How Important are Rest Days for Bodybuilding
Getting the time to rest between hard intense workouts is the most important factor when your objective is to gain muscle. You will never be able to increase your strength and the amount of muscle that you hold on your frame if you are not allowing yourself the correct recovery time.
This rest and recovery time should not just be an after-thought when bodybuilding but should be the main thrust of the reason that you train so hard. When you work out you are breaking down muscle called catabolism. When you are resting between these tough workouts the muscle tissue is repairing called anabolism.
It needs to be added here that this recuperation and recovery from those heavy workouts needs to also be aided with the correct nutrition that you are getting on a regular basis. However as mentioned above the correct macro and micro-nutrients will not ensure the full anabolic effect if are not spending enough time resting from weights.
Every body is different and we all require different amounts of time for rest and recover from a hard workout. The very popular 3 day split routine where you are training 6 times a week can often lead to overtraining and muscle loss. The appearance of smooth flat muscles is because of the glycogen depletion that occurs and your muscles have not had enough time to fully recover.
The best way to discover how much time your own body needs to recover from a hard and intense workout is to rest 72 hours and then see if you can go a little heavier than you did in the previous workout. Some bodybuilders even try 96 hours to see what difference that makes.
One needs to realize that the 3 day split or double split routine comes out of the professional bodybuilders hand-book who are more than likely taking steroids which speeds up recuperation dramatically. We need to examine what training we are doing and what is our own ideal resting period to gain strength and muscle on a continuous basis.