Ask a Trainer: Is It Bad to Do the Same Workout Two Days in a Row?

“Your body thrives on variety, not speciality.” —Holly Rilinger, Nike master trainer

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You’re at the gym and you just completed the best. leg. workout. EVER. You’re feeling good, feeling strong, and you tell yourself: I’m definitely doing that workout again tomorrow. But wait … is it actually OK to do the same workout two days in a row?

According to Nike master trainer Holly Rilinger, it’s not necessarily bad to double up on your fave workout, as long as you remember two important things:

  • Your body thrives on variety, not speciality
  • And rest days are a key ingredient to your overall performance

“Having a little variety in your workouts is going to be far better than doing the same thing over and over again,” says Rilinger. “When you do too much of the same thing, not only are you going to get bored, but you’re going to end up plateauing.”

For example, even if you like running long distances, mixing up your routine with weight-training days can strengthen your legs and actually help you run longer. This can also help you avoid injuries by strengthening weak hips or knees, or by giving you better balance in your core. Trainers call this “cross training.”

Along with mixing up your workout, it’s also important to give your muscles a break—especially when it comes to weight training.

“When it comes to weight training ... you’re going to have these microfiber tears in your muscles,” says Rilinger. “With that comes an inflammatory response, so it’s important to back off and rest or maybe do something a little bit different so that your body can recover.”

After you give yourself a day or two of rest, Rilinger says you can return to your favorite workout a little later in the week. Learn more about how often you should be working out each week