If you are asking this question, odds are you are not a bodybuilder. But it’s still a great question to ask if you are trying to build muscle. After all, bodybuilders have mastered the craft of building the most amount of muscle in the least amount of time. Thus, if you want to optimize the amount of muscle you build, you should follow everything a bodybuilder does. Right?
Before explaining why, let me provide a direct answer to the original question— bodybuilders workout very often for long amounts of time. I have met hundreds of builders throughout my career and received hundreds of different answers to this question. Most professional bodybuilders workout 7 days a week. They target at least one muscle group every single day and do cardio every other day (on average). Each workout lasts from 60 mins to 4 hours! That’s right. Some bodybuilders are in the gym for 4 hours every single day. Take Arnold Schwarzenegger for example. At the peak of his career, he would train 6 days a week, twice a day, for 2-3 hours per session.
But that doesn’t mean everyone should strive to workout this much. Working out as often as a bodybuilder will actually produce diminished results.
Why you should not workout as often as a bodybuilder.
First of all, bodybuilders are huge. They carry large amounts muscle mass that require long training sessions. The bigger a muscle is, the more muscle fibers it contains, the longer it take to break down the muscle fibers. Thus you shouldn’t train for long hours like a bodybuilder. But how about training as often as a bodybuilder?
Still no. Bodybuilders are able to train so often because they are able to recover very quickly. While the average weightlifter targets large muscle groups once a week, a bodybuilder can target the same muscle 2-3 times a week. Bodybuilders are able to workout so often because they optimize all aspects of muscle recovery. And the single most important aspect in recovery is hormone levels. More specifically, testosterone levels. Anabolic steroids, such as Trenbolone and Dianabol, allow athletes to workout longer and recovery more frequently.
Another important aspect of muscle recovery is nutrition. Consuming the correct nutrients required for optimal muscle recovery is possible for most people. It is just not feasible to spend 2 hours every day preparing and measuring out your meals.
How often should I workout?
If you have your diet and sleep schedule in check, aim to workout 5-6 days a week for 45-90 mins a day. If you are going to workout this frequent, you must optimize your specific split to allow each muscle enough time to recovery. If you need help with this, check out this great guide on how to construct the best 5 day split.