Optimum Rest Period For Weight Lifting

I’ve been trying to establish a formula for optimum rest time on muscle groups between workouts. For example, if I do squats, I wait until my legs aren’t sore anymore, then take one or two more days off, then do squats again.



Some people say I shouldn’t be afraid of lifting with a muscle group that is still sore from a previous workout. I’m thinking I would benefit more by having some recovery time.



I would also like to incorporate more sprints into my workout but worry about the possibility of injury when doing them with sore legs. Are my concerns warranted?



Do any of you have recommendations?

Comments

  • TJ JTJ J skratta pa klocka
    edited February 2013
    I've been searching for this information and like a lot of things that surround bio-hacking there is no one correct answer. Here are some things to consider before someone could better help you answer this question.



    What is your age? How are your genetics? How long have you been lifting? What supplements do you take? How intense are your workouts? Do you utilize any restorative methods? ie. cold plunges, hot tub, leisure swimming, massage, meditation/yoga etc. What does your diet look like?
  • Troy, I was hoping there was a general theory that would apply to a broad population. That being said, here are my specifics:



    My squat workouts are fairly intense and leave me feeling sore and stiff for about four days. I am 33 years old, 5’9” 190lbs, 10%+/- body fat, and have been lifting for about 18 years. My genetics would make more suited toward endurance (e.g. not a lot of fast twitch muscle.) I eat very Bulletproof and take Vitamin C, L-Glutamine, Protein, & Creatine. I do Yoga once per week and think I should start some cold plunges.
  • TJ JTJ J skratta pa klocka
    I'm pretty in the middle between fast and slow twitch. I can torque a golf drive faster than most people but a lot of guys my size have more power/explosiveness than I do. I made the football team at the U of Iowa in 2003 but was always too weak for my size. I'm definitely more of an endurance built athlete. After football I spent 9 years destroying my health and am now eating primal/bulletproof feeling stronger than ever. Anyway,



    I'm 6'2, 183 lb. Right now I'm squatting 315lb about 6-7 reps X3. I just started taking creatine and feel more powerful than ever. I mix in all of the restorative methods and other than quality sleep and diet, ice baths are superior.



    Right now I'm squatting once a week and then cross country skiing on varied terrain and in deep powder works my legs really hard. I have been gaining strength in my squat at once per week. I don't think I need to be squatting any more than this. As far as a "general theory" I have seen 36 hours, 48 hours, 3 days, and 1 week thrown around the internet.



    One thing that has really helped my recovery is eating my carbs right after lifting. I always have a medium sweet potatoe cooked in a small amount of MCT oil (about 25 carbs) immediately after lifting. Then I do some light restorative swimming, breathing/sauna, and drink a protein shake w/cacao powder (about 5 more g carbs) on the way home. Glutamine seems to help a lot. I also try to drink almost a gallon of water a day. I'm searching for the same type of information you are.
  • 'garretto' wrote:


    I’ve been trying to establish a formula for optimum rest time on muscle groups between workouts. For example, if I do squats, I wait until my legs aren’t sore anymore, then take one or two more days off, then do squats again.



    Some people say I shouldn’t be afraid of lifting with a muscle group that is still sore from a previous workout. I’m thinking I would benefit more by having some recovery time.



    I would also like to incorporate more sprints into my workout but worry about the possibility of injury when doing them with sore legs. Are my concerns warranted?



    Do any of you have recommendations?




    Generally training is goal oriented. Is your goal to be able to lift heavier weights, or be able to squat light weights every day?



    How sore you are a very poor indication of how well you're recovered, at times I lift better/heavier when I'm sore than completely 'fresh'.



    The general idea behind weight lifting is to lift as much, as often as you can. In the most simplistic terms, if you are lifting too much too often, you'll either never be able to lift more, or get weaker. If you're not lifting often enough, you'll either never be able to lift more, or lift more and get stronger, but at a less efficient rate if you were doing it more often.



    DOMs, or delayed onset muscle soreness generally appears one to two days after the exercise, and is only cause by the eccentric portion of the exercise. It is not a lactic acid build up, as some people have incorrectly stated in the past. The best way to recover from DOMs is blood flow. I have literally been so sore in the past I couldn't walk very well, doing a few sets of light squats significantly helped recovery.



    I think you think you'd benefit more with more recovery time, because doing squats is hard and that's the easy way out. At least I know subconsciously I’ve tried to think the same way and had to stop myself. “Man, I just did squats on Monday, it’s Wednesday, I’m kind of sore, maybe I should wait until Thursday?” So now I do them on Thursday, here comes Friday and I can’t do them Friday, I did them Thursday, might as well wait until Monday right? I just lost a workout right there, and the potential to get stronger. Sure I still got stronger, but I wasted a workout. It adds up.



    Pick a workout plan with the days and weights written out, and stick to it. Take the results from those workouts after a period of time to formulate a better plan, adapt and improve.



    And no, sprinting while sore will not hurt anything.
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