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sorry it as been so long for me to reply I don′t have as much sparer time as I would like to post on this site and I must have missed your earlier post anyway I have the time now so I will answer your question my progress is slow but steady I think the days of me gaining in leaps and bounds are over I believe I′m very close to my genetic potential I′m 5ft 9 250lb I squat with 405lb I have pb deadlift of 484 for 3reps I have benched 290 for 2 on the smiths 880 legpress for 8 I have reach all these weight without the use of any anabolic steroids I have managed to grow 18 1/2 arm and at the monument I do no curls and no pulldowns I only rotate around squats and bench-press and I have been making a rep or so increase every other workout which is not bad progress I will add more days if progress stops below are a few of the posts that I have posted about rest days and why I rest so long between exercises it is hard to add extra days off when you love being in the gym but progress is what we are after and there is no point being in the gym once a week and getting nowhere when you can train once every two weeks or so and be making massive gains at the moment I′m happy with my progress hope this answers your question if you need any more info let me know.
Have a read of this article, I think I have posted it before in a post called ROTATE AROUND ONLY TWO EXERCISES!!!!.
In this post I give all the reasons way I train now once every 21days. Dave staplin the writer of the article below has suggested, that when you are no longer sore you are 35% recovered, so if you are sore for 7days that will mean you need around 20days rest. It is very hard to judge your recovery rate and rest needs, but it is better to rest a little more than not enough, as this will produce no results what so ever. I will try to explain the 3 stages that occur after a workout, and that they all need enough time to produce possitive results.
Stimulus (working the muscles to failure).
After the initial stimulus you need to recover. This will take X number of days, if you train again before recovery is completed you dig into your reserves even more, which will result in overtraining.
After full recovery your body will need X number of days to produce the growth, if you train before the growth is finished you cut short the growth process.
After the growth process as been completed, the body will maintain the new muscle for X number of days before it atrophies, as the extra muscle is not seen to be needed if left unused. So you can workout at any point between the full completion of the growth process and the point at which the muscle starts to atrophy, but how do we now what this point is. To be truthful I don¡ät think anybody knows, but what we do know is that after a workout most can be sore for between 4-8 even more days, and we know that because something is no longer sore, does not mean it is full healed. When a cut on your finger is no longer sore it is still far from fully healed, and then after it has fully healed the next stage is that it will produce scare tissue. So if it takes 4-8 days for the soreness to subside, it may take another 4-8 days to full recover on a microscopic level, and then it may take any where between 2-4days to produce growth nobody really knows. But this is the important point that will make you think…is, that we all know you can take long breaks from training up to six weeks or more, on return to the gym most are as strong or even stronger than before the layoff. So this points to me that we should lean to the side of caution with rest and allow a little longer rather than play it right on the edge. The time between the completed growth process and the point were we start to loose muscle has been proven to be longer than thought. So I will use this as a bit of a safety net and air on the side of caution because its better to allow 5 unnecessary days of rest as it can take six weeks or more of rest before you start to loose muscle. If you only need 15 days rest and you take 20 to be on the safe side, it will not result in muscle loss, only very extended rest time will result in atrophy, it will insure that full recovery/growth has taken place.
Play it safe and make sure you are fully recovered, you have got nothing to loss and every thing to gain.
How¡äs it going? Hope your all well.
I will try to explain how I go about adding rest days. If you read my earlier post about rest days and the process of recovery this should explain why progress slows and eventually stops, if we don¡ät keep adding days as we progress. So here goes..When we first start training lets say that we can recover from a workout in 5 days, then body produces the growth in 4 days total rest 9 days. So as we carry on gaining over only a few workouts our strength has increased, so has the stress involved in the workout, and now recovery takes 6-7days, which only allows 2-3 days for growth not the 4 that is needed and so on you get stronger still and you NEED 8 days to recover, allowing only 1 day for growth (so progress will have really slowed now). You need in most cases around 4 days, and as I said earlier there is no need to play it right on the edge, as after the growth as occurred it will be maintained for up to and over 6 weeks, so we need to keep adding days. There is two ways of doing this, you can add 1-2 days on regular bases so you never go in to your growth days, or you can wait till progress stops and then add 6 days, this then gives you the growth days and a couple of days in the bank so to speak. If progress stops i.e. you are no stronger or weaker from workout to workout, you are allowing enough time to recover but not for growth, so to add 1-2 days is not enough. As I have said in most cases it takes about 4 days for the growth process to be completed, so if you only add 1-2 you are still not allowing full growth to occur. If you add no days and continue to workout you will then eat into all your growth days and that is overtraining, and you will loose strength and become run-down, so don¡ät be afraid to add rest, keep adding days regularly to keep you in a credit with the growth days or wait till growth really slows or stops and add 5-6 days to put you back in a positive balance again. Its like money in the bank, if you keep taking ever increasing amounts of money out (increasing the stress) you need to increase the amount money available (rest available), or you will be using you overdraft (growth days), which is a safety net and can be used but you don¡ät want to use it if you can help it. You can do this by increasing you credit (increasing your rest days) on a regular bases so you never use your overdraft (growthdays) or you can use the overdraft, but don¡ät use it all and become overdrawn as the bank as penalties (overtraining). At this point, the point at which you are just short of your over-draft (just short of over-training) you need a substantial amount of money (rest) to pay back the overdraft (growth days), and a little bit extra to put you back in to a positive balance again (if growth stops add 6 days). I think with training it is easier to allow growth to slow right down or stop, then pay back the growth days in full with little extra, i.e. 6 days or more, as it would be hard to judge when to add a day or two, either way you choose to do it, make sure your not over-drawn. An over-drawn account wont give you any money an over-trained body wont give you growth.
They both need to be in a positive balance, so stay in credit with those growth days my friends, or you will get no where no matter how hard you try!
Ferrari, Yes I can feel sore and out of sorts for between 6-8 days after a workout if I use any big compound exercise like bench, pulldowns, squats or deadlifts as they use a great deal of muscle mass and allow a lot of weight to be used. Obviously it would not take as long if I used, say barbell curls, as the stress on the system will be no where near the stress you can generate with bench or deads. So, yes on most big exercises it takes around 20 days for me to fully recover and show improvement.
getinshape, I¡äm now training every 21 days because that is what is required. I would never just guess my rest! it is what is needed. Remember as Mike says ¡äas we improve and change so do our training requirements we have no choice but to reduce the frequency to continue progressing.¡ä I would love to be in the gym every day but I cant and if I want progress I have no choice, as I said nature sets the terms and the human body needs long recovery times from high intensity stresses longer than most would like to believe!!!
metalman, 21days is not extreme, it is just what is needed. If you can recover in 7-10 days you may not be training hard enough. As for ¡äI will never build any size¡ä – I get stronger every training session, and I¡äm bigger than I have ever been! As for you being ready to train in 7-8days then that is good for you, but does not mean that it would work for most. There are many things which effect recovery like sleep, age, food, water intake, work, hormone levels, the amount weight used in the workout, advanced techniques and the list goes on.
Believe me when you squat 400lb for X number of reps, you do break sweat and the stress is very high. If you are natural this will need alot of recovery time. As for soreness, when soreness as gone, your muscles are no where near recovered. Let me ask if you cut your finger or have server sunburn, when the soreness has gone, are the wounds fully recovered?..NO! they are still there and still need recovery time. They are just no longer sore, but not recovered. You need to allow FULL RECOVERY before you can over compensation can even begin. Mike has said many times, it many need 2-4 days just for overcompensation (growth) never mind recovery. Some people may need 4 weeks or more, and some of Mikes close associates like Doug Mcguff, Dave Staplin, Dave Sears (who I email on occasion) all now believe eventually that we will all needed to reduce to one set and take weeks between workouts. Dave staplin is a completitive body builder and power lifter and he uses one set every three weeks. As you become stronger the stresses grow and you needed more rest, its as simple as that!!! You say that yourself, so why would you find it so hard to believe people can and do need 2-3 even 4 weeks between workouts?
Have a read of one of Dave staplins articles it may change your mind!!!!!!!!
TWO ARTICLES BELOW FROM MIKE, METALMAN, PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THEM YOU MAY RECONSIDER YOUR NEEDS FOR REST!!!!!!
Intensity and Overtraining–Reposted 10/22/02
The cardinal fundamental of bodybuilding science is the principle of intensity, i.e., only by training to a point of momentary muscular failure, where 100 percent intensity of effort is required to complete the last rep, can one be assured that growth is stimulated. And because the magnitude of the demand made by such training on the body¨ªs limited reserve of biochemical resources, or recovery ability, is literally enormous, that training must be cautiously regulated in terms of both volume and frequency – lest it result in overtraining.
Overtraining, dear reader, is not something merely "kinda" or "sorta" negative – it is much worse than that. Overtraining is the worst training mistake a bodybuilder can make; it is precisely that which militates against the desired result. Overtraining, by definition, means performing any more exercise than is minimally required to trigger the growth mechanism into motion. Most bodybuilders today still operate on the notion that their purpose is to discover how many sets they can do, how much they can take or how long they can endure. And such is erroneous because bodybuilding is not aerobic. A bodybuilding workout is not an endurance contest! The actual, literal purpose of a bodybuilder is not to discover how many sets he can endure, but to intelligently do what nature requires merely to trigger the growth mechanism into motion, then get the hell out of the gym, go home, rest and GROW!
Off the Charts–Reposted 8/25/02
Most people¡äs average daily efforts are minimal in intensity, until they reach that point in the day when doing a set of heavy Barbell Squats to failure. Then. . . .!
Heavy Duty, high-intensity training is very demanding; more demanding, in fact, than most realize, until they try it. Such training certainly isn¡ät easier than volume training, as some have wrongly asserted. It is much more demanding than volume training; which is why it is more productive; and why some are reluctant to engage in it. However, training to failure need not be feared, it is not an apocalyptic experience. Most, like myself, find training to failure to be an exhilarating experience; and once having done it find it impossible to go back to the blind, non-theoretical, volume approach. Such training isn¡ät so very demanding, however, that it should scare away anyone, perhaps except the timorous, namby-pamby types; those quivering, quaking neurotics who never developed enough life-assertive self-respect to ever engage in any heavy physical exertion their whole lives.
The following may help you better understand just how demanding Heavy Duty is, and why only one set need be performed. "Imagine a straight horizontal line, drawn across a piece of paper from left to right, representing zero effort. If you were to graph your daily efforts — getting out of bed, driving to work, walking up stairs, doing aerobics — off of that flat line, again going from left to right, it would be a sinusoidal wave of minimal, fluctuating amplitude. Then you come to that juncture in the day where you perform ONE set of heavy Barbell Squats to failure–and the low amplitude sine wave takes a sudden, dramatic departure straight up, off the paper and across the street!"
"The distance from the flat line to the apex of the spike represents not only how much more severe, or intense, the effort involved in the set of Squats is but, also, the much greater degree to which the body¡äs limited reserve of resources are used up, as a result of brief, high-intensity exercise." (Chapter Three of my book, Heavy Duty I)
The crucial importance of strictly limiting the volume of high-intensity muscular effort might be made even more clear when looked at in terms of the body¡äs capacity for coping with stress. (Bodybuilding science, remember, is the science of high-intensity, anaerobic exercise, stress physiology.) While we are exposed to multitudinous forms of stress every day, three more readily recognizable ones are: high-intensity sunlight on the skin, friction on the palms of the hands and that of high-intensity exercise on the muscles.
Up to a very definite point, exposure to intense ultra-violet sunlight will lead to the formation of a tan. One minute more exposure than that required by nature to stimulate suntan development, however, results in a burn. Carried to radical extremes, overexposure to the sun¡äs rays will cause stroke, poisoning and death.
The formation of a tan is the result of a compensatory build-up of the body designed to allow us to cope more successfully with the same stress in the future; which, is to say, with less disturbance of the body¡äs limited reserve of resources. The burn is an example of a reverse process, one of depletion; instead of building up a protective barrier (tan), the body decompensated and lost tissue (burned).
The buildup of a callous on the palm of the hand is the result of a similar process. The skin of the palms is generally thicker than the skin on other parts of the body to protect the palms from regular contact with abrasive objects. But the repeated handling of extremely rough objects, like the knurled grip of a barbell, may be too abrasive for even the palms to endure without breaking down.
If friction is abrasive enough, the formation of a callous will be stimulated. And if the amount of friction is not excessive so as to wear away the callous as it is forming, a callous will, indeed, be produced. While the friction has to be abrasive enough to stimulate callous formation, too much would cause the skin to wear away completely and become lacerated.
Exercise, too, is a form of stress. Intense exercise can result in the compensatory buildup of muscle tissue, which enables the body to cope with the same stress in the near future, with less disturbance of the body¡äs limited reserve of resources. When carried on beyond the least amount required to stimulate the adaptive response, the excess drains the reserve of resources needed for recovery and, thus, prevents the buildup of added muscle tissue.
The amount of stress that the body can successfully cope with is directly related to the intensity of the stress. While the stress must be intense enough to stimulate an adaptive response – (with no amount of stress below the required level will producing the desired effect)–only a very small amount of high-intensity stress is required to stimulate the buildup of new tissue. And the greater the intensity, the less the body will tolerate before overuse atrophy sets in.