Lifting weights can be addictive. The dopamine burst you get from exercising can get you so hooked that sometimes it becomes difficult to take a day off. That’s why some gym rats exercise seven days a week – without taking any breaks.
But is it an effective way to build muscle and strength over the long run? In this article, we will offer our insights about the mindset behind the 7-day gym workout plan and discuss its benefits, drawbacks, and who should/shouldn’t adopt this strategy.
In the second section, we will also share our 7-day workout plan split if you are still inclined to give working out every day a shot. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Is It Okay To Train 7 Days A Week?
On the surface, it may seem like working out seven days a week is the best way to make gains. After all, if you’re lifting weights four or five times a week, why not add a few more days and double or triple your gains?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The human body is not built to handle that much stress, and if you try to do too much too soon, you will quickly find yourself overtrained, burnt out, or worse, injured.
That’s why most fitness experts recommend taking at least one or two days off per week to allow your body to recover. And, if you are just starting out, it’s even more important to go easy at first and gradually increase your training frequency as you get stronger and more adapted to exercise.
So, is it ever okay to train seven days a week? The short answer is yes – but only if you are an experienced athlete who knows how to listen to your body and adjust your training accordingly.
Benefits Of Training 7 Days Per Week
If you are already in good shape and have been training regularly for a while, there are some benefits to working out seven days a week.
Workouts Can Be Shorter In Duration
One of the biggest advantages of working out every day is keeping your workouts short and sweet.
Sessions lasting longer than 80 minutes often result in low stimulus and highly fatiguing work. This means you are “working out hard” but not getting any effective muscle-building stimulus.
You can spread out your weekly training volume. So, instead of spending two hours at the gym, you can get in and out in 45 minutes or less. And, since you are working out for less time, you can also go harder and push yourself a bit more each day.
Can Train Muscle Groups 2-4 Times Per Week
Training volume is an important aspect to consider for increased muscle growth. So, when you train 7 days a week, you can target a muscle multiple times a week.
Not just that, you also get more time to rest a muscle and repeat the same structure.
For instance, you can easily train your upper body three days a week on a 7 days split. This could be all the additional volume you need to bust through upper body strength and size plateau.
Can Help You Break Through Training Plateaus
If you have been stuck at the same weight for a while, adding an extra workout to your weekly routine can help you break through a particular training plateau.
That’s because adding an extra session or two to your existing workout plan can help you add one more quality training session to a muscle growth that’s on the cusp of breaking through.
But, if you’re not recovering between two sessions, adding more exercise may not be a good idea.
You Can Prioritize Your Weaknesses
When you train seven days a week, you can easily target your weak areas and bring them up to par with the rest of your body.
This is especially useful for people who have lagging body parts or want to bring up a weak muscle group for a more toned and proportional body.
Drawbacks Of Following A 7-day Gym Workout Plan
Of course, there are also some disadvantages to working out every day.
Your Diet, Sleep, And Stress Management Must Be On Point
When you train daily, recovery between the two sessions becomes one of the biggest challenges.
If you don’t get enough sleep or eat the right foods, you will quickly find yourself overtrained and struggling to make gains.
It’s an intense undertaking that requires more than just willpower and determination.
You Need Smart Load Selection
That’s right! No more ego-lifting. Smart load selection is the key to success when training every day.
But it’s also a major point of concern. Even the most advanced lifters run into issues like injuries, excessive fatigue, and burnout when they don’t carefully consider their loads.
That’s because when you train every day, your body is under tremendous stress. So, if you’re not careful with your load selection, you can quickly find yourself overtrained or injured.
Require Extra Attention To Overall Form
Training every day leaves very little margin of error for your recovery. As you are limited with the overall recovery periods, you need to listen to your body and pay extra attention to the general form.
You can still train hard, but don’t push yourself too much in the gym. This is important because, when you get overzealous, you can get good training for the day but will be left sore for the next entire week.
May Have To Adapt Daily Workouts Based On How You Feel
Let’s get real, life is unpredictable, and stress can come in any form. So, when you train regularly, you need to become even more in tune with your feelings on a given day. Don’t push yourself in situations where you may have to face injury.
For instance, if you walk into the gym and notice that your body is sore or you have minor shoulder pain, pushing through will only set you up for failure. In this case, it would be best to modify your workout or take a rest day.
So, take a step back, re-assess the current situation and adapt your workout for the day. Being flexible when necessary and understanding how it won’t derail your long-term goals is the mark of a pro athlete.
Who Should / Shouldn’t Train 7 Days Per Week
7-day workout plans can be beneficial for some athletes and completely disastrous for others. Because they require extensive energy and focus inside the gym and attention to form outside it, only the most experienced professionals should undertake this plan.
So, If you have been training for at least 6 months consecutively for 5-6 days of hard training splits, then you may benefit from adding another extra day to your schedule and devoting it to an area that needs more attention, e.g., your legs.
Take it as a sort of short-term approach. Do it for 6 to 8 weeks straight and then go back to your 5-6 days splits to determine whether your new routine provided any long-term benefit.
However, if you haven’t trained for at least 6 months consecutively for 5-6 days of hard training splits, then a 7 days workout plan may not be a good option. We don’t recommend this path unless you gain more experience performing higher volumes.
How To Structure Your 7-Day Gym Workout Plan to Build Muscle
When building a 7-day gym workout plan at home, you need to determine your overall objective, the time your spend in the gym, and your fitness level.
If your fitness level is low, you have a higher margin of error. So, you can get away with a lot more than if you were already in great shape.
And if you want to focus on strength building, then you need to spend more time in the gym and pay attention to your form.
Below are the things you should consider when you want to structure a simple yet effective 7 days workout routine:
Splits can vary depending on your goal, but try to train all of your major muscle groups 2 to 3 times a week. For instance, if you are into bodybuilding, here’s an example 7 days workout split:
- Monday: Push (Quads, Chest, and Triceps)
- Tuesday: Pull (Hamstring, Glutes, Back, and Biceps)
- Wednesday: Push (Shoulders, Chest, and Triceps)
- Thursday: Pull (Hamstrings, Glutes, Back, and Biceps)
- Friday: Push (Quad, Chest, and Abs)
- Saturday: Pull (Hamstrings, Glutes, and Back)
- Sunday: Bonus Day (Biceps, Triceps, Abs, and Shoulders)
- Monday – Upper (Chest, Back, and Abs)
- Tuesday – Lower (Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Calves)
- Wednesday – Upper (Shoulders, Biceps, and Triceps)
- Thursday – Lower (Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Calves)
- Friday – Upper (Chest, Back, and Abs)
- Saturday – Lower (Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Calves)
- Sunday – Upper (Shoulders, Biceps, and Triceps)
Likewise, if you’re into powerlifting, here’s an example of a 7-day split:
- Monday – Back Squat, Belt Squat, and GHD
- Tuesday – Bench Press, Incline Press, and Row
- Wednesday – Back Squat, RDL, and Hamstring Curl
- Thursday – Bench Press, Overhead Press, and Pull Up
- Friday – Deadlift, Belt Squat, and GHD
- Saturday – Bench Press, Row, and Pull Up
- Sunday – Bonus Day (Abs, Biceps, and Triceps)
Be flexible in your exercise selection. If you find that heavier compound exercises are making your muscles sore, or limiting your sessions, change them.
For instance, as seen in the powerlifting program above, you can replace the RDL with a Good Morning and the hamstring curl with a Glute Ham Raise.
Also, we have included belt squats twice every week to train the lower body rather than going for another set of back or front squats.
This is because the program already includes squats 2 to 3 times a week and deadlifts 1 to two times, resulting in lower back fatigue.
Therefore, we are programming the belt squat for leg muscle growth without adding extra strain on the lower back.
Your load (intensity) depends on your goal. If you want to focus on strength, go heavy with 85% of your 1RM for 3 to 5 reps.
And if you’re more interested in endurance, go for 12 to 20 reps with a lighter load (60-70% of your 1RM).
7-Day Gym Workout Plan For Weight Gain
Here’s a sample 7-day workout plan for the average joe designed to build maximum muscle:
Day 1: Monday (Lower Body)
- Back Squats: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- RDL: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- Walking Lunges: 3 sets of 8-10 steps/side
- GHD: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
Day 2: Tuesday (Upper Body)
- Incline Barbell Bench Presses: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- Flat Dumbbell Bench Presses: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- One Arm Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Cable Chest Flyes: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Day 3: Wednesday (Upper Body)
- Seated Barbell Military Presses: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- Skull crushers: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- Leaning Dumbbell Lateral Raises (1 arm): 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Preacher Curls: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Curls: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Day 4: Thursday (Lower Body)
- Deficit Deadlifts: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- Hack Squats: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Lying Hamstring Curls: 4 sets of 10-15
- Sled Pushes: 45-60 seconds, 4-6 sets
Day 5: Friday (Upper Body)
- Flat Barbell Bench Presses: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- Chest Supported T Bar Rows: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Presses: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- One Arm Cable Pulldowns: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell Pullovers: 4 sets 10-15 reps
Day 6: Saturday (Lower Body)
- Back Squats: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- Belt Squats: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- GHD: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Reverse Sled Drags: 4-6 sets of 45-60 seconds
Day 7: Sunday (Upper Body)
- Seated Dumbbell Military Presses: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
- Pushdowns: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Face Pulls: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Preacher Curls: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Curls: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
A Professional’s Tips To Use During 7-Day Workout Plan And Progress Over Time
During your 7 days workout, keep your week-to-week progressions very conservative. This is because recovery between the two sessions is tough to come by.
There’s no need to crush yourself under the numbers. Simply select one movement or exercise and try to match your previous week’s numbers.
Remember! There will be days when you’ll feel run down. Therefore, listen to your body. If it’s happening more than once a week, you may have to return to a split that allows a little more recovery time.
What Mistakes To Avoid On Your 7-Day Workout Plan
Below are some of the common mistakes people make on the 7-day workout plan:
Training Too Hard On A Given Day
One of the most common mistakes people make is training too hard on a given day. They try to pack too many sets, reps, and exercises into one session.
The key is to focus on quality over quantity. Do a few sets of exercises with proper form rather than trying too much and ending up doing everything with poor form.
Ignoring Joint Pains Or Discomfort
Another mistake people make is ignoring joint pains or discomfort. This can be anything from a slight twinge in your elbow to full-blown shoulder pain.
Joint pain is often a sign that something is wrong. It’s your body’s way of telling you to stop doing exercise or to take a break.
If you ignore the pain, you risk further injury down the road.
Not Recovering Enough
Another biggest mistake is not giving enough time to rest and recover between workout sessions.
Remember, your muscles need time to recover and grow. If you don’t give them enough time, you’ll overtrain your muscles and risk your progress.
Training A Muscle Too Frequently
One of the other mistakes people make is training a muscle too frequently. This is especially true if you’re doing a full-body workout every day.
You can train your major muscle groups 2 to 3 days a week and minor muscle groups 2 to 4 times a week. But that’s enough.
The more you train a muscle group per week, the lower the total number of sets you must do on a particular day.
The 7-day workout plan is a great way to boost your fitness journey. However, it involves the risks of overtraining, over-use, fatigue, and derailing your long-term fitness consistency.
That’s why it may not be the best long-term training approach for most people. We hope this guide provides plenty of insight about designing and executing your 7 days workout split. Good luck!