April 8, 2024/Exercise & Fitness

Is It Bad To Do the Same Workout Every Day?

It may be OK, depending on your health, fitness level and type of exercise

Muscular person using weight machine in gym, headphones around neck

You love your exercise routine. It’s just perfect in every way. It feels so good, in fact, that you’re tempted to do that same exact workout day after day after day. Why try to fix what isn’t broken, right?

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But is repeating the same workout every day good for you? Well, it depends. Certified personal trainer Alena Beskur, CPT, explains why there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

Is it OK to do the same workout every day?

Fitness experts disagree on whether repetitive daily workouts are healthy and safe. “This is a controversial issue,” says Beskur. “For some people, doing the same workout every day is fine. But it really depends on you, your health and your goals.”

Doing the same cardio workout every day

Beskur says that doing the same type of cardio workout every day is generally OK for healthy people without underlying issues.

“But the intensity of the cardio affects people differently,” she notes. “Vigorous cardio every day can sometimes be too much. If you have heart or joint problems, for example, doing intense daily cardio workouts may not be safe or good for your body.”

Doing the same cardio workout five to seven days a week may be fine if you:

  • Don’t have injuries.
  • Choose an intensity appropriate to your fitness level.
  • Get enough nutrition to fuel your workouts.

Beskur recommends getting some movement every day that’s appropriate to your health and fitness level. But that activity doesn’t have to be intense. Gardening, walking to the store, taking the stairs and many other daily tasks count as movement, too.

Doing the same strength workout every day

Hitting the weights in the exact same way every day isn’t considered ideal for most people, says Beskur.

When you lift heavy weights, your muscles actually tear a little. Taking a day off between workouts gives those taxed muscles time to recover and allows your body to flush out products like lactic acid that build up while lifting.

Resting between strength workouts also prevents oxidative stress (an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body).

But if you want to hit the gym daily, there’s a way to blend strength-building workouts with the rest your muscles need to make repairs. The key is to work different muscle groups on different days.

“For example, it’s fine to do a leg workout on Monday, your arms on Tuesday and your back on Wednesday,” advises Beskur. “A rotation like this works well because even though you’re lifting every day, you’re giving each muscle group time to rest.”

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But these guidelines don’t necessarily apply to everyone. A study on strength training frequency found that some people may not need a full rest day placed between workout days to recover.

For some, 24 hours between workouts may be enough — meaning you could potentially do the same weight training on consecutive days. (But Beskur notes that the study participants were fit, young and healthy, so the results don’t apply to everyone.)

What are the benefits of changing your workout routine?

Having a steady workout routine that fits your health and life is great. But changing things up can give you some significant benefits, says Beskur. Adding variation to your workout can:

  • Challenge your body: New exercises help your body adapt and improve.
  • Prevent boredom: Doing the same activity repeatedly can become a drag and eventually lower your motivation to exercise. Switching things up can keep workouts interesting.
  • Work different muscle groups: Why let the same muscles have all of the fun? Different activities — even if it’s just trying a new cardio machine — can target and strengthen different areas of your body.

What are the benefits of taking breaks from your workout?

Even if you’re healthy and fit enough to work out every day, Beskur says there are notable benefits to taking days off. Breaks from exercising:

  • Give your muscles time to heal: Muscle fibers tear and break down during heavy exercise. Building recovery time into your workout schedule allows muscles to repair and get stronger.
  • Prevent injury from overtraining: Pushing too hard over too many days can lead to injuries that sideline you and keep you from working out. (And who wants that, right?)
  • Replenish ATP (adenosine triphosphate): ATP fuels your muscles so they can contract and work hard as you exercise. Rest allows your body to build up your ATP levels.

But recovery days don’t mean sitting on the couch. You can and should be active. Beskur suggests gentle movement like stretching on rest days. (“I recommend stretching multiple times a day, throughout the day, if you can,” she adds.)

Another option? If you typically do intense exercises, try a “de-load week” where you continue to exercise but at a lower intensity. Dialing it down offers your muscles a chance to reset and recover.

And the best part about taking a rest break? Coming back to that regular workout will just reinforce how much you love doing it.

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Aerobic Exercise

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