It can be difficult for a natural bodybuilder or person lifting weight for better fitness to determine how often they should be blasting their muscles. Most of the problem lies with the massive amount of information available. There are training routines from all sorts of people, both professional and amateur lifters.
Along with that, there are plenty of books and lots of theories about how fast recovery can occur and what the optimum recovery times.
Since it is all so confusing what should you do?
People are like Sheep
Generally, people follow the crowd. For a long time EVERYONE trained a body part twice a week. Before that everyone believed training morning and night was the most effective method. Now the general theory is that once a week is sufficient.
It is rather frustration that since a majority tends to think in one particular way then that is how it should be.
The trick is to not just be like the sheep; you need to question and consider everything. Then as you learn it becomes a matter of listening to your own body.
Why do people think that all of those different training styles worked? The answer is because they did work, at least for some people. Many bodybuilders excelled on twice-a-day training or training body parts twice a week. Of course many of those people also use a very specific supplementation program so a lot of things work when your recovery is artificially enhanced.
The Secret is Feel
Some people recover faster than others. Some workouts are more intense and you damage muscle tissue a lot more. Have you ever worked out so hard that you have been sore a week later? Of course you have. In that case it would make perfect sense that your body needs more rest.
However other times you probably have given less than 100%. Your body might rebound much more quickly and be ready to workout a few days later.
The trick is learning to listen to your body and understand when it is ready to train. There used to be a training principle called ‘instinctive training’ that applied to that along with how you worked your body. More than likely you have applied it before.
Think of those days when you get up and feel amazing. There are no aches, no muscle soreness, and you actually feel like your muscles are bigger and stronger. More than likely they are because your body is letting you know that you are completely rested and ready. Compare that to other days when you are tired and sore. Obviously that is not the time to charge back into the gym.
You only grow during recovery.
Less is always More
The bottom line is to workout less. Take an extra day here and there in your training program and don’t feel guilty about it. Do it as a trial and notice how much better you feel and stronger your workouts will get. A lot of people end up constantly overtraining and not growing because they get so caught up in being at the gym and working out. “Well everyone else is doing it!” Mentally they can’t bear to take a break, but it is those breaks that add up to the changes in our bodies we work so hard to try and get.