This Article is About
rest days
mike mentzer
common knowledge
muscle mass
hard time
Weight Training And Rest Days
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Working out doesn't build muscle. Seriously. But it's common knowledge that it does, right?

Actually, working out breaks down muscle. Which is why, after you work out, you might have a hard time getting dressed because your muscles hurt so much. Your body builds the muscle back, and more, when you rest.

Most people tell you that it takes the body 48 hours to recover. Of course, it depends on the person. In fact, you might make better gains if you rest longer - 72 to 96 hours. See, to build muscle you don't just want it to recover, you want it to recover and then grow. It won't grow until it's recovered.

A good analogy is digging a hole. You can't make a hill on top of the hole until you fill it up first. A lot of people think, "If the guy in Iron Magazine works on his legs 4 hours and then rests 48 hours and works out again, it will work if I do it." The problem is, that guy in Iron Magazine is probably taking hundreds of dollars worth of supplements and steroids, so he's going to recover faster and be able to work out harder than you (assuming you aren't taking steroids...)

Rest is one of the most important aspects of bodybuilding. Why would you skimp on it then? Maybe you think if you work your legs three times a week you'll hit them harder than if you work them twice, and they'll recover faster. But what if you work them four or five times, or every day? Can you already see the tree trunk legs you build working out every day? Wow.

More isn't always better. There's a limit to how fast the body can recover, and that limit depends on the person. Mike Mentzer, a great bodybuilder in the past, would rest five or six days, and recommended that his clients would rest a few days as well. And he still had a tremendous physique.

You probably don't need as much rest as Mentzer, since you likely don't have as much muscle mass that needs to recover (and if you do, I don't know why you're reading this). But resting one or two more days might help you a lot.

Try resting different amounts and see how you can make the best gains. You might be surprised how resting less doesn't always equate to better gains. You might even want to try resting for a whole week after a couple months of tough workouts. It will help.

Street Talk

good info

  about 1 decade ago
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