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  1. #1
    Registered User RandyMcFlab's Avatar
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    3 days rest going to hinder progress?

    I am a novice lifter, apart from some lifting in my 20s I have not done anything for the past 12 odd years..I am currently trying to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. start weight 310lbs current weight 270lbs. I eat approx 2k calories a day.

    I have been weight lifting for about 8 weeks now. In this time my strength has over doubled. Full body workout doing sets of 6 - 10

    I am noticing that i need way more rest than in my 20s - like 3 days off after each workout! Part of me is saying thats way to much i should never need more than two days rest - the other part is saying strength has over doubled, reps or weight is going up each session..Why change?

    Is this 3 days rest period likely to hinder progress as things go on? I am assuming a plateu is coming soon as strength unlikely to keep increasing on a calorie deficit..But when i tried having a day less rest i did not progress.

    So is three days rest too much? I do lift intensely and I am wondering if i should carry on as i am or lower intensity enough that I can go again after a 2 day rest.
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  2. #2
    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    Everybody is different, but without knowing your program it's tough to give any advice. It's possible that you are doing too much volume per session, thus the extra fatigue. It's possible that you don't really need three days -- being stiff and sore is not enough in itself to put off a workout session. Many times that kind of workout actually helps get through sore periods.

    It's possible that you're still acclimating, and that the soreness will go away soon. Or, it may be that this is simply how your body responds and always will, and this is the right approach for you. Long term, though, I doubt it.

    All that said, you've made good progress so far. Why change? Because newbie gains ALWAYS slow down eventually, and it will probably happen to you soon. You will need to find a long-term, sustainable, enjoyable program that will provide you with gradual progression that you can keep going back to. You need enough intensity and volume combined with enough rest. The first 8 weeks have gone well, but that's not a guide to what will happen next.

    At your age, most people are able to sustain an every other day workout. I'm going on 65 and 3 days a week is fine for me. And I'm far from genetically gifted. Take a look at your exercise program, share it with us if you like, but at least compare it with other successful protocols, many of which you will find in the stickies of the "Workouts" forum. You may find it's unsustainable long term.

    Ideally, working out out 3 times a week should give you more total volume, and ultimately more growth than the slightly less than 2 days per week system you're on now.

    But again, everybody's different, and what you're doing may keep working, until it doesn't any more. You can wait until that happens and then figure out what to do next, or start planning a more systematic approach to your training now.


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  3. #3
    Registered User RandyMcFlab's Avatar
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    Thanks for that ElrondHubbard!

    Im pretty sure its not a volume thing..I workout at home and use only dumbells. workouts are three sets of 6 - 10.....Overhead press,benchpress,dumbell row, and then either goblet squats or deadlift. Appart from maybe doing one set of tricep kickbacks or arm curls right at the end thats it.

    I am sure this is not an optimal workout, but I am confined to working out at home with dumbells only. Good thing is I have bought a fairly good selection of hex dumbells and can add where needed. Happy to buy a barbell for the deadlifts when I can actually find one on sale!

    If theres nothing wrong with what im doing I guess i will continue as is for now and then mix it up a bit when things stop progressing.
    Last edited by RandyMcFlab; 07-07-2020 at 08:11 AM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Luclin999's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RandyMcFlab View Post

    I am noticing that i need way more rest than in my 20s - like 3 days off after each workout! Part of me is saying thats way to much i should never need more than two days rest - the other part is saying strength has over doubled, reps or weight is going up each session..Why change?
    If you are trying to lose fat and gain muscle then that is part of the problem right there.

    Generally, the two goals require you to either be in a caloric deficit (to lose fat) or a caloric surplus (to build muscle).

    Right now you can get away with doing both because you are both a new lifter and have a large amount of fat to draw extra energy from however there is a limit to how much muscle you will be able to gain over time while in a caloric deficit and once you hit that point you will stop seeing increases and will have to focus on maintaining whatever muscle mass you have until you manage to lose the fat.

    You also mention that you are eating "2000 calories a day" but don't reference the macronutrient values of the food you are taking in. You need to be consuming enough protein for muscle development/maintenance as well as fats for metabolic functions each day. Failing to do that could definitely cause recovery issues from lifting. At 2000 calories/day your macros should be something like: Protein: 171, Fat: 70g carbs: 171 (carbs being the one macro that you can swap out for more fats or proteins if you like).
    ~ Like Tae-Kwon-Leap, my goals are not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Probably not.
    Your using the instinctive principle which works well for individuals that know their body and themselves better than an average person.
    If you know the signs of overtraining and not being fully recovered then listen to them.
    Usually the stronger you get the more recovery time needed for nervous system and muscles.
    You may want to consider low intensity active recovery like walking or riding a bike on those days you rest from weight training.
    Stretching and mobility work wouldn't be bad either.
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  6. #6
    Registered User RandyMcFlab's Avatar
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    Appreciate all the advice. Will start some stretching as I need to do some posture correction, I figure this may be easier after I have lost some weight but can make a start now.

    I get around 150 grams of protein a day, I dont focus on macros really just protein level and how many calories I have. I also have a good multi vitamin and fish oil caps 3x a day. (im trying to keep it simple as i seem to be able to make this a permanent lifestyle change doing it this way - as i progress I can tweak it more though)

    Will carry on as I am for now.
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  7. #7
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    I find I generally perform better and can lift heavier with 3 days rest between body parts, rather than 2 days rest.

    I train back, chest/shoulders and legs on different days so I will workout several days in a row, but I know that my chest and shoulder workout will be better if my last chest and shoulder workout was 3 days ago rather than 2 days ago. For me, 2 days doesn't seem quite long enough for full recovery.

    I've haven't done a full body workout since my teens so can't really comment on that.
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  8. #8
    AndyLausmax AndyLausmax's Avatar
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    As someone stated earlier, everybody is different. Listen to your body. If you feel you need three days' rest to fully recuperate from training, go for it. Perhaps you can try doing some active recovery between workouts? Active recovery could be cross-training such as team sports, yoga, boxing, etc. Do something you enjoy. Active recovery gives you peace of mind you're recuperating from your gym workouts whilst remaining active at the same time.
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  9. #9
    Registered User xTeTe's Avatar
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    I only lift Mon, Wed, Friday... I can't imagine going more than that now. I feel like I'm doing better with more rest days than when I when I lifted five days a week.
    Amateur boxer turned bodybuilder...

    Hit me up on Sherdog.. TeTe
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  10. #10
    Registered User Halfway's Avatar
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    yeah you'll never get stronger that way

    seriously tho, don't think of rest days as static - I sometimes work out 5 times a week, sometime twice. It all depends on how recovered you feel and other out of gym factors are hugely important as you hit middle age
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