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  1. #1
    Registered User kingofclifton's Avatar
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    How long do your muscles take to recover from lifting heavy? (reps for knowledge)

    How long does it take for your muscles to recover from a taxing lifting session and when should be the next time you work out that muscle?
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  2. #2
    Johnny Rotten ThickAsABrick's Avatar
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    Threve.
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    Registered User BBDF's Avatar
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    it depends on what muscle, how much volume you used, and your diet.
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  4. #4
    Registered User fbcoach's Avatar
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    The muscles themselves recover rather quickly, it is the Nervous System that takes time. This is why there is so much debate between HITters and everyone else. The best way to train your muscular system AND your Nervous System is using periods of cycling (re-setting weights) and deloading (resting your CNS).
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  5. #5
    Moar Lats!! redwings_snipe's Avatar
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    48 hours and they should be recovered, but i only work a muscle group once a week and give that group a full week
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  6. #6
    Registered User fbcoach's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dustinlawrence View Post
    48 hours and they should be recovered, but i only work a muscle group once a week and give that group a full week
    You contradicted yourself. You said muscles recover within 48 hours, but only work them every 168 hours.
    I'm not trying to be a d_ck, but your advice is not accurate. As the poster above mentioned, it is determined by which muscle was trained, and how much volume and intensity was used. With thatsaid, the muscles usually recover in a matter of days in most cases, but it is the fatigue to the CNS that determines when and how often to train. Hope that gives you a better understanding.
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    Registered User speed650's Avatar
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    2 days for me.
    One day is enough to recover somewhat, but i'm usually 20% weaker when compared to a full 2 day rest. I suggest you take 2-3 days off after every 3 workouts.
    Last edited by speed650; 02-13-2009 at 08:45 PM.
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    Complete tissue remodeling within the muscle cells from a workout takes weeks, that certainly doesnt mean a muscle cant be trained, isnt ready to be trained, or shouldnt be trained more frequently. What it does do is prove the fallacy of those who say you shouldnt train more than once a week, or twice a week, or whenever, because you want your muscles to be fully recovered. None of us is ever "fully recovered" unless we take several weeks off, and by then detraining has started to set in.

    How often you train is dependent on many things, the primary two are the content of the workout, and how good of shape you are in.

    Most people, IMO, are best served by training a muscle 2-3 times weekly.

    glenn
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  9. #9
    Slowly getting bigger!! dkemano42's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kingofclifton View Post
    How long does it take for your muscles to recover from a taxing lifting session and when should be the next time you work out that muscle?
    Hey,

    On thing to add to some of the post is, you should rest your larger muscles a little longer. Your big leg muscles should be about 72 hrs, your smaller calf muscles 24 hours same with your bi's.

    DK
    "After all is said and done, a lot more will have been said than done will have been done!"
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  10. #10
    Registered User thepointman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fbcoach View Post
    You contradicted yourself. You said muscles recover within 48 hours, but only work them every 168 hours.
    I'm not trying to be a d_ck, but your advice is not accurate. As the poster above mentioned, it is determined by which muscle was trained, and how much volume and intensity was used. With thatsaid, the muscles usually recover in a matter of days in most cases, but it is the fatigue to the CNS that determines when and how often to train. Hope that gives you a better understanding.
    That's not a contradiction at all. It's like if I say "It's ok to eat 1 cheat meal a week, but I prefer to eat one every 4 weeks". If he said "Muscles recover in 48 hours, but I workout every 168 hours so my muscles can recover", THAT would be a contradiction.
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  11. #11
    Registered User fbcoach's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thepointman View Post
    That's not a contradiction at all. It's like if I say "It's ok to eat 1 cheat meal a week, but I prefer to eat one every 4 weeks". If he said "Muscles recover in 48 hours, but I workout every 168 hours so my muscles can recover", THAT would be a contradiction.
    Maybe I should had been a little clearer in my response. When stimulating the muscles thru weight training, you actually stimulate the muscles on the cellular level....this means you stimulate the ribosomes. These are the little chemical messengers that increase protein synthesis. These ribosomes ar only stimulated for a short time (a few hours to days) before they begin reversing the process and causing protein degradation. Waiting too long between training sessions is akin to taken 1 step forward, then 1 or 2 steps backward.
    By the way, your analogy is not in context to the statement. But eating a cheat meal every week will be better in the long run. It restores energy substrates in the muscles, helping them to recover quicker, and by restoring energy substrates, it increases the amount of thyroid (specifically T2), which in turn, increases metabolism. Hope this gives you a better understanding of muscle metabolism.
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  12. #12
    Mind over Muscle Leyton Stone_old's Avatar
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    OP,

    As you get more advanced training each bodypart becomes less frequent because you are able to lift heavier weights and train more intensely. This affects recovery. Thus you train each bodypart less frequently but with more volume, more weight and more intensity. While frequency may go down, your conditioning will improve allowing you to do more workouts.

    A common transition for bodybuilders is as follows:

    Beginner: Full body routines x 2-3 pw
    Intermediate: Lower/upper body split x 2 pw (4 total workouts)
    Advanced: 4-5 way split (4-5 workouts a week)
    Elite: 3-4 way split twice a day (6-8 workouts a week)
    "I not only don't use gloves, I file the skin off my palms before each workout. I also wrap double sided tape about the bar, sprinkle broken glass on it, dip it in acid, then wrap it in razor wire. I also plug the bar into an outlet, and stand in a bucket of water." - Defiant1
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  13. #13
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    Everyone's recovery abilities vary and they change over time.

    These days, I do well thrashing each body part once a week. Just a few years ago, I could get away with a little more frequency.

    Some people will need a little more time, some people less time.

    What I do is keep track of the lean tissue diameter of my upper arm.

    I measure the circumference of my upper arm in millimeters. Then I measure the millimeters of fat thickness with a set of body fat calipers.

    Divide the circumference by Pi (3.14) and you have total diameter. Subtract the fat thickness and I have a rough measure of lean tissue diameter to quantify if I am building muscle.

    Of course these days I'm on the 'couple millimeters a year' plan.

    If you use some quantifiable measurements you can find the frequency, volume and intensity that will allow you to make steady progress.
    What what works for me, works me. It may or may not work for you.

    I've been shot, stabbed, blown-up, then shot at and blown-up again. I credit my survival to God, randomness and an interesting workout program.
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  14. #14
    Registered User kingofclifton's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dkemano42 View Post
    Hey,

    On thing to add to some of the post is, you should rest your larger muscles a little longer. Your big leg muscles should be about 72 hrs, your smaller calf muscles 24 hours same with your bi's.

    DK
    So would a split like this be good and my legs have enough time to recover?

    Split

    Monday legs & core
    Tuesday chest
    Wednesday rest
    Thursday legs & core
    Friday shoulders/tri
    Saturday back/bi
    Sunday rest

    Monday: (legs)

    Squat 1x15 (warmup) 3x8/8/6
    leg press 4x10/8/8/6
    barbell lunges 3x 10/8/8
    seated leg curls 3x8/8/6
    calf raises 3x10


    Thursday (legs)

    DEADLIFT (got good results before from this deadlift routine)
    2x3 @60%
    1x3 @80%
    1x2 @90%
    1x2 @95%
    1x1 @100%
    1x2 @90%
    leg press 3x8 or front squat
    barbell step ups 3x8
    seated calf raise 4x10


    may need to be modified adivce if so
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  15. #15
    Registered User lean-muscle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kingofclifton View Post
    How long does it take for your muscles to recover from a taxing lifting session and when should be the next time you work out that muscle?
    It's not simple. There are so many factors that affect muscle recovery time. For a really detailed answer, check out worldfitnessnetwork.com/2009/09/the-truth-about-muscle-recovery-time-short-version/ .
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  16. #16
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    Lol @ ppl giving specific hours. There is no absolute set amount of time for any muscle group that applies to *everyone*. It depends on your workout routine, diet(including supplements), rest, genetics, how long you've been training, how advanced you are, etc. You are the best judge of how long it takes to recover. Use a little common sense along with trial and error.
    My Training Journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=120696121
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    confused

    Originally Posted by speed650 View Post
    2 days for me.
    One day is enough to recover somewhat, but i'm usually 20% weaker when compared to a full 2 day rest. I suggest you take 2-3 days off after every 3 workouts.
    thats what im leaning more to what you are saying, everytime i think i got it figured out i read more and get more confused,i have always worked out but not consistently ,now as i get older its now or never so its all i care about,i been back lifting for only 8 months but i know in my heart i wont stop no more,i dont care how old i am (40) because i rather be 50 with a nice body than be 50 with tooth pick arms,but i cant follow say Arnolds workout schedule when i dont take steroids and only hitting the muscles once per week seem like not enough,as of right now im thinking push-pull-legs and 2 days off then repeat may work but i dont know theres so many different splits my head is about to bust and even though they say what works for some may not work for others thers got to be a medium to what works for all "natural" bodybuilders(i do use protein shakes and Creatine monohydrate)
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  18. #18
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fbcoach View Post
    The muscles themselves recover rather quickly, it is the Nervous System that takes time. This is why there is so much debate between HITters and everyone else. The best way to train your muscular system AND your Nervous System is using periods of cycling (re-setting weights) and deloading (resting your CNS).
    ^This

    Basically a method of modulating intensity is required since it is intensity (percentage of 1 rep maximum weight used) that has the biggest impact on the CNS. There are various methods such as the reset (Rippetoes) or having heavy, medium and light days (all pros simple beginners routine).

    Originally Posted by glennpendlay View Post
    Complete tissue remodeling within the muscle cells from a workout takes weeks, that certainly doesnt mean a muscle cant be trained, isnt ready to be trained, or shouldnt be trained more frequently. What it does do is prove the fallacy of those who say you shouldnt train more than once a week, or twice a week, or whenever, because you want your muscles to be fully recovered. None of us is ever "fully recovered" unless we take several weeks off, and by then detraining has started to set in.

    How often you train is dependent on many things, the primary two are the content of the workout, and how good of shape you are in.

    Most people, IMO, are best served by training a muscle 2-3 times weekly.

    glenn
    Great info, thanks Glenn.
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    It all depends.

    That cleared it up
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    Originally Posted by kingofclifton View Post
    How long does it take for your muscles to recover from a taxing lifting session and when should be the next time you work out that muscle?
    Only you can answer this question OP. Honestly regardless of all the science behind it or research people do on this subject it'll never truly apply to you. No one is exactly like you. You need to find the answers on your own. Lift heavy and just rest when you're tired. When did people stop listening to their bodies and start following others so blindly?
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    This Space for Rent RockCrab's Avatar
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    OP's gone or figured it out. This is two years old.
    Ego victum poena. Victoria per vires.

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    Registered User unrealsaint's Avatar
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    Agreed!!!
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    Muscle Recovery

    Sceintifically this could be answered that on a cellular level this happens and protein synthesis accelerates the speed of blah blah blah... Since the avergae Joe, which is most of us who are not Doctors nor hold a doctorate degree on this subject matter (those who do God bless you), we must rely on what knowledge we have attained and what common sense we hopefully have. It is true that we are all different and recover at different rates depending on our fitness level, our metabolism, our diet, our supplementation, and other factors as well. There is a way that we all can tell no matter how different our bodies react. After a workout you will get sore (if you have worked your body beyond what it is used to) this soreness is due to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). We used to think this was due to lactic acid build up in the muscle. This philosophy has been debunked. Lactic acid is what causes the burning sensation when working the muscle and the "my legs feel like jello" feeling for a few hours to a day after the workout. It also is what disrupts the firing of the synapses in the muscle and causes that muscle failure where you just can't get that last rep of bench press up. A day or more after the workout soreness starts to set in the muscle. That soreness is the (DOMS) or the micro fiber tairs that happened due to your work out. It is during this sore period that your muscles are experiencing inflamation which is the body healing itslef. Your muscles are not recovered until that soreness is gone. When that soreness is gone, then it is time to hit that muscle with another rigorous workout. This question also brings up the question of overtraining. In my opinion, the only way that you can "overtrain" is if you are training a muscle that is still sore and rebuilding itself from a previous workout. I disagree with people that think they can look and someones workout routine and say, "that is overtraining." It may or may not be depending on a person's experience level, i.e. a newbie or a seasoned lifter. As long as you allow your muscles to recover from your workout then hit them as hard as you want! It's important to remember we do not build muscle in the gym, we tair them down. The growth happens when we rest and recover. There are supplements and a healthy diet that can help you to recover faster. Protein, BCAA's, EAA's, L-Glutamine (most abundant amino acid), and Creatine supplements cand speed your recovery time. So in conclusion, work out and work out harder than you did the work out before, rest your muscles until the soreness is gone and then repeat this process and you will grow!!!
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    Originally Posted by RockCrab View Post
    OP's gone or figured it out. This is two years old.
    This is true, OP may be gone, but there are still people who might benefit from this thread.
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    Smile Just..

    Train one day off one day on. As mentioned it literally takes weeks and weeks for your body to be 'fully repaired' after an intense workout session. You will never be 100% recovered, but recover enough to rip those muscles again. Don't workout the same muscle within a week to that intensity.
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  26. #26
    Registered User brusmani's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bbruss77 View Post
    Sceintifically this could be answered that on a cellular level this happens and protein synthesis accelerates the speed of blah blah blah... Since the avergae Joe, which is most of us who are not Doctors nor hold a doctorate degree on this subject matter (those who do God bless you), we must rely on what knowledge we have attained and what common sense we hopefully have. It is true that we are all different and recover at different rates depending on our fitness level, our metabolism, our diet, our supplementation, and other factors as well. There is a way that we all can tell no matter how different our bodies react. After a workout you will get sore (if you have worked your body beyond what it is used to) this soreness is due to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). We used to think this was due to lactic acid build up in the muscle. This philosophy has been debunked. Lactic acid is what causes the burning sensation when working the muscle and the "my legs feel like jello" feeling for a few hours to a day after the workout. It also is what disrupts the firing of the synapses in the muscle and causes that muscle failure where you just can't get that last rep of bench press up. A day or more after the workout soreness starts to set in the muscle. That soreness is the (DOMS) or the micro fiber tairs that happened due to your work out. It is during this sore period that your muscles are experiencing inflamation which is the body healing itslef. Your muscles are not recovered until that soreness is gone. When that soreness is gone, then it is time to hit that muscle with another rigorous workout. This question also brings up the question of overtraining. In my opinion, the only way that you can "overtrain" is if you are training a muscle that is still sore and rebuilding itself from a previous workout. I disagree with people that think they can look and someones workout routine and say, "that is overtraining." It may or may not be depending on a person's experience level, i.e. a newbie or a seasoned lifter. As long as you allow your muscles to recover from your workout then hit them as hard as you want! It's important to remember we do not build muscle in the gym, we tair them down. The growth happens when we rest and recover. There are supplements and a healthy diet that can help you to recover faster. Protein, BCAA's, EAA's, L-Glutamine (most abundant amino acid), and Creatine supplements cand speed your recovery time. So in conclusion, work out and work out harder than you did the work out before, rest your muscles until the soreness is gone and then repeat this process and you will grow!!!
    Great answer!
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  27. #27
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    Originally Posted by redwings_snipe View Post
    48 hours and they should be recovered, but i only work a muscle group once a week and give that group a full week
    I'm right there with redwings.. made the most gains from fully letting my rotors and muscles rest.
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  28. #28
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    Recovery

    Hi all, I do not know how to reply on these threads so I typed this at the top. Your advice would be appreciated. I am female and just started training again about a month ago. I have lifted weights and done HIT cardio off and on for years. Recenlty, I started on a Pro 6 creatine blend from GNC. The stuff is amazing and after just 3 days of taking it, I had so much power at the gym that I felt like superwoman. This past Tuesday, I lifted 2 times the weight I was doing before the creatine and was able to go up in weight on a few arm machines that take forever for me to increase on due to that part of my arm being weaker, and I did all of this with ease. Creatine almost acts like a pain killer and you hardly feel the burn in the gym so I pushed myself hard (without injury). First day, I was fine, 2nd day, feel like I have taken a full body beating with a bat. Not in unbearable pain, but very sore. In fact it hasnt been bad enought to even take Ibuprofen or Tylenol, but bad enough that I cant work the muscles. 3rd day, still real sore. Is this normal? I feel like I did not over do it but in fact was finally able, with the help of the creatine, to do an intense enough lift session to get some real results.

    I plan to workout tomorrow, but that means my recovery took 3 days. Is it better to do less intense and workout every day or every other day (rotating muscle groups of course) or to do what I am doing and just expect in time my recovery will be quicker than 3 days as I get stronger and do this more?

    Thanks for your advice.

    Originally Posted by JD_Johannes View Post
    Everyone's recovery abilities vary and they change over time.

    These days, I do well thrashing each body part once a week. Just a few years ago, I could get away with a little more frequency.

    Some people will need a little more time, some people less time.

    What I do is keep track of the lean tissue diameter of my upper arm.

    I measure the circumference of my upper arm in millimeters. Then I measure the millimeters of fat thickness with a set of body fat calipers.

    Divide the circumference by Pi (3.14) and you have total diameter. Subtract the fat thickness and I have a rough measure of lean tissue diameter to quantify if I am building muscle.

    Of course these days I'm on the 'couple millimeters a year' plan.

    If you use some quantifiable measurements you can find the frequency, volume and intensity that will allow you to make steady progress.
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  29. #29
    Registered User Kosz216's Avatar
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    Body by Science

    I've been told it takes 5-10 days to truely recover. So on average 7 days?
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  30. #30
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    Originally Posted by Kosz216 View Post
    I've been told it takes 5-10 days to truely recover. So on average 7 days?
    Read Glenn Pendlay's response above. If you don't know who he is, perhaps you have done a "pendlay row" at some stage...
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