Can You Build Muscle By Training The Same Bodypart Every Day?
By Strength Oldschool.
This topic fascinates me. Here’s some links to check out on the topic.
For this next video keep listening out for mention of lifters in jail who just spend time pumping their arms and chest every day and get HUGE!
Alot of people believe that to train a bodypart every day is overkill – and the muscle won’t grow unless allowed to rest. Some people on the other hand think that training the same bodypart day after day is the secret to gaining muscle fast.
Years ago I loved training chest 3-5 times a week. My chest grew strong quick by doing this. I never trained to failure and kept the reps in the 5-6 range. Powerlifting legend Big Jim Williams trained his chest 5 days a week, it worked for him.
What do you think? Have you tried training like this before? What were your results? If it went bad, why did it go bad? Could you have tweaked your training i.e. went lighter, higher reps, ate more food etc for it to work do you think?
There are so many things to consider about this training method but one important thing I think is, if you’re training a bodypart every day then there’s no way you can hammer that bodypart with lot’s of sets coupled with training to maximum failure – If you do you will certainly burn out unless you’re a genetic freak of nature or on the juice! I think if you trained using light weights, high reps with medium amount of sets, and never trained to failure and just went for the pump getting blood into the muscles then training the same bodypart every day could possible work and build alot of muscle – As long as you’re eating enough that is.
I’d be interested to hear what others think on this subject.
Here’s some references to bodybuilders who did use this type of training and thrived on it.
An article in the August 1971 Muscular Development magazine says Ralph Kroger works out 7 days a week working ever bodypart. Here’s an excerpt.
Kroger (3rd in th ’71 Jr. Mr. America behind Viator and Amato) weighs between 200 and 240 at 5’10”, but feels best at just over 200, rests 30 seconds between sets, doesn’t stick to any strict rep program but “tries to force out as many as he can to work the muscle“.
* Thanks to Mark Mills over at Ironage for providing this info.
Another bodybuilder… Bill Hemsworth also trained full body sessions and did this as much as 3 TIMES A DAY!
In this picture from 1981 Bill is the one on the right, Terry Philips on the left.
Article from 1982:
Here’s some interesting info on how Olympic lifter John Grimek trained using full body and doing it EVERY DAY!!
How he developed his physique:
“I never stuck to a set system of exercises for months or years. No! I did everything that I could possibly think of that would be instrumental in causing some reaction in a muscular way. If I thought I needed more chest development, then I would concentrate or do a little more, put a little more effort in chest work. Particularly I would do a lot of squatting, so I’d be huffing and puffing, and then instead of sitting around until caught my breath, I would quickly lie down on a bench and do what you’d call pullovers, or lying lateral raises, trying to supplement that oxygen that was required and expand the rib cage. If I thought my arms needed some extra work, then I would finish off my regular workout by concentrating more on the exercises relative to the arms-using heavier weights and maybe not doing 10, 12, 15 repetitions with some of ‘em but just three or four with maximum resistance. And that’s why it was never the same thing every day. Even if I would do the same exercises sometimes, each day I would do them slightly different. Maybe I would be on an incline, then maybe on a decline-if I were doing the pullovers or the lying lateral raises for the rib cage and the shoulders and so forth. But that would expand my rib box to the point where it got so big, it was almost too large for my frame.”
“I remember I had some suits made in Chicago by this tailor who had been recommended to me. Then two years later I went back to him and he took my measurements again land told me my chest was four inches or something larger than it was the last time. I said, “What are you talking about? I haven’t been doing anything different than what I normally do.” And he said, “No, look!” So he took out my old chart from the time I’d visited him about two years earlier, and my chest then was about 46 1/2 to 47. Now it was around 50. And he said, “You don’t look like you’ve gotten fatter or anything. So I don’t know what it is.” I said, “Well, I guess I must be expanding my rib cage.” That’s how I learned my training was working.“
On his body measurements when he was in his prime:
“At the 1949 Mr. USA I was about 59 1/2″ and weighed about 218. My waist was always small. It never went over 30 inches, and usually it was 28 1/2 to 29. Even when I was coming back from Berlin in 1936, where I had bulked up to about 237 because I was competing in the Heavyweight class, when I really should have been in the Light Heavyweight class, my waist was still only about 301/2. My arms were about 19 1/2, my thigh measurement was 29 1/2, and my calves at one time got up to 20 1/2, although they were usually 19 or 19 1/2. My neck was anywhere from 18 1/2 to 20, depending on my weight. I’m large boned; my ankle bones and my wrists are relatively heavy My wrists used to measure a little over 8 1/4 to 8 1/2. Now they’re down to about eight, I guess. And my ankles measured about 14 or something-very big. But my knees were small, which would give you a better shape to your leg in a sense. As it is, I always thought my leg mass was too large, and for years I tried to trim my legs down by doing excess-repetition squats. I’d do so many squats-like hundreds of repetitions in a workout- just so I could overwork them, and in that way reduce my thighs. But whether I overworked them, underworked them-and I tried both-it never happened“.
On his typical workout pattern in the mid-to-late ’40s:
“I’d usually train about five days a week and sometimes six. How long? Sometimes when I felt ambitious and I wanted to do more, it would take four to five hours. Normally it would not last more than two hours at the most. I trained everything in every workout-I didn’t do what they call split workouts and train legs and arms one day, back and other stuff the next day. No, the only way I ever isolated a group of muscles was when I was finished with my routine for the day and I still thought I needed more for my back or chest or legs or whatever. Then I threw in an additional two to three exercises and much heavier-you know, trying to maximize the thing. And that was it. What is called split training wasn’t used then, although I had read somewhere that Hackenschmidt was using a method where he would isolate certain groups on certain days or else put more emphasis on a specific part while training the entire body on a given day. But I never had a yen for that. I was making progress all over, so there was no need for a concentration on a certain area. And I never found that training the whole body in each workout was too tiring. In fact, when I got through, I was feeling a helluva lot better and more ambitious and energetic than I did when I started“.
If anyone has experience (good or bad) training their full body every day or training a specific bodypart every day, please share your experiences by commenting below. I would love to hear other peoples views on this subject.