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Thread: How important are rest days?

  1. #1
    Senior Member tmor6's Avatar
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    How important are rest days?

    Hey all, I am a new member and am getting mixed opinions about the amount and importance of rest or rest days. Does anyone have a good article or post for me to reference. I've checked out the stickies and some of the "premanufactured routines", but am wondering if there is more out there.

    Does anyone have a personal experience to relate concerning rest and recovery days? Has anyone consistently lifted without resting and seen better/worse results as when rest days were taken? Kind of an abstract question, but help would be much appreciated.

    Reason I'm asking: I've been lifting for 5 months now, 5 days straight each week and have gotten awesome results. But lately, I haven't seen any gains in the last month or so. Although my lifting has drastically increased, my max weights just haven't changed recently and I am wondering if it is because I don't take rest days. (I'm getting plently of sleep and eating enough proteins with supplements.) I know that things taper off and gains will come slower as lifting increases, but I feel like I should been gaining at least something on my lifts. Any advice would be great.

  2. #2
    Getting There... Irish Pilot's Avatar
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    The more experienced lifters around here will tell you that rest is just as, if not more, important than training. Many often remind you that muscle is built out of the gym, not in the gym.

    Here is some reading on it:

    Overtraining: What it is and what it isnt. And why you've stalled.

    Rest & Overtraining
    Last edited by Irish Pilot; 04-29-2009 at 08:00 AM.
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  3. #3
    Read the Stickies! whiteman90909's Avatar
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    http://www.wannabebig.com/training/t...ss-in-the-gym/

    Are you training too much?

    Overtraining isnít something that suddenly hits you overnight. Itís something that happens gradually over a period of time. So if you start off with a 5 day a week split, you may make some great gains at first so to you, itís flawless. Only after a few weeks you start to lack progression and possibly even start to regress. Some can get away with it for a considerable amount of time, but eventually it is something that will catch up with them and gains will slow and possibly cease. Generally, for the natural weight lifter, 4 days a week in the gym should be the maximum. Something Iím sure youíve heard many a time before, but it still rings true; you grow outside of the gym, not in it. Volume can also be the difference between growth and regression. With volume too high, you stand to hinder progression. As with a lot of physiological processes, there is a bell-shaped curve under which growth lies in the area under the curve. Now, you can go lower volume, create sufficient muscular damage and grow at a steady pace, but too little and not grow much at all. Conversely, you can go overboard with volume and do too much muscular damage. The amount of damage necessary to create hypertrophy is still unknown, but at the end of the day, do too little or too much damage and you wonít induce hypertrophy (growth).

  4. #4
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    recovery is essential.

    how you go about that isn't, provided you get it.

  5. #5
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    You will always see more rapid gains when first starting a new program, and specifically when first getting started with weight training. After 5 months on the same routine it may be time to change things up - and I would also suggest taking a week entirely off from the gym to give your body some rest and recovery time.

    There are plenty of great pre-made programs on here that you can switch to if you are looking for something new to help drive additional gains.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member tmor6's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. Each of you raised excellent points and reflected the same beliefs I have found in literature here online. I will take all this into account and design a new improved program (or adopt one already made here online). Thanks again all.

  7. #7
    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    You will always see more rapid gains when first starting a new program, and specifically when first getting started with weight training. After 5 months on the same routine it may be time to change things up - and I would also suggest taking a week entirely off from the gym to give your body some rest and recovery time.

    There are plenty of great pre-made programs on here that you can switch to if you are looking for something new to help drive additional gains.
    It's hard to do but I always try and throw a full week of rest every 6 weeks or so. Especially when I'm bulking. Gives my joints time to recover, and most of the time my lifts are higher when I come back the next week.

  8. #8
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    Age is going to matter as well. I hate to admit it, but I can tell as I get older that I get beat up quicker. Sometimes rest isn't doing nothing, cardio work on non-lifting days seems to work.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmor6 View Post
    Hey all, I am a new member and am getting mixed opinions about the amount and importance of rest or rest days. Does anyone have a good article or post for me to reference. I've checked out the stickies and some of the "premanufactured routines", but am wondering if there is more out there.

    Does anyone have a personal experience to relate concerning rest and recovery days? Has anyone consistently lifted without resting and seen better/worse results as when rest days were taken? Kind of an abstract question, but help would be much appreciated.

    Reason I'm asking: I've been lifting for 5 months now, 5 days straight each week and have gotten awesome results. But lately, I haven't seen any gains in the last month or so. Although my lifting has drastically increased, my max weights just haven't changed recently and I am wondering if it is because I don't take rest days. (I'm getting plently of sleep and eating enough proteins with supplements.) I know that things taper off and gains will come slower as lifting increases, but I feel like I should been gaining at least something on my lifts. Any advice would be great.

    How is your nutrition and sleep? Are you trying to get bigger or cut? Advice varies depending on what you want.


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  10. #10
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Recovery is the most important factor in being as efficient as possible. If you learn your own recovery cycles (as everyone is different) you can harness that and make solid and consistent progress for the rest of your lifting career.
    Sarvamangalam!

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