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How Many Days Should You Rest Between Workouts?

blog Oct 18, 2023

How Many Days Should You Rest Between Workouts?

Finding the perfect balance between training and recovery is crucial for making progress and avoiding burnout in your fitness journey. Rest days play a significant role in allowing your body to recover and rebuild after intense workouts. But how many days should you rest between your training sessions? Let's break it down.

  1. Tailoring Rest Days to Your Training Split

The number of days you rest between workouts depends on your training split. If you follow an upper-lower training split, where you train four days a week, with two upper body and two lower body sessions, it's essential to space out your training appropriately.

For example, if you have an upper body session on Monday and a lower body session on Tuesday, consider taking Wednesday as a rest day before jumping back into the next upper body session on Thursday. This provides about 48 hours of recovery between each upper body session.

Likewise, you can schedule your second lower body day on Friday or Saturday to allow ample time for recovery between those sessions.

  1. Rest Duration and Intensity

The ideal rest duration between workouts can vary based on the intensity of your training. Generally, a rest period of 48 to 72 hours is recommended to optimize recovery and muscle adaptation.

However, it's crucial to consider the intensity and volume of your workouts. If you perform high-intensity, high-volume training, you may need a full 72 hours to recover fully. On the other hand, if your workouts are less intense or lower in volume, 48 hours might be sufficient.

  1. Understanding Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a common experience after intense workouts. It refers to the muscle soreness and discomfort you feel 24 to 72 hours after exercising.

Experiencing DOMS occasionally, especially if you're new to training or returning after a break, is normal. However, constantly feeling excessively sore might indicate that you're overdoing it and not giving your muscles enough time to recover.

  1. Structured Programming for Optimal Recovery

Having a structured training program is essential to ensure proper recovery. Following a well-designed program with specific intentions behind each workout helps avoid overtraining and allows your muscles to recover effectively.

Randomly following workouts from social media or other sources may lead to overworking certain muscle groups, hindering your progress rather than supporting it.

  1. Listen to Your Body

Ultimately, the number of days you rest between workouts should be guided by how your body feels. Pay attention to your body's signals and adjust your training schedule accordingly.

If you're constantly feeling fatigued, overly sore, or lacking motivation, it may be a sign that you need more rest between sessions. On the other hand, if you feel energized and ready to tackle your next workout, you might be on the right track.

Conclusion: Balancing Training and Recovery

Finding the right number of rest days between workouts is essential for optimizing your fitness progress and overall well-being. Whether you're following an upper-lower split or a different training program, ensure you have enough time to recover between sessions.

Remember that recovery isn't solely about the number of days you rest; it also involves proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep. Prioritize self-care and listen to your body to achieve the best results on your fitness journey.

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