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  • Rest Days

    Ok, I'm completely willing to accept this may be a silly question. I used to run 5-6 days a week, 7 miles a day, and usually took one rest day a week. I don't remember ever overtraining.

    Now, after going Primal I got rid of the busted down dreadmill, and don't do the heavy running anymore. Been working out off and on since then, and have recently *really* gotten very into the idea of building some fabulous muscle and getting very fit, rather than focusing on just losing weight.

    Current routine is 30-Day Shred, alternating levels so I'm doing different stuff day to day. Random bouts of burpees, swinging the hammer at work, sprints into the grocery store, stuff like that. Been taking 2 rest days a week. Wednesday and Saturday/Sunday.

    Question is, I'm thinking about skipping my rest day tomorrow and working out every day until I feel like I NEED a break. Any problem with doing this, or should I continue to take days off regularly, even though I feel like I'm fully capable of working out continuously?

    That and... how do you know when you're pushing yourself too much? I knew what it felt like with running, but with the whole weights/sprints/short cardio, I'm not sure. This is sort of a new arena for me.

  • #2
    I don't know the official fitness answer, but Mark seems to be a big proponent of listening to your body.

    Besides, your body doesn't know that we run on a 7 day cycle! I think your plan makes sense. Curious about how long it takes before your body demands the rest!

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    • #3
      I only rest one day a week on a regular basis and I do fine. If you find yourself getting exhausted, take the next day off, whether it's your regular day off or not.

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      • #4
        Rest days are over-rated. Listen to your body!

        I wrote about the overtraining myth on my blog a while back.
        "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

        "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

        My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

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        • #5
          I do crossfit 5-6 days a week. I find I need more rest days than I feel like I do and have to take 3-4 days off once a month or 6 weeks.

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          • #6
            I think you can safely train everyday and NOT overtrain provided you have some days of lower intensity and you're not working the same tired or sore muscle groups day in and day out. I have no idea what 30 day shred is like. I think one rest day is plenty if you're training smart. If you're running yourself to the ground everyday you'll feel the over training. Train smart, not hard... though sometimes hard is smart.. you get it.
            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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            • #7
              Well I usually find more improvement in my strength after taking two days off, personally. I side with Mark on this - couple / three times a week is ideal, hit it very hard 3x and you won't feel like doing more. It feels weird to have such rapid fitness gains doing no more than 3x /week, but that's what i've been experiencing. From 100 lbs to 165 lbs on the squat in 6 weeks, similar gains in other exercises. Took a break (sore neck area) and sprinted yesterday for the first time in a couple months, and it was my best sprint ever I'm sure.
              I'm no expert on "overtraining" but do believe that if you have really worked your muscles, they prefer a good 48 hours to heal before you work them again. I mean, does anyone on this board know more than Mark Rippetoe about muscle building?
              If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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              • #8
                Great thoughts. Two days in a row of rest is better than one then? I do know I need heavier weights, which will definitely make me feel like I'm really working out more. Part of the problem now could be that I'm not getting the most from my current workout. I know I'm durable and can handle a lot more than I've been doing. Longer rests less often perhaps?

                (Shred is basically a rotation in a 20 minute workout. 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs. There are three sets of this. It works all the muscle groups, but there are different movements in each set, and each level.)

                Still would appreciate more opinons, thoughts, suggestions.

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                • #9
                  I think if you lift to failure, or close to it, you need time to recover.
                  Get some heavier shit to play with!
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                  • #10
                    I think that strength training definitely requires that you not overwork muscles, but if you're rotating your workouts and not running out of steam then you're going to be just fine. Personally, I normally workout every week day and sometimes one of the weekend days as well. Some muscle groups I'll hit more than once a week while other lifts I'll only do once. (like dead lifts)
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                    • #11
                      I think it's all a matter of intensity. The harder you train the less often you have to train.

                      Then again, on a program like Power to the People you deadlift 5 times a week, and deadlifts are no cake walk, even if you're only doing two sets of 5 reps per session.

                      I think we should organize a mass suicide because all this back and forth is just not worth it.
                      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                      • #12
                        Jim Wendler (5/3/1) advocates twice a week strength training for people with busy lives. Combine that with thrice weekly conditioning and that's plenty for most people. Only bodybuilder types or those who need to lose a ton of weight need to be doing more.

                        I've been on his 5/3/1 protocol for a few months now, and have yet to not add weight each week. Best strength program available.

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                        • #13
                          The heavier/harder I train, the more rest I take, so when I'm lifting & sprinting super hard, I only workout once or twice a week. When I'm not, I can workout at a more moderate pace indefinitely.

                          I've found that working out heavier/harder and less often actually has a much better effect on my muscles than working out at more moderate and more frequent intervals.

                          That said, if your body wants to train every day, let it! It'll let you know when it's time to rest. Don't forget to keep sleeping a lot.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Diana Renata View Post
                            (Shred is basically a rotation in a 20 minute workout. 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs. There are three sets of this. It works all the muscle groups, but there are different movements in each set, and each level.)

                            Still would appreciate more opinons, thoughts, suggestions.
                            Based on this routine, I think you will be hard-pressed to over train if you do it seven days a week or until your body says enough. You are looking at a total of a little over 2 hours for the week that your body will be under workout "stress." Breaking it down further, you are looking at 63 minutes a week that your muscles will be lifting heavy things. That is NOT over training. There are muscle heads in the gym that pump iron for more than 63 minutes each day!

                            You will be fine. Just listen to your body and if you need a break, take it. You do need to go HEAVY though in order to reap the greatest gains.
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                            • #15
                              I think the 30 day shred is too easy to give you the results you are looking for. There is a lot of cardio and easy movement involved. Some of the movements are difficult, but you aren't concentrating on them long enough. I made more significant strength gains when I concentrated on the pushups and planks without throwing in high knees and front kicks.

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