“Anywhere Between Two and Four Times…Is a Good Idea” Exercise Scientist Dr. Mike Israetel Reveals How Often One Should Train Each Week in Chris Williamson’s Podcast

Brandon Gabriel Isaacs

Regular exercise is an integral part of everyone to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It helps you build strength, and improve your heart health as well. While we know that working out aids with many health benefits, we have wondered how often we should train in a week. To answer this, Dr. Mike Israetel, an Exercise Scientist, shares his point of view through experience. 

In a podcast on Chris Williamson’s channel, Dr. Mike was asked the question, how often should people train each week, that is for the sets of muscle groups and training frequency? Mike responded to the question by stating that, there are two questions to this. The first one is how often should you train any given muscle.

According to Mike, generally, the answer is anything can work between one and six times. You can even train the same muscle seven times a week. He mentions that, though there is no ideal answer. You can always train a muscle six times a week instead of one. 

Our muscles don’t take that long to recover, hence it made no sense to train a muscle just once a week. He further provided an example to Chris stating, when you train your chest, how long will you be sore for? You could be healed and feel strong halfway through the week, but you’re instead waiting for another three or four days rather than going for it again.

“I would say anywhere between two and four times a week for the same muscle is a good idea. Two is great for a lot of people, three and four is more for specialization phases and folks that just recover rapidly.”

Therefore, Dr. Mike says that the ideal answer to train the same muscle would be between two and four times a week. Dr. Israetel then moves on to the next question, which is how many total sessions how many total times you should go to the gym. To this, he has an interesting answer.

He further said in the podcast, that for fitness enthusiasts who want to be healthy and already have a decent amount of muscularity, two times a week of training is enough. You train with weights on Monday and Thursday for your whole body. This will help you become healthy and attain benefits and a well-maintained physique.

For those who look forward to general recreational fitness or if you’re a professional bodybuilder, training anywhere between five and six to nine sessions per week is ideal. And in conclusion for those you want a serious change in your body, you need to hit the gym three to five times per week. 

“Each of them should be an hour to an hour and a half in duration. This is what I call serious effort.”

Hence, according to Mike, it is best to train a muscle more than once a week. And hit the gym based on what type of body you’re looking to build. Ensure that you never overdo anything and take appropriate rest between every session. 

Dr. Mike Israetel breaks down the truth about training to failure

Fitness icon Mike Mentzer’s legendary training-to-failure method was widely accepted by bodybuilders alike. He believed that it helped in faster gains and increased muscle potential. But exercise scientist Dr Mike Israetel had different thoughts.

Dr. Mike Israetel delved deep into the details of this technique on Chris Williamson’s podcast. He shed light on how this technique can create a lot of fatigue and spur an uneven growth-to-fatigue ratio. While he asserted that it did give muscle growth, one should keep in mind that moderation should be maintained. 

This is because overdoing the technique can be detrimental. Champions like Mike Mentzer truly aced it, pushing to failure with all intensity because they have enough time for recovery. Dr Israetel also suggested an alternative, to work with heavier weights gradually. 

While the reps and sets will be lesser than failure, increasing weight gradually would give a similar result. He also suggests it as an ideal method to achieve goals without subjecting the body to risk. He also stressed about the recovery period. 

Though Mentzer advocated for a 72-hour rest period, the scientist suggested striking a balance between two working days. This would be a situation, where you don’t completely feel exhausted or completely recovered creating optimal growth.

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About the author

Brandon Gabriel Isaacs

Brandon Gabriel Isaacs

Brandon Gabriel Isaacs is a US Sports Editor at The SportsRush. With a Master's degree in Journalism and Communication, he holds a background in content creation and editing. An avid cricket enthusiast and a sports buff, Brandon decided to quit his work stint with ed-tech content creation to finally jump into the world of sports editing and supervision. His unrelenting passion for sports has backed him to edit content pieces of American Sports ranging from Swimming and Gymnastics to Equestrianism. He seeks inspiration from personalities like Michael Phelps, Lyndsey Vonn, Sunisa Lee and Sir Mark Todd. Being a national level Table Tennis player himself, he hopes to hone this long lost skill and start playing again. Outside the study desk, Brandon is a lover of photography, race cars and travelling.

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