It’s time for another round of questions and this time it’s all about recovery from workouts. I’ll give an answer to a couple of great questions, such as how many days off should you take for recovery, what does recovery feel like, how to get rid of soreness and much more.
First of all, there is no definitive answer to how many days for recovery one needs since it depends on so many things. For example, if you train to the limit and push yourself as hard as you can, you will naturally need more time for recovery. On the other hand, if you train moderately (like I do) and keep things fairly easy, you can even train on a daily basis and still recovery completely. Sometimes you’ll just need a whole lot of recovery, especially if you move move a massive amount of weight. For instance, Bud Jeffries said it took a whopping 6 weeks off just to recover from a 1000 pounds squat!
So, what does recovery feels like?
What you want to look for is the “good” feeling after your workout. If you feel worn out and are extremely tired, that’s a clue that you’ll need lots of time to recover. Also look at how you feel the next day. If you’re revved up and ready to go for your next workout then you’re probably sufficiently recovered. If you don’t feel like working out (when you normally do and you’re not just being lazy) then it’s one sign of insufficient recovery.
It’s important to point out that there is a whole gray area between fully recovered and not recovered. Being just slightly over-trained a little bit and not fully recovered is actually a good thing, as most of the progress happens right there.
Muscle soreness by itself is not a good indicator if you recovered or not, but just a part of the equation. What you might wanna keep an eye on is the extreme soreness on a specific part of your body and give it a time to rest properly. Basically, you just need to listen to your body and act appropriately.
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So Logan, how many days a week do you normally train and how many days do you take off?
I myself have been experimenting with more isometrics and full body work like snatches, clean and presses, and swings (with Dumbells). This is a totally new plan for me and wow…I must say the results are amazing. I did isometrics for and entire year by itself (no weights) a couple years back and I was faster, leaner, and had more energy than I ever experienced in my years of fitness training. I am in the National Guard and of course you know we take a Physical Fitness test twice a year and I maxed out on the extended scale ever since. The first time I did 101 pushups in under one minute (and I just felt like stopping there). I ran a 12:10 on my two miles and I did 97 situps. These were tremendous improvements but I started to miss doing weights…but I have never gone back to the traditional stuff of isolating muscle groups seperately. I am really into the full body work and reincorporating isometrics (especially with all the talk you and Bud have been doing lately about it; AWESOME work by the way from you two). Any how, I was just curious as to how you recovered and how often you train.
I usually train 5 or 6 days a week, taking one complete day off. That being said, depending on my travel schedule it does change up often. And from day to day its a matter of observing my body for what I can work on and how hard.
Glad to hear of your success with the isometrics.
I agree. Recovered is just feeling like you want to train.
I am currently over trained. I did not recognise it till this morning. The stages I went through approaching this point, were lengthening rest periods between training. Then skipping scheduled activities and substituting easier days. Then being overly sore for an activity and lastly realising that I have not been able to recover. Additional sleep has not helped at all; or not helped beyond a point. We have a massage “chair” that I used 5 times yesterday but have not had an effect; and I have been stuffing myself with liver and vegetables. None of this has helped in recovery. Or I should say has not been sufficient.
I push myself very hard and train something like 3 days a week. Every 4-6 months I need to take a month off. You know when you are ready to train again because you are busting to get out and do something.
For milder situations, you just have to watch yourself. The effects always seem to be different. DOMS same day; DOMS next day, DOMS two days later. Perhaps later indicates more fatigue.
All the best
Thanks for your thoughts Anthony. You may want to try only twice a week if you’re training very hard and see how that works for you.
As you know, I train pretty much all 7 days, I have used a way of recovery by doing Recovery Workouts meaning if I’m sore for a period of time I use Light Stretching to just doing a deep breathing program. Do you believe in training while you recover by toning down your workouts to a very small percentage?
Yeah that works Ben. Getting the blood moving is an important part of working out. Many people will say, and I agree, that if you do some light training after you’re real sore, you’ll be less sore the next day.