with enough motivation.
Subjects were randomly assigned to a control group or to a resistance training group that participated in supervised strength training 3 days/week.The impact of a 12-week resistance training program
And:The other group did resistance exercise five days a week, with weight packs on their backs.
Wistar rats were divided into two groups: trained and control. [Trained] group [was] subjected to a high-intensity resistance training program (5 days/week) for 12 weeks.The impact of a 12-week resistance training program
Note:To restate, the rats that worked out at the gym excessively became weaker and smaller.
And:For these rats, five times a week is too much. If they were allowed more rest days, they would be in better shape.
These data show that high-intensity resistance training with insufficient recovery time between bouts promoted muscle atrophy and a transition from slow-to-fast contractile activity in rat plantaris muscle.The impact of a 12-week resistance training program
Tip:The testosterone levels of the men were influenced by this in a positive way.
But:For regular men who try to work out this much, the results are usually discouraging.Testosterone, Lifting
Tip:For people who have jobs and families, a twice-weekly workout is likely superior.
And:For many, lifting weights twice or three times a week is best. For older people, lifting only once a week is best.
And:These are often teenagers—some close to 15 years old. The strength training program these boys use has three sessions a week.
Squats:It focuses on squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and Olympic lifts. It is similar to a powerlifting workout.
So:Football players, in preparation for their sport, lift weights three times a week. Recovery is essential.Rugby, Football Muscle