How to Determine a Recovery Period After Weight Training

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

Recovering, it's safe to say, is simply the most important part about lifting weights. Ok, maybe the actual lifting of weights is up there in importance, but without recovery we would never actually gain muscle, which is actually what the whole weightlifting thing is all about, right? Right. But finding out exactly how long it takes for you to recover in between workouts can pose as a challenging feat. Have no fear, Jeremy is here..

Step 2

The first thing I'll tell you is that you have to listen to your body. If you do a great chest workout on Monday, and then expect to go in and do a similarly great chest workout on Tuesday, you've got another thing comin'. Your chest will still be sore, and its ability to lift heavy will have diminished a ton. So, how many days until you can go back in full-bore? Listen to your body. If your chest loses its soreness after 3 days, then you're probably safe to head back in and do some more bench pressing. If you do go in and you can't seem to lift as heavy as you usually do, then maybe wait another day or two. Eventually, after listening to your body enough, you will figure out how long it takes each one of your muscles to recover after a workout.

Step 3

Another way to figure out a recovery period (and actually make it shorter) is by taking BCAAs. BCAAs give your muscles the nutrients they need to develop, grow, and recover faster than they would normally. I personally use Cellucor Alpha Amino Acid Supplement with BCAA, Icy Blue Razz, 13.54 Ounce (30 Servings), which lasts me around half a month. But it's well worth the cash, because the BCAAs help my muscles recover fast enough that I get two workouts per muscle group in per week. Faster recovery time=more workouts=more gains.

Step 4

The third way you can determine a faster rest period is by having a great diet. If you're eating healthy foods (yes, those green things called vegetables are necessary) and you're eating enough of those foods, your body is bound to have optimum recovery. You'll feel your muscles lose their soreness after maybe a day and a half, rather than 4 days. And like I said, it's the soreness in your muscles and the power they're able to put out that determines how long your recover period takes.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

The most difficult part about figuring out your recover time is being able to pay close attention to what your body tells you. A lot of people want to ignore the soreness and work their favorite body part again and again. This won't help you grow faster- in fact, it will actually hurt your progress. Listen closely, and don't ignore the soreness. If your muscle is ready to go back into the gym and work, it'll tell you by being quiet and sore-free.

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Funny or interesting story about this topic...

Some people will not stop training their favorite body part. One kid I knew loved to train biceps. Now, the biceps are a small muscle, and they recover pretty quickly. Only waiting 2 or 3 days in between biceps workouts really isn't so far-fetched. This kid, though, would go in day after day and do his biceps. He was bent on getting huge arms; he probably figured that they were the pinnacle of a good physique. Whatever his reasoning was, he didn't get them. He would always stare at his arms in the mirror and, whether he noticed it or not, they weren't growing. Month after month the weight stayed the same (or got lower) and his arms never got bigger. I didn't have the heart to tell him to take a while in between workouts. He likely wouldn't have listened anyway. But, I can only hope that he will open up his computer and stumble upon this tip. If he gave his arms a chance to recover for once, they might actually get pretty big!

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I always gave my body the time to recover. When I first started working out, my dad had me doing one muscle group per day, and only doing each muscle group once per week. 7 days was beyond enough time for my muscles to recover. Some people need all 7 days- I don't. After a while of feeling myself out, I knew that only 4 days was necessary in order for my muscles to recover and be ready to gym it up again. Now, with a great diet and BCAAs, I can hit each muscle group on a rotation of every 3 days. Not everyone will be exactly the same, though, so don't follow my personal results; go listen to your own body, and come up with the best recovery time for you. Good luck, and stay strong,

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