Good advice on how many days to rest each body part after each training session, is one of the most common questions for people who've realized weight training is the key to changing their body composition. The problem is that most programs (in print or online) go into great detail on the sets, reps and exercises to do for each body part, but not enough detail on how many days rest you should take before training the same body part again. The number of days needed to recover from intense weight-training can vary from 2-days (48-hours) with an upper limit of one week (168-hours) as you see in many of the "muscle" magazines. To better understand where you should be, my suggestion is to put a pen and paper to the number of sets and reps you do (known as training “volume”) and refer to the following.
Note: Look at each working set (not warmups) with 8-reps as an average.
- At least 48-hours, when each body part gets 40-total repetitions or less per workout (8-reps per set/40 total reps equals about 5 sets).
- At least 72-hours, when each body part gets up to 60-total repetitions per workout (8-reps per set/60 total reps equals 7-8 sets).
- At least 96-hours, when each body part gets 90-total repetitions per workout (8-reps per set/90 total reps equals about 11 sets).
If you are doing over 100-total repetitions per workout (8-reps per set/100 total reps equals about 12 sets), you should consider training each body part just once weekly.
Remember, if you try and train a body part again when it is still tender to the touch, you should consider adding another rest day to your program.
Finally, train as hard as possible when you do train, and then stay the hell out of the gym so you can reap the benefits. If you are training hard enough with weights, the metabolic benefits should easily last a few days, so you don’t need to worry about gaining bodyfat, unless your nutrition plan is really off.
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