Why You Should Lift Weights Every Day
Lifting weights every day is the best way to train. Period end of sentence. While lifting less often, even if it’s once a week is better than nothing, you’re going to get the best results the more frequently you train. I lift weights every day and when I’m consistent with it for weeks at a time, I always make great progress. Without working out no more than 45 minutes at a time.
Before you read any further, I’m not suggesting you quit your job, leave your spouse, and move into a closet at your gym. Strength training every day doesn’t mean being obsessive and making it a full time job.
What I’m talking about is spreading out your workouts with the goal of training every day of the week. Whether you’re a beginner or elite athlete this applies to you.
Here’s why lifting every day is better than the usually recommended 3x a week
- You’ll get leaner faster. Whenever I want to lose body fat, I make sure I do some type of strength training every day. Works better than cardio for me, every time.
- Gains in strength and size are better. Research shows us that the more work (sets and reps) you can do over time, is very important for getting stronger and building muscle.
- Your technique will get better. The more reps you do, the more practice you’ll get at improving your ability to squat, swing, row, etc. The better your technique the safer your workouts and better your results.
- Recovery will improve, even though you lift more often. You may feel a little more stiff and sore at first but after a few weeks of daily training you’ll see that this goes away.
- Your mental and physical energy will increase. There’s nothing like the boost in energy you get from strength training. Even if it’s just push ups and bodyweight squats.
Putting Lifting Weights Every Day Into Practice
After some thought and experimentation with myself, I think the best way to get started is to simply lift weights every day. You just need to be smart about how you plan your workouts.
One way to do this is take your current workout and divide it up over 7 days. So you’re doing the same amount of work, just spread over 7 days.
Then, over time you can increase the amount of work you do and in turn get better results.
Here’s An Example
Let’s say you do the following workout, 3 times a week.
- Squats – 5 sets of 8-10 reps per set
- Bench Press – 5 sets of 8-10 reps per set
- Stiff leg deadlifts – 5 sets of 8-10 reps per set
- Bent over row – 5 sets of 8-10 reps per set
Done 3 times a week, you’ll be doing 20 total sets per workout * 3 = 60 total sets per week.
So, when you first start training daily, divide your current total number of sets by 7. This will be your new daily workout workload.
In this case you’ll go from doing 20 sets per workout to 9. If you don’t want to do a workout with an uneven number of sets, go ahead and add or subtract a set to make it even.
Real World Examples – People Who Lift Every Day
- Jocko Willink – retired US Navy Seal, leadership consultant, author, and co-host of the Jocko podcast, one of the most popular in the world trains every day, starting before 5 AM. While he doesn’t give out lots of details about his specific workouts, you can tell from the images he posts online every day that he follows the principles in this article. I probably learned a few from him. He’s been training like this much longer than me and has a lot of useful knowledge on the subject.
- Lucy Gormall – Has completed daily lifting challenges including doing 100 kettlebell swings a day for 30 days ) and 500 squats daily for 2 weeks. Doing these challenges Lucy writes that she’s built muscle, got her heart rate up without doing cardio, and gotten stronger.
- My Awesome Wife – Since we met 10 years ago, Monica has gone from distance running and doing the occasional weight training workout to lifting weights every day and running much less. The results? She’s gone from being able to do 3 push ups to more than 100 in a workout, has done 1000 kettlebell swings a day for 30 days, and become leaner and fitter. Just as cool, she’s never suffered an injury from lifting despite going months on end without missing a workout.
- Laurie Shaw – Like Lucy Gormall, this popular Youtuber loves to do 30 day challenges and report on his results. Many of them involve doing some type of strength training every day. One such challenge was 30 days of Crossfit workouts. In his video, Laurie says that when lifting every day he needed to cut back on the intensity. He also comments that he became stronger and fitter after 30 days of training this way.
How To Lift Weights Every Day
Ready to make the best gains of your life? To get leaner, stronger, and build more muscle in way less time? Right on! Let’s get started.
Below are guidelines and exercises for you to use and put together your own training plan. Try to stick to what I suggest for the first month or so. Then you will be comfortable enough lifting every day to make changes to better suit the workouts to your goals.
Exercises To Use When Lifting Every Day
- Squat – back squat, front squats, split squats, lunges, goblet squats, lateral lunge
- Hinge – kettlebell swings, kettlebell cleans, stiff legged deadlift
- Push – bench press, push ups, pullovers, floor press, shoulder press
- Pull – bent over row, lat pulldown, pull ups, resistance band pull aparts
Sets, Reps, And Rest Periods
- Vary each workout with between 5-10 reps per set
- 3-5 sets per exercise works best.
- Rest 2-3 minutes between each set.
Putting It All Together
- Choose 1 exercise from each category (squat, hinge, push, pull) per workout.
- Use whatever types of equipment you have available (barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, sandbags, etc.).
- Perform between 5-10 reps per exercise for 3-5 sets every workout.
- Don’t go all out every workout. Choose weights you can perform with great technique.
Lifting Weights Every Day – Frequently Asked Questions
Doesn’t Research Show The Number Of Days Per Week That We Lift Matter?
Yes, but only when the volume (sets x reps) performed is the same. When you are able to add more volume to your daily workouts both the amount of strength you build and your muscle size are going to be greater.
Additional research on this topic finds that the more often you can train, the stronger you’ll get. It also shows that you’ll build more muscle, faster. The distinction between the results in the first study I reference that shows no difference in lifting 3 vs 7 times a week is that the volume (sets and reps) is greater.
Isn’t Daily Training Just For Elite Athletes On Steroids?
Not at all. You just need to make sure you structure your program so that it meets your needs and current levels of fitness. I will show you how to do that in this article.
How Long Do Daily Strength Workouts Take?
When you follow the outline provided in this article your daily workouts will take less time. You can actually get a good workout done in 15 minutes! On average, your workouts should last between 20-40 minutes.
What If I Can’t Make It To The Gym To Lift Weights Every Day?
This may be one of the trickiest things when it comes to doing total body workouts every day. Good thing the solution is simple. Train at home too. Once you get into it and have the right equipment, you may never train at the gym again. I know, that’s what happened to me.
Anyway, back to solving this problem. If you don’t have any equipment at home and can’t make it to your gym just do body weight exercises.
You can get in a good workout doing push ups, body weight squats, lunges, burpees, planks, crunches, etc. Go for max reps with great form and make it more of a conditioning workout if you can already do 10+ reps of each exercise.
If you can, get a pull up bar too. Over time, I recommend adding in a kettlebell (or 2 or 6), resistance bands, and a trainer like a TRX. If you have the room and budget go all out with a squat rack, bumper plates, etc. The sky’s the limit.
How Hard Should I Go When Lifting Every Day?
This is going to be based on how you feel during your workout, fitness level, etc. The key thing is to train and get your reps in.
Basically speaking, I don’t think you need to go all out at every workout, grinding with questionable form to get the last rep out of every set. Sure you want to push yourself, and sometimes really grind out the reps but it doesn’t have to be every time.
There are other strength coaches who say you can max out every day. One is Olympic lifting coach John Broz. His athletes go heavy and intensely with exercises like barbell squats day in and day out.
So I Really Shouldn’t Take Any Days Off?
Days off from working out are going to happen. Instead of planning them ahead of time, I like to let life dictate when I won’t train. Inevitably there will be things that come up which keep you from lifting weights, whether it’s you get sick, have to work late, travel, or something else.
The way I look at it is that when something comes up that keeps me from training, at least I’ve been consistent prior to this day so its effects on my strength and fitness will not negatively impact me as it may when I normally train 3 times a week.
Your health does come first though. If you feel super tired, are overly stressed, haven’t been sleeping enough, are sick, etc. then it may be a good idea to back off your workout or perhaps take the day off. Remember though, it’s easier to stay on track and make whatever type of progress you’re looking for by doing something daily unless it’s really not a good idea, than it is to train infrequently.
Do You Recommend I Take Any Nutritional Supplements?
Two that my wife and I take every day are creatine monohydrate and natural whey protein. They help us recover quicker, increase our strength, build muscle faster, and workout harder, longer and more often.
Conclusion – Why You Should Give Lifting Weights Every Day A Try
Give this way of strength training a try for at least 30 days. Let us know if you have any questions by sending us an email.
Arazi H, Asadi A, Gentil P, Ramírez-Campillo R, Jahangiri P, Ghorbani A, Hackney AC, Zouhal H. Effects of different resistance training frequencies on body composition and muscular performance adaptations in men. PeerJ. 2021 Apr 21;9:e10537.
Colquhoun RJ, Gai CM, Aguilar D, Bove D, Dolan J, Vargas A, Couvillion K, Jenkins NDM, Campbell BI. Training Volume, Not Frequency, Indicative of Maximal Strength Adaptations to Resistance Training. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 May;32(5):1207-1213.
Grgic J, Schoenfeld BJ, Davies TB, Lazinica B, Krieger JW, Pedisic Z. Effect of Resistance Training Frequency on Gains in Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2018 May;48(5):1207-1220.
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