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Should I be resting?

RESTING

In a perfect world where eggs are plentiful and our skin is always tanned, it would be ideal to be able to handle training until exhaustion everyday until our muscle fibres tear like wrapping paper on your 6th birthday. Our name would be on the monthly ‘gym junkie’ chart and our bodies would be aching, but our muscles would recover just in time to push even harder.

Unfortunately, we sometimes learn the hard way that occasional rest and recuperation is necessary for progression.

For years we despised the idea of taking a day off the gym, so we wouldn’t, often at the expense of sleep and physical fitness. Only in the last couple of years has it become apparent that it is important to listen to your body. The twinge on your arm and the pain in your knee can be warning signs of things to come should you not learn to rest.

The one thing Frank Zane mentioned that he would change about his training in hindsight is the inclusion of an extra rest day per week.

Lately, after years of undertaking a 4 or 3 day split and refusing to take more than a handful of days of per year, I find myself unable to push through the grinding in my shoulder when performing dips or the pain in my knee when squatting. Take the ability to squat away from a guy doing legs and you subsequently affect his sanity.

Through the year, it is important to incorporate a few periods a multiple day or week long rests as well as brief periods of reduced training volume.

What should your year of training look like?
Whilst this will differ slightly from person to person, we recommend a similar structure to the below.

6 weeks of hard training for a specific fat loss/ muscle gain goal (regardless of split*) including 1 - 2 rest days per week if necessary.
1 full rotation rest.

6 weeks of hard training for a specific fat loss/ muscle gain (regardless of split*) including 1 - 2 rest days per week if necessary.
1 full rotation rest.

6 weeks of training on a longer split (eg. drop from 4 day to 5 day split).
1 full rotation rest.

5 weeks of training on a longer split.
1 FULL WEEK REST.

6 weeks of hard training for a specific fat loss/ muscle gain (regardless of split*) including 1 - 2 rest days per week if necessary.
1 full rotation rest.

6 weeks of hard training for a specific fat loss/ muscle gain (regardless of split*) including 1 - 2 rest days per week if necessary.
1 full rotation rest.

6 weeks of training on a longer split.
1 full rotation rest.

6 weeks of hard training for a specific weight loss/ gain goal (regardless of split*) including 1 - 2 rest days per week if necessary.
1 FULL WEEK REST.

*For those starting out, a 5 day split is ideal. 5 day splits can certainly still be beneficial to the experienced trainer by simply tweaking the exercise and rep volume.
4 day splits may suit the more experienced trainer.
A 3 day split can be particularly taxing and usually optimal for advanced trainers and fat loss.


In summary:
Train hard but let your body rest.
Choose the right split for you - Classic bodybuilding splits will depend on experience and goal.
If you’re injured or at risk of injury, sort it out before it becomes an issue.

For more information on training splits, exercise regimes and nutrition head to https://morethanmuscle.com.au/products/customised-meal-and-training-plan for a customised meal and training plan.

Happy resting.