Rest Days

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 16, 2016 6:57 PM GMT
    Hey everyone, hope you guys are having a good day!

    So this summer I am really focusing on getting myself into the shape I was in before college (ie not overweight and out of shape). I am still finalizing my work out plans for the next few months, but I've been doing some old routines of mine in the mean time. I've also been hitting the gym 5-7 days a week for the last 3 weeks. Last night I honestly felt like crap. I woke up at 5AM which is when I've been going to the gym and I felt like even more crap and I decided to take a rest day. Maybe I'm way too eager to get back into shape, but I do realize that to get back in shape I need to also be smart about it. Can you guys recommend how many rest days I should take so that I won't feel like crap and also not lose out too much on working out? I was thinking of doing 3 days work out - 1 day rest - 2 days work out - 1 day rest. Is that good? Also, by "rest day" does it mean literally avoiding all exercise? I wouldn't mind running a mile or two, or maybe some core work on those days.

    Thanks for any and all help, it's really appreciated!
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4913

    Jun 16, 2016 8:16 PM GMT
    I think everyone is different and to an extent, it depends on how hard you're working in the gym and how well you're separating the muscle groups. So all I can offer is what I do which is to get to the gym every day (with rare exceptions) and stay on rotation but with the provision that any day I'm just not feeling it, I can do my cardio, shower and leave. I think the main point is to listen to what your body is telling you and push it as hard as you can without over-training. And then every now and then, maybe four times/year, take a break for 4-5 days. Running or core work as an alternative on days you're feeling sore is totally OK though core should be a pretty routine part of your standard stuff.

    Question: I take a pre-workout creatine and post-workout whey drink that also contains glutamine. I had someone say I should also be taking BCAA's mixed with my workout water to speed recovery? Anyone have an opinion in BCAA's?
  • Noeton

    Posts: 209

    Jun 17, 2016 3:33 AM GMT
    The plan you are thinking of sounds fine to me, but I can't really give advice because, as the previous poster said, everyone's different. In my opinion, however, most of the standard guidelines on frequency of rest days is too cautious.

    I can only speak from my own experience. I like to push it to the max for as long as possible and take a rest day when I start feeling tired.

    I've never used BCAAs, so I can't comment on them.

    Let's see some progress pictures soon!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 17, 2016 7:27 PM GMT
    Thank you both Destinharbor and Noeton.

    @Destin: Listening to my body is what I'm trying to do more of now. I'm trying to understand myself better to figure out what works and what will keep me on the path I want to be on. I think I over-did it and that's why I felt like total crap, but the day off helped because today I felt refreshed and ready, so I was able to get back at it. I wish I could help you about the BCAA thing, but I really don't know much about supplementation besides whey protein. Maybe you should make a thread about it?

    @Noeton: I really want to use the free time I have during the summer to do as much as I can. That's why I wanted to go every day. I guess that's why after a few weeks of going hard, I just felt beaten down. I think the mentality of taking a break when I feel tired will be helpful. Honestly I am looking forward to progress pictures myself haha.
  • badbug

    Posts: 866

    Jun 20, 2016 7:26 AM GMT

    Your body is made out of BCAAs. And the protein you eat is too.

    Taking BCAAs doesn't do shit unless you are roided out and counting every gram of muscle, see Phil Heath. So unless Olympia is in your plans, you would be far better off spending the extra money on vegetables and regular whey protein.

    What do you do for a living? What is your stress level of life? Do you drink and party a lot?

    If you have a labour intensive job or do other shit that would hamper recovery, then you will need a recovery day, atleast one. Working out more isn't really better, unless you are trying for a top 2% physique and the fact you are asking this question suggests to me that you aren't.

    Running isn't really rest. Rest is rest. Rest one day a week, God did it. Are you better than God?

    I think the key for your goals, is to set a routine you can stick with and not worry about going too hard, just worry about being consistent ESPECIALLY WITH YOUR DIET. That's the real battle, it's a lot harder to eat healthy everyday, day after day than it is to go lift weights and look at your muscles in the mirror, atleast that's what i've found. This shit is 80% diet.

    This is your supps: Vitamin D, 400mg 2x daily B-12, B-6, lowest dose you can buy as those two are always sold in mega doses for some reason. Make sure to eat raw sunflower seeds because it's fucking hard to get vitamin E and supps aren't good for those and you can't eat enough avacodoes, advocadoes? I never know how to spell that. And vitamin C, 500 mg once a day is enough. Fruits don't have enough, soil depletion etc.
    If you are eating normally, everything else should be acquired in your diet relatively easily. Your diet almost certainly won't have enough D, B-12,B-6 in it without plain old wal-mart brand supps.

    That and a quality protein is all you need. Then it's just fruits and veggies, lean meat. You don't need any magic stuff, and any magic stuff will not be as effective as eating more spinach and blueberries etc. etc, Unless of course you get funky and hit the gear.

    Err, Glutamine is b.s. It's more b.s. than BCAA's. Your body is literally filled to the fucking brim with glutamine. I get it though, advertising works and if some jacked dudes are taking it, it must work right?

    What really works is a decent diet, rest and decent lifts plus time. Make your main focus consistency in diet and in a routine and don't sabotage yourself with too much boozing. Booze is the worst, i see you are 25, at that age i would drink like 15 drinks a night on weekends, LOL and wonder where my abs were. So i understand maybe if booze is going to be a battle when you're younger, but booze is the worst. It's sugar and calories and dampens growth hormones and sends signals to the body to store fat.

  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4913

    Jun 23, 2016 6:33 PM GMT
    One other thing I didn't think to mention is stretching. At some point or other I've misjudged something and ended up with tendonitis or some muscle pain. We're bombarded with talk around tv sports about playing through pain and I highly recommend you do that if someone is paying you $23,000,000 a year to do it and you have a stable of trainers with magic potions for later. Otherwise, stretch before you start and also get some blood flow going. I picked up most of my stretching routine from P-90x and have added a few more. If you've ever done a yoga class, you know the idea is to gently stretch and hold for about 30 seconds. I mostly focus on shoulders, pecs, elbows, neck, quads, and calfs. Takes about 5 minutes. But if you do hurt something, time is what you need to repair it. Balms help but only temporarily. Sometimes KT tape, depending on what it is. But the other thing I had to figure out is that if a particular move hurts, don't do it. But often you can find other ways of exercising that muscle. I strained something at the bicep-shoulder muscle spot and for a while couldn't do db lifts on shoulder day. But I could use the Hammerstrength machine and another floating arm shoulder machine. So if something gets overworked, give it a rest but find a substitute. Variety is good anyway.
  • buddycat

    Posts: 2312

    Jun 26, 2016 5:26 PM GMT
    I take no rest days unless I have had little sleep. I go to the gym and jog 7 days a week.