Can You Train the Same Muscle Two Days in a Row?
Most of what we've ever heard about muscle recovery and the amount of rest days we need is a myth. Yes, you can train the same muscle-group for two consecutive days. In fact, that will be your best option to achieve optimal gains. Sports science can now prove that this double stimulation training (DST) will prolong any muscle protein synthesis, leading to an enhanced feedback to your muscles, and this will trigger a greater muscle responsiveness.
Using this "feeder" method has been shown to work for increasing the muscle size and strength or help to bring up a weaker muscle group that might be holding you back from completing some big lift. It also needs to be added that your specific workout nutrition you use is critical when using this "feeder-method".
Bodybuilders who use this method, training the same muscle group for 2 days in a row, report they feel a better contraction on the 2nd day and get a much better pump. Some bodybuilders will tell you that training the feeder-method will help your muscles stay pumped-looking for longer. If you did a 3rd day you'd feel flat and weak.
3 Reasons Why This Feeder-Method Works
The three main advantages for doing a second resistance training session on the same body-part 24-36 hours after that first stimulation are.
1. Prolonged Protein Synthesis
Increasing protein synthesis starts after the first day of training and is then prolonged the period that this increased protein synthesis continues for. During the first 4 hours, protein breakdown will be more elevated than your protein synthesis. But for the remaining 24-32 hours, protein synthesis becomes higher, returning to normal within the first 24-36 hours after the first stimulation.
This means that you'll have about 20 hours of getting extra high protein synthesis/muscle building. When a second session is done within 24 hours after the first workout, it's possible to extend protein synthesis and extra muscle building hours by 12 or even as much as 24 more hours.
2. Enhanced Feedback
Enhanced feedback improves that mind-muscle connection. We all know that feeling when a muscle group has been given a hard workout, the awareness of that muscle group improves, whether it's a "sore" pain or just a good pain, it's awareness. When you train a muscle hard you'll be more aware of it the next day. This increase in awareness could range from "harder", with a slight increase in tenderness to "sore". The second workout is to over-deliver the required nutrients and protein synthesis. i.e. 1st workout bench-press low reps, followed by high reps isolated pec work the next day.
3. Enhanced Muscle Responsiveness
Even if sports science can now prove that the day after a body-part is stimulated using low reps and heavy weight, a muscle becomes more responsive to any training. Even though the force production potential might be lower because your muscle has not fully recovered or that any muscle stiffness/soreness is now hampering your capacity to perform.
When that muscle-group is trained in the 2nd workout using less traumatic training methods, using lighter weights and trying to only focus on the quality of your contraction on that specific fatigued muscle group. It will actually respond better than if you did exactly the same work on a fresh muscle.