The new year is the perfect time to start new habits, and one of the most common new habits for the new year is getting on a workout plan. If your new year’s resolution includes hitting the gym more often, you’re not alone. Plenty of people make plans to start strength training, or lifting weights.
If you are a first-time gym-goer, then it may be tempting to hit the gym every day of the week. However, you have to give your body time to rest and repair, so the ideal amount of days you should hit the gym is at least two days per week, leaving at least one or two days a week for your body to repair itself.
When it comes to lifting weights, more isn’t necessarily better. Working each of your major muscle groups twice a week promotes greater muscle growth than lifting only once a week, but there’s no hardcore evidence that shows lifting more than two times a week is worth it.
The reason for this is, in part, because muscles aren’t built while you’re working out. They are built during your rest periods because of a process called protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is stimulated while you’re at the gym, but the true growth happens when your muscles are rebuilt bigger and stronger than they were before.
Spacing out your time at the gym does more than give your muscles time to repair themselves. It also gives you time to adjust to the new schedule and optimize your diet. Adding in high-protein snacks like Jawbox Jerky can help maximize your workout even when you’re not in the gym, so you don’t have to worry about losing any of your gains.