Hello Todd Faust,
Good thing you ask this question, huh? If you are working out at a high intensity, you definitely want to wait 24 to 48 hours before working the chest again. Do not forget that you are also working other muscles, not only the chest, which are smaller to help stabilize and those may become overworked, causing injury. I see all the trainers are in agreement with this one. Do not worry, we remain strong with daily physical activity as well…look at the farmers.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
We obviously work muscle groups everyday with activities of daily living. However, if you are performing resistance exercise approx. 12RM or fewer (reps/higher resistance) the research is clear that at least a 48 hour recovery is imperative to allow for healing, cellular repair and repacking glycogen replenishment.
If you are working any muscle group for any strength related goal, working out on consecutive days is most likely going to be counter productive. Younger and genetically gifted individuals may be able recovery in 36 hours from a resistance session, but chances are that complete recovery is more likely in 48 hours or more. Training a muscle or muscle group before complete recovery will undo most of the gains from the previous workout. In other words, training sessions performed too soon will undo the first training session. Basically, this wasting the first workout and may even reduce the effectiveness of the second workout. And the eventual outcome is injury.
If you are working out just to tear the tissue down, train away. If you are looking to make some type of gains (strength, size, endurance), allow full recovery.
I do not recommend working out the same muscle group on consecutive days let alone daily. You need 48 hours of recovery between sessions and as you age 72 hours could be necessary. If you work your chest daily you are eventually going to suffer an overuse injury. Your workout program should have a balanced approach. For example, if you work your chest hard you also must work your back just as hard. If you do not do this, you will overdevelop your chest and have an underdeveloped back. This leads to a rounded shoulder posture with internally rotated shoulders and protracted shoulder blades which can lead to shoulder injuries, headaches, and TMJ issues in your jaw. To balance your rounded shoulder posture you will develop an excessive arch in your lower back leading to lower back pain. An excessive arch in your lower back can cause your femur to internally rotate leading to knee pain. This can then travel lower to cause over pronation of your feet leading to Achilles tendon problems or plantar fasciitis. I bet you never thought that working your chest daily could potentially cause so many problems in other parts of your body did you?
It depends on your goals and how heavy you are going with your resistance. As a general rule, if you are working the same muscle group, you want about 48 hours (in some cases longer) in between workouts to allow the muscle to recover and repair. This is especially important if you are lifting very heavy with few reps. Your rest day–or days–are just as important in that case.
I think once in a while if it’s for muscular endurance, you could do two consecutive days—but I wouldn’t make it a habit.
And certainly not daily because you risk overuse injury.