I get this question a lot from beginners that want to build muscle quickly. Should I workout twice a day to build muscle? The answer is no, but you should really pay attention to this article to find out why.
When I first started working out, I wanted to build muscle fast. I was pretty much willing to do anything, including workout every day of the week. Sometimes even twice a day.
It turns out, that isn’t really the best way to build muscle. In fact, you will find out many techniques that seem counterintuitive to what you would think would work.
I spent so much time on the wrong techniques and bad advice, that I ended up working out for 7 years without much change at all. Once I figured out the principles outlined in this article, I built over 20 pounds of muscle in 1 year. Anyone can do it.
How many days a week should you workout to build muscle?
I will just tell you right off the bat that you should not workout twice a day. So when you ask, should I workout twice a day to build muscle, the answer is a big no.
But why? Muscle building takes a lot of time. You can’t just cram in workouts like you are studying for a test and expect big results. Here is what happens when you try to workout twice a day to build muscle.
First of all, you run the risk of overtraining. Overtraining is when you work your muscles so much that any extra done to them is redundant. In fact, it can be damaging because your body won’t be able to repair your muscles fast enough.
Secondly, it is a major psychological burden if you believe that working out twice a day is actually going to make a difference. Imagine for example if you currently believe that you can workout twice a day and build twice the muscle.
When you realize that it is not happening to your body, you are going to become frustrated. This is when most people give up instead of learning the proper ways and pace to workout and build muscle.
This is why I always tell people that working out 3-5 days per week is plenty. During the time when I was building 20 pounds of muscle in a year, I was only working out 3 days per week.
Remember when I said that your the principles in this article might be counterintuitive to your instinct? This is the type of thing I was talking about. I currently workout 4 days per week, but muscle can definitely be built working out 3 days per week.
If you don’t pay attention to this next step, you will not build muscle.
The most important part of building muscle
One would think that working out is the most important part of muscle building. And while working out is an absolute necessity, there is something else that is a necessity.
And that is eating at a caloric surplus. If you are still asking yourself, should I workout twice a day to build muscle, you are missing the point. Eating at a caloric surplus is going to ensure that you put on weight.
And as long as you are working out while eating at a caloric surplus, those extra calories are going to be put towards your muscles. This is how people put on solid muscle. You cannot build muscle while in a caloric deficit.
You will find a lot of fitness influencers talking about protein. While protein is important, your overall calorie intake is what you need to focus on. But how do you know if you are in a caloric surplus every day?
It starts with calculating your maintenance calorie number. This is going to be your baseline caloric intake without gaining or losing weight. Just assume that if you consistently eat at a caloric deficit, you will lose weight. If you consistently eat at a caloric surplus, you will gain weight.
Now, a lot of people get caught up with the weight gain part. The truth is that you aren’t going to build muscle unless you gain a little bit of weight. The key is to eat at a slight enough caloric surplus, so that you build maximum muscle and minimum fat.
Unfortunately, the perfect caloric surplus is different for everyone, but you should start with 500 calories per day over your maintenance. From there you can either add or subtract calories depending on your rate of growth.
How to keep at it
Muscle does not come easy. It takes time, dedication, and commitment. While the formula is simple, you can just expect to workout twice a day to build muscle.
We already know the 2 main parts of building muscle. Eating at a caloric surplus and lifting weights 3-5 days per week. Literally those are the only 2 things that you need to focus on if you want to build a solid muscle foundation.
With that being said, there is one more part of the equation that we are missing out. And that is time. The hardest part about this whole entire journey is sticking with it for extended periods of time. We are talking about months and years of consistency.
But how do you keep at it? There are many tips and tricks that you can use, but first learn how to make exercise a habit. From there, you need to make a habit of hitting your calorie goals every single day.
And there will come times where you aren’t feeling very motivated to keep going. This is normal, and everybody experiences that mental block from time to time.
The best way to combat this is to take progress pictures of yourself on regular intervals. I personally prefer once per month. Take measurements of your arms, chest, waist, legs, etc… And weigh yourself once per week.
While all of these measurements and photos seem tedious, this is what is going to set you apart from those who give up too early.
When you are feeling unmotivated, go back and look at how far you have come. You will be shocked with the results, and this is going to be enough to keep you moving towards your goals.
Main Point: Should I workout twice a day to build muscle?
If you have made it this far, you know that you got more than you bargained for with the question, should I workout twice a day to build muscle? You also know that working out twice a day with the intention of building muscle is not a good idea.
If you were training for cardiovascular endurance for an olympic event, then yes, maybe training twice per day would be a good idea. But you now know that it takes time to build muscle. Muscle needs to recover, which is why rest days are important.
The main thing that I want you to take away from this article is that if you are trying to build muscle, the most important thing that you can do is eat at a caloric surplus. You can workout as much as you want, but if you are not in a caloric surplus, you will not build muscle.
This of course will lead to frustration, and you might end up quitting. In the 7 years I worked out before I got my act together, I “quit” more times than I can count. And then I would learn some new information and start back up again.
Mostly, that information was bogus. But once I found out I was not eating enough food, that was the catalyst that got me to where I currently am.
All you need to do is eat in a caloric surplus, workout 3-5 days per week, and do that for many months or years.
One thing that you need to understand is that if you are not gaining at least a half pound per week, you aren’t eating enough food. So it might be time to up your calories if you aren’t hitting that minimum threshold.