Workouts: Bodybuilding Recovery
Muscle recovery is a subject to be taken seriously. For those who don’t know, it’s when you recover that you gain muscle, not when you train. Of course, training is the trigger for all of this. But the moment when our fibers grow is when we sleep or when we assimilate the nutrients ingested a few hours earlier. But then where is the right balance between recovery and training, which balance is the most optimal? How many gym sessions a week to build muscles, how many gym sessions a week to lose weight, how many rest days should I have…
Well, it depends. It depends on several things such as experience, your genetics or your lifestyle (I will tell you what are the best foods for muscle recovery at the end of the article). Let’s start with experience, I would advise a beginner not to train too often, in other words I would advise him to have 3 or 4 rest days per week, because it is more than enough to progress as a beginner. and that on top of that a beginner who accumulates too much training volume will end up stagnating (cf: my article “how many sets per week”). As you progress, you can increase the number of sessions per week, up to 6. However, I do not recommend 7 sessions per week, even if you are very advanced, because I remind you that it is rest that makes you progress, and in addition to that if your only goal by training 7 times a week and increasing the volume, adding a few sets to your 6 sessions will be much less restrictive. So to the question how many days gym a week, I would answer between 3 and 6 times per week, depending on your experience, lifestyle and genetics.
When it comes to genetics, I can’t do anything for you except tell you to listen to your body. Do not go to train if you feel tired, weak, especially the concerned muscles. Do not train on muscles that are still damaged or sore, it would be totally counterproductive. To give you concrete information, in general, the huge muscles such as chest, back (trapezius and lats), the legs (hamstring glutes quadriceps) need 72 hours of rest, while the small muscles which are the biceps triceps shoulders calves or abs only requires 48 hours. However, its figures remain variable depending on the volume and intensity of your sessions, your experience and your genetics again.
You should also know that a healthy lifestyle will improve your recovery, it goes through a good sleep (cf: sleep article) and a good diet (cf: diet article). Lifestyle is a variant not to be neglected, as you can guess. I told you earlier that I would finish the article with the best foods for muscle recovery, it’s quite simply, foods rich in protein (red meat, chicken, eggs, fish, oilseeds, cottage cheese) and those rich in carbs (starchy, pulses and cereals), because respectively, proteins allow (among other things) muscle recovery, and those rich in carbs allow refilling intramuscular glycogen stocks.
You now know the importance of recovery in bodybuilding, how to optimize it, how many gym days a week, therefore how many rest days for muscle growth. Keep in mind that better recovery means the possibility of accumulating more volume, therefore better results. It’s a virtuous circle.