3

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When are you properly rested for the next training session?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 10, 2011 at 3:35 PM

So this question has been bugging me for some time.

When are you properly rested after a training session?

Let's assume all workouts target the whole body with compound movements.

Muscle soreness can sometimes last on for several days, especially when you're incorporating new movements into your workouts. Does that mean you should wait until all soreness is gone?

From personal experience, I know that ignoring it and 'training through' muscle soreness often works and actually relieves muscle soreness. Although I'm not sure how effective that workout is regarding strength/hypertrophy/endurance.

So please ladies and gents, your advice below:

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on August 11, 2011
at 05:17 PM

You have to choose the heaviest weight that you CAN move slowly for 90 to 100 seconds; and which will be extremely difficult using in the the last rep. It is NOT all that hard. McGuff does this in his gym, and so do ALL of his trainers and clients I have done it - it is NOT hard to figure out.

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on August 11, 2011
at 05:14 PM

My mistake - McGuff does say to hold at the top for ONE of the five free weight exercises; and for ONE of the five machine exercises. He says DO NOT HOLD for the other four.

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:24 PM

you cannot move a "very heavy weight" for 90-100 secs. if you can it's not a very heavy weight.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on August 11, 2011
at 03:33 AM

Actually, if it's an exercise where "top/bottom" is under load/tension (i.e. under the strength of muscle not skeletal support - like rows once you have fully retracted the scapula) you should hold for about a second at the top/lock-out portion.

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on August 10, 2011
at 07:10 PM

Yes, 'time under tension' is critical; e.g. do NOT pause at the top or bottom of a movement - work the muscle group for the full time. I think this does lead to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

0ee98c251b5eef357445aefec99c5d7b

(888)

on August 10, 2011
at 06:34 PM

I assume these slow movements for 90-100sec are related to 'time under tension' and thus to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy?

0ee98c251b5eef357445aefec99c5d7b

(888)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:41 PM

To start off, I already found some great responses in this thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/10386/working-out-same-muscles-with-weights-two-days-in-a-row#axzz1UdjlgrGB

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8 Answers

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7
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on August 10, 2011
at 04:01 PM

Not many people consider this so I will throw it out there.

Look at your rest heart rate (perhaps when you wake up for consistency). If your Central Nervous System is fired, your heart rate will reflect this. If your rest heart is close to/at your normal resting level when not training, this is a good indicator that you have recovered.

Not considering CNS recovery is one of the biggest mistakes I see in training. Muscle soreness, duration between training days, etc are important, but your heart don't lie.

Note this may preclude Crossfit type activities daily. Crossfit might be fun and great for maximizing performance, but my ideal of Paleo fitness is one of maximizing health/wellness. This does not require me to do "Fran" setting PRs every workout. Not slamming Crossfit to be clear.

My 2 cents.

3
1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on August 10, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Doug McGuff, MD, at bodybyscience.net, wrote a book called "Body by Science". His website has some youtube videos that explain his ideas, and demo the workout.

He says (and supports) the idea that a really short, VERY hard workout that FULLY exhausts the five major muscle groups will take a reasonable fit male seven days to recover from, and a fit female will take 14 days to fully recover.

McGuff says to spend 90 to 100 seconds very SLOWLY moving a very heavy weight (for you) through about THREE repetitions. The whole five muscle group workout can take about 12 minutes, if you do not have to wait for equipment (he says machines are best, but free weight can work to). So, it is important to use a timer and to keep a record of your progress.

Getting to your question, Tom - He says you know you have recovered if the same weight feels easier after seven days; if it does, increase the weight. You always choose a weight that feels like you can NOT do three reps - the last rep is to be VERY, VERY HARD, and you may NOT be able to complete it.

Fred Hahn wrote "Slow Burn", and he has similar, but different ideas about SLOW movements. HE says to do his workout once or twice a week, with about five days between workouts. His website is http://slowburnfitness.com/

Anthony Colpo, at http://anthonycolpo.com/, has nothing but bad things to say about Fred Hahn, Michael Eades, Jimmy Moore, and Gary Taubes. Colpo is NOT polite or respectful in his criticisms, which only weakens his case. Ho often sounds like he is ATTACKING the messenger, and NOT the message.

0ee98c251b5eef357445aefec99c5d7b

(888)

on August 10, 2011
at 06:34 PM

I assume these slow movements for 90-100sec are related to 'time under tension' and thus to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy?

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on August 10, 2011
at 07:10 PM

Yes, 'time under tension' is critical; e.g. do NOT pause at the top or bottom of a movement - work the muscle group for the full time. I think this does lead to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:24 PM

you cannot move a "very heavy weight" for 90-100 secs. if you can it's not a very heavy weight.

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on August 11, 2011
at 05:14 PM

My mistake - McGuff does say to hold at the top for ONE of the five free weight exercises; and for ONE of the five machine exercises. He says DO NOT HOLD for the other four.

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on August 11, 2011
at 05:17 PM

You have to choose the heaviest weight that you CAN move slowly for 90 to 100 seconds; and which will be extremely difficult using in the the last rep. It is NOT all that hard. McGuff does this in his gym, and so do ALL of his trainers and clients I have done it - it is NOT hard to figure out.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on August 11, 2011
at 03:33 AM

Actually, if it's an exercise where "top/bottom" is under load/tension (i.e. under the strength of muscle not skeletal support - like rows once you have fully retracted the scapula) you should hold for about a second at the top/lock-out portion.

2
40449b985898b088a64660b40f329f0f

(951)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:49 PM

In my experience, the concept of never working the same muscle group two days in a row hasn't proved helpful as a strict rule. Throughout the course of life, it is literally impossible to not work the same muscle groups over and over, day in and day out. This is not to say go into the gym and tear up your biceps every single day of the week, but like so much of the paleo diet, this goal is to get in touch with and listen to your own body.

You talked specifically about workouts that target the whole body and I think a Crossfit workout is a good example to look at when talking about recovery time. I have heard that three days on, one day off is a pretty good balance, but again, it's not that way for everyone. I'd say the only real rule to work from is that when you feel like resting, rest. Just make sure you really take the day off and get plenty of sleep. Knowing when to step back is actually a really good exercise in getting to know yourself physically and mentally.

1
0ee98c251b5eef357445aefec99c5d7b

(888)

on August 11, 2011
at 12:23 PM

So to sum up all the answers thus far:

  • It depends, the proper amount of rest for each person is highly variable.
  • For the normal trainee (i.e. not the elite crossfitter/O-lifter) it might be best to become more in tune with their body. This sounds a bit metaphysical, but with this I mean one should be able to notice how he feels, notice any soreness, notice how energized he feels, notice how much he is mentally ''up'' for it, and such.
  • One good, slightly more advanced way, of checking your ''readiness'' would be to start taking your rest heart rate on a regular basis (say each morning, pre- & postworkout, evening). That way your heart rate could tell you whether your C.N.S. is ready for another workout.

On a side note: - Training the same body parts multiple days in a row might not be that detrimental, because it keeps the body guessing. One caveat with this is that one shouldn't stray too far of the Power Laws (Art de Vany).

1
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:59 AM

I would look at Mark Rippetoe's Practical Programming book. In short, he breaks people up into three training levels based on their recovery ability. Novices can keep making linear progress at each workout, intermediate trainees need more of a weekly schedule in terms of light-heavy-medium days, and advanced trainees (less than 1%) work on monthly, yearly, or 4 year olympic cycles.

so to answer your question, like most things it depends.

That is for strength training.

For high intensity endurance sports, resting heart rate is a good measure, as is heart rates during maximal intensities. If you're not recovered waking heart rate will be high and max effort heart rates will be low.

Some fancy HRMs even attempt to quantify recovery by EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or when you're still repaying your oxygen debt from a hard training sesin or competition.

0
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:25 AM

I try not to overthink it much and let my body tell me. If I'm too fatigued, sore or overall tweaky to workout with correct form at the intensity I want, then I am certainly in need of a rest day or two and may have overdone it by a day or by the intensity of my last workout. I tend to keep a relative consistent workout schedule and vary the intensity to avoid getting to that tweaky, exhausted state. Incorporate rest days and plan your workouts weekly so that you get good results without overdoing it. Your body will let you know.

0
Af9537cfa50562b67979624e9007e12a

(1334)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:19 PM

I find that it depends on what I did, a good upper body workout does not hinder being fine to do something else the next day, whereas squats or deadlifts kick my butt from doing any other workouts to full potential for a day or 2.

As far as the scenario you say (whole body each workout), I think a day or 2 off is good, but not until all soreness is gone, just reduced a bit, you can tell when it is on the downside. work thru it somewhat, if that makes sense.

-1
F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:04 PM

Depends on your fitness level, the quality of your recovery and nutrition. If you are in shape (relative to the duration/intensity of your workout), getting plenty of good sleep and eating right then working out everyday is doable. Hard to maintain that, though. I workout 6 days/week, but some days are light and others heavy, depending on the variables I mentioned. I've been at it long enough now that I know when I can push myself and when I need to lay off.

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