Skip

What's the optimum rest period between working muscle groups?
July 18, 2007 8:55 PM   Subscribe

In regards to weight training and rest periods between working muscle groups...

I'm looking for information related to rest periods between working the same muscle groups. I continue to get conflicting information such as:
-Wait 7 days minimum between working the same muscle group.
-Wait a minimum of 48 hours.
-If you're not sore, work it again whenever you feel like it.
-Work abs or calves every day, wait on all other muscles (for the life of me I can't understand why you would do this except to keep the muscles tight for appearance).

This is for my own personal fitness goals. I am 25 and am in extremely good physical shape (run 20+ miles per week, lift 4 days a week currently with 1 week rest periods between muscle groups except abs).

I'm really looking for scientific studies as much as possible but anecdotal information is appreciated.
posted by Octoparrot to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
To add to this I'm actually questioning whether or not I will increase my gains by shortening the rest periods and work muscle groups more often than once per week.
posted by Octoparrot at 9:00 PM on July 18, 2007


Previously
posted by nomis at 9:02 PM on July 18, 2007


Thank you nomis. One thing I don't see answered there is the anecdotal information I've seen on working abs and/or calves every day. I'm also very interested in finding studies between the various methods.
posted by Octoparrot at 9:05 PM on July 18, 2007


Anecdotally, work a given group every 5-7 days.

But...

Diet is *more* important than training, IMO. Eat lots, lots, lots of protein. That was my big breakthrough. Hard-boiled eggs are your friend.
posted by LordSludge at 9:28 PM on July 18, 2007


I will second what LordSludge said - it was a hard-won lesson.

Really muscle building is not that hard - there are a lot of differences in technique and style. Some things are trendy, or whatnot but I find its really just lift up and down slowly, and don't lock your joints, stop when its too heavy (this is bodybuilding and not power lifting or weightlifting advice).... I haven't noticed much change in gains with shorter rest periods but I have tended to find that my injuries go way up when I go to the gym too frequently.

But yes, eating is key here (my trainers tend to claim this number is about 70% of your success). I had a lot of trouble finding my right training/eating mix. My training was mostly good, my eating was terrible. It really took a long time and money spent with personal trainers to find out what worked for me. There isn't a quick fix for any training goal.

Now I don't know what results you are looking for, and really the Personal Trainer is the best idea - this is expensive but think of it as tuition. Be careful in general on advice from amateurs or guys who are in good shape at the gym - they can be too specialized for the average person, have really good genetics or be on steroids. The stuff you find on the Internet is also full of bad information (unless you are already thin for example, you aren't going to get great abs with 30 minutes of exercise a week)
posted by Deep Dish at 10:35 PM on July 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I haven't noticed much change in gains with shorter rest periods but I have tended to find that my injuries go way up when I go to the gym too frequently.

So, how often do you lift? Same group every 5-7 days as LordSludge said?
posted by rkent at 4:11 AM on July 19, 2007


You're looking for One True Way. There is no One True Way. The thing about muscles and bodies is that they adapt really quickly to anything you throw at them. Find something that works for you now, switch it when it stops working as well.
I will say this for abs and calves though (or at least abs, I don't do any calf-specific work): You can work them every day if "working them" is more of a rote somewhat trivial exercise as opposed to something done for muscle building. I currently do ab work every day, but it is work that is almost nothing to me. Occasionally I'll have a day where I do far more than trivial ab work and I certainly do not do that twice (if I even could).
posted by ch1x0r at 5:51 AM on July 19, 2007


So, how often do you lift? Same group every 5-7 days as LordSludge said?

yes, that is right
posted by Deep Dish at 9:55 AM on July 19, 2007


« Older what are the secrets of shangh...   |  For the next seven weeks or so... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post