Even though we all like to sleep, most people do not spend enough attention to the amount of rest they take. Your muscles get stimulated when performing resistance training, but they actually grow in rest. During our sleep and absolute rest we are able to recover and build and rebuild muscle tissue! Hypertrophy (muscle growth) and exercise adaptation takes place at rest!

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Rest week and long-term recovery

When you consistently work out a whole year without any breaks you will get tired eventually. You will get over trained and this will negatively influence your progress! By taking some weeks of after working out for a few weeks your body gets time to recover a lot better. A good standard for rest on the long term is taking 1 week off after training for 4-6 weeks.

Besides the long term rest there is also something I call medium term rest. This is the rest you take each week. Never work out 7 days in a row. At least take one full day of rest every single week. Also never work out the same muscle group(s) 2 days in a row! When you work out your chest today, you will have to wait at least until the day after tomorrow before targeting the chest again!

Rest between sets

Here are some guidelines for different physical goals:

  • Muscle Endurance: 15-30 seconds of rest in between sets to ensure an intense workout that targets the endurance of your muscles.
  • Muscle Mass: 45-90 seconds. For muscle mass training you usually use more weight and need more time to properly recover.
  • Strength: 120-180 seconds. This is what most people use when lifting really heavy. Some like to take a 5 minute break. That is suited if you are lifting extremely heavy.

As always, personal preference is very important in this part of fitness and bodybuilding!

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