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lower body - how often?


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I have been lifting weights since January and for my current routine I'm doing shoulders on Mondays, back & biceps on Wednesdays, lower body (squats, lunges, etc.) on Thursdays, chest & triceps on Fridays, and abs twice a week whenever I can fit them in. I was just wondering, is doing the lower body workout once a week enough? I am seeing results but not as fast or noticeable as my upper body. I was just wondering if I should be doing lower body twice a week instead of just once. Can anyone give me any advice?

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This is one of those questions that seems easy to answer but is actually hard.

Some people say that if you are not sore and feel up to it you should just train. Though there is some evidence (as written about in Dr. Joe's book if I remember) that even if you don't feel sore, it still may be a couple days before your body parts are back to 100% even if you feel good.

 

It's really up to you. You can hit legs twice a week and be okay. More than that, and it's going to be really hard to destroy them the way you need to in order to see sufficient growth.

After a good leg workout I will feel sore for about 4 days. I hit legs hard on Sunday and I think they're ready to go tomorrow, but I likely won't hit them till Friday. Once every 5 days is good for me.

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Your leg muscles are larger and should also grow more than your upper body. If your gaining 2 inches in the arms and one inch instead of three in the legs you aren't gonna be balanced. As for routine I think you should spend at least 40% of your gym time on leg work...less than upper body since bigger muscles require more recovery but you don't wanna give them too much. As an athlete whos power came from his legs...I used to lift legs 4 times a week and upper body 3 times a week. It worked for me...I'd only rest when I needed to.

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Your training intensity has a lot to do with recovery time. For example, I had a marathon squat session last evening, and I can barely walk today - I ache everywhere from my spinal erectors on down, and if I were to squat again in less than 4-6 days I'd only end up with a bad session and burn out my central nervous system even further. By the time I hit my last rep, I knew that doing more was not an option - it was complete taxation on my lower body, with no gas left in the tank.

 

However, if I'd only done half of the sets/reps and didn't feel all that beat up by it, I could work them again in a day or two. Listen to your body - if you're still quite sore, it's not time to work something again so soon. If you feel refreshed and ready to attack that body part again, you can do it sooner than later (there's no set guideline that says you *must* only work a body part every so many days). Some people, like olympic weightlifters, will often squat 4-5x/week, however, many don't max out to see what they can do for a single heavy repetition, and usually do not train their legs to exhaustion often, if at all. There's a lot of mathematics that they use to calculate exactly how much they need to squat in relation to their main lifts like the clean & jerk and snatch, so they don't work to gain extremely high squat numbers as it doesn't have a huge impact on the main goal (this is not for all o-lifters, but many of them.)

 

So, listen to your body, and if it tells you that you're not ready to train that part again yet, then hold off a bit until you're feeling good and refreshed so you can be at your peak for training!

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I think it certainly does vary from person to person, so like has been said above, you mostly need to experiment. I work legs out as often as my upper body and have always seen far greater gains in my lower body. It might work the complete opposite for you.

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Thanks for the replies here. I work out each body part once per week and have been wondering if training my legs more often would be a good idea. They are definitely lagging behind my upper body.

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I think lower back work(without weights) should be done every day along with abs. With weights I'd say maybe twice a week. Leg work works the lower back too and I wouldn't include that so thats a few times a week. I say heavy leg work should be done at least 2x a week. Once a week is too much time to recover.

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