Some people choose to go to the gym literally every day, and that’s not always a bad thing. Rich Piana was known to go 7 days a week, even on his rest days he still worked out his calves and forearms. (hint hint for later on in this article…)
While this is not recommended (as rest days are needed to let your muscle rest and grow) for some people it works depending on their work schedule, workout program, or if they are forced to work out virtually every day.
(For example, I could only access the gym Monday-Friday, so I had to work out every day. I couldn’t rest during the week, only the weekends when the gym was closed)
So, what muscles can you work out every day? You can work out your calves, forearms, biceps, abs, traps, side laterals, rear delts, and upper back every day. Let’s cover all of these and some exercises you can do for them.
Again, you should always take rest days. But, sometimes people can actually work out some muscles every day and see incredible results with it. (Provided you WILL have to rest every now and then)
#1 – Calves
Calves are one of the most stubborn muscles you can grow. That’s why unfortunately most people just avoid working them out in general, it seems like no matter what you do- they stay the same size.
However, working out your calves every day is actually a method used by a lot of serious bodybuilders to actually force them to grow. Here’s why:
You use your calves basically literally 24/7. Anytime you want to walk or move around, your calves are used. So, only working them out 2-3 days a week isn’t going to make them grow at all, and it makes sense.
To grow muscles, you need to ‘overload‘ them. That means you need to make them do something they normally don’t do and overwhelm them, otherwise they won’t grow. Since your calves are used all day, you need to work them out every single day too to keep up with your body.
Plus, looking at the general muscle repair patterns- calves repair themselves every day and are usually fine to go by the next day. It’s a good thing we evolved like that, it would kind of suck if you weren’t able to walk for a day or two because you walked too far one day.
#2 – Forearms
Forearms are also one of those muscles that people just HATE working out. Even today after bodybuilding for years I still think my forearms will never grow.
But, truthfully, forearms are the same as calves in the idea that you use them ALL the time. Even to read this article on your phone you are using your forearms!
To truly overload your forearms, you need to be on their schedule too. You shouldn’t be working them out 1-2 days a week on your arm days, you need to be working them out on all the other days too to ensure they are getting overloaded every single day.
Again, your forearms are used everyday, if you are just doing them ‘here or there’ that’s never going to be enough to make your body grow that muscle.
And finally, forearms repair themselves very fast (usually within a day or so) so you can work these out every day. It would kind of suck if we couldn’t use our arms (our main tools as homo sapiens) because we grabbed too many things.
#3 – Biceps
This is one most people don’t actually expect- but your biceps can be worked out every day.
Everybody and their mother loves to work out their biceps. Thankfully, they do repair themselves pretty fast.
There are lots of people that do those 30-day arm curl challenges, I myself did the 100 pull ups for 30 days challenge– and that actually put a lot of size on my bicep.
That’s how I got into learning about how fast our bicep tends to repair itself. I was under the belief it took 2-3 days to get back in shape, but the more research I did before I started the program- I learned our biceps are actually very capable of holding their own day in and day out.
It’s weird. Our biceps are one of the most common spots we injure ourselves when lifting, and they are also one of the least injured spots too. It’s so easy to tear your bicep, but at the exact same time they can take such a beating in the gym and they stand resilient.
While you can work out your biceps every day, just use caution as you would any other muscle. If they feel REALLY sore or you get literal pain, it’s time to stop working out your bicep and give it a few days rest.
But, generally speaking, your biceps are actually really fast at repairing themselves. I theorize it may have something to do with how much our biceps are used in connection with our forearms. It was probably smart our evolution prioritized bicep growth because if we needed to climb or build something, we couldn’t have biceps that gave out at a moment’s notice.
#4 – Abs
This one shouldn’t be a surprise for most people. Most people work out their abs every single day in the gym.
While my main focus is bodybuilding, no matter what road of fitness you come from- abs are usually worked out nearly every day universally.
And I mean, it’s no surprise. Our abs are one of the most attractive muscles you can develop, and they’re also one of the most IMPORTANT muscles in your body.
ANYTHING you do involves your abs. Standing up? Your abs are used. Squatting? Overhead pressing? Walking? Reaching? Laying down? Moving in GENERAL? Your abs are used!
Because of how often your abs are used, they are one of the fastest recovering muscles in the whole human body, and it really makes sense why evolutionarily.
So, don’t think you’re really ‘overtraining’ your abs if you find yourself working them out often. They’re meant to do that. (Obviously, if you get pain or something like that, give it some rest- but you know what I mean)
#5 – Traps (Neck)
Having big traps is one of the most ‘intimidating’ muscles you can have. It really makes you look ‘HUGE’.
Interestingly enough, you can work these out every day. A lot of farmers I grew up with always had to do things like farmers walks (quite literally where the name comes from) and they had huge traps by the time they hit high school.
Evolutionarily speaking, we probably had to carry a lot of things around, and that’s why our traps recover so fast.
Regardless, if you want to work them out every day- you can. I used to when I FIRST started bodybuilding (like literally my first few months) and it was probably one of the most effective exercises with the least amount of work.
I was doing probably 3 sets of shrugs every day when I worked out, yet my neck EXPLODED in size and I went from being a 95 lb twig to a massive muscular machine just a few months later. The traps really bring this ‘optical illusion’ almost of size to you that people recognize when they see you, and so many people commented on the change- which kept me motivated to keep working out.
#6 – Side Laterals
Lateral raises are one of the more surprising muscles listed here, as most people don’t even think about working out their side laterals in general.
Your side laterals are the muscles on the ‘side’ of your shoulder/arms. They really give your arm that ‘3D’ look when you flex, but most people just don’t care about working these muscles out at all.
One of the reasons people don’t like working out their side laterals is that in general, they are just frustrating to grow.
That’s why Rich Piana, one of the most famous bodybuilders of all time created his ‘feeder workouts’ with the goal of exploding your side laterals and just getting HUGE shoulders. While most people called him crazy when he started doing it, the results showed themselves. He put on a TON of size to his arms by using these feeder workouts that you can do at home and they only take a few minutes.
If you want a good way to blow up your arms, try doing those feeder workouts every night before you go to bed. You’ll see the results for yourself.
#7 – Rear Delts
Rear Delts are also one of those exercises that may have surprised you purely for the fact that barely anybody works out their rear deltoids these days.
Regardless though, they are one of those muscles that really ‘complete’ a physique and make you have that 3D back.
Thankfully, you can work these every day. But, nobody works out their back every day- much less more than once a week, so I doubt you’ll find yourself doing this too often.
#8 – Upper Back (Pull Ups)
Surprisingly, your upper back (not lower back) can be worked out about every day too.
I learned this when I started that 100 pull ups a day for 30 days challenge, I was like- shouldn’t this NOT work? Our back doesn’t recover that fast, right? Well, turns out the upper back actually does recover pretty fast.
In fact, I could literally FEEL it recovering throughout the day. When I was at work at the beginning of my shift, it was so sore, then I had my lunch break, and 2 hours after consuming nearly 70g of protein- the pain and soreness started to fade away really fast and I was ready for the next workout after my shift.
Truthfully, it kind of does make sense. Virtually anything we do involves our upper back. Any movement of the arms moves your upper back, et cetera. So our body had to prioritize fast recovery of this muscle or we probably wouldn’t have survived this long.
So, those are the muscles you can work out every day in the gym.
Should you be working out every day? No, rest days are incredibly important and in fact, working out every day might actually slow your muscle growth instead of helping it.
BUT, if you have to, or if you’re like Rich Piana and you just HAVE to go every single day, try to stick to these muscles, they will pay off in the long run.
Always remember, if you feel pain or something doesn’t feel right in your muscle, give it rest- an injury isn’t worth it, you’ll be out of the gym for months when that happens.