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How Much Rest Between Workouts?

If the weight is continuing to go up, is that good enough? At what point do you say “I need MORE rest”?

Is that the best metric?

Actually not a bad question.

People are successful training six days a week. People are successful training two days a week.

So the answer, as usual, is that it depends.

The weight going up isn’t actually that useful an indicator at all. You can get substantially bigger and stronger using the same weight for a fairly long time. Over that time you will find yourself struggling to complete as many reps as before with that same weight. It will also feel much heavier. Yet, you will be stronger.

As far as I am aware, all progress in what we do with weights is governed by generating fatigue and adapting to it. The trick is to manage that fatigue so you accumulate enough to force adaptation without accumulating so much that you get hurt.

There are lots of different ways to do this. I deload regularly. Other people switch their main exercises frequently. Both work, and those are just two examples. Personally I prefer deloading regularly because it requires less self assessment. I deload every fourth week, whether I feel like I need it or not.

Most good systems are built with fatigue management already incorporated. How that is implemented will vary, depending on how the system has you training but the principle is the same.

One thing I will say is that until you have a reasonable amount of experience, you should not be going by feel. It probably takes anywhere between three to five years to learn to accurately read what your body is telling you. That’s where programs and systems come in. They remove the need to think too much, and over time you learn how your body tells you things just by doing what the system tells you.


Thanks for the reply! Would you say someone newer to lifting and moving lower weight would need less recovery then a more experienced lifter? Or would you say there are too many variables?

What mark said.

As much rest as you need but not much more if you wanna make the best gains.

It’ll depend obviously:

say an advanced really strong lifter is gonna generate more fatigue from their overloading workout than you. So if they were to train hard twice a week the second session of the week and next week would suffer for being underrecovered. So they do a heavy day and light day for example.

Or another one would be your individual recovery ability. Some people would be genetically better at recovering and have less stressful lives so will recovery better and faster.

Depending on the lift too say a heavy deadlift will take longer to recover from than a heavy bench

And more “it’ll” depend stuff.

As for finding the right amount of days between workouts for you it’s gotta be trial and error because there’s a lot of variables. You should look at:

Performance: when you are underrecovered usually drops or heavy weights that normally feel alright are heavy as shit

Soreness: while soreness isn’t indicative of gains and can be trained through to some degree if one is excessively sore going into an important big workout involving those muscle groups it’s probably not for the best because at least you’ll be distracted the whole time

Try anything from 1-5 days. I doubt you’d need more than that i.e. a body part once a week split.

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Too many variables.

Look, on our team we’ve got everyone from 700+lbs squatters to people who have very little experience. We all train the same way: four days a week, deload every fifth week until you’re over 250 lbs or so, then do every fourth. We all make progress. All we do is train, eat with a damn purpose and sleep as much as we can (which doesn’t mean a lot, just what we can).

Follow your program as closely as you can. Deload when it tells you, take days off when it tells you. Eat mostly good food and lots of it. The rest will pretty much take care of itself.



Your posts here should be pinned for beginners. Spot on stuff. :+1:

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So if your plan doesn’t have a scheduled de load, what are some things to be on the lookout for? Loss of reps is one I’ve heard so far.

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Your plan should have scheduled deloads really, unless it’s a short term plan (maybe six weeks).

If it doesn’t, grip strength is a good indicator. So is vertical jump and resting heart rate on waking from what I’ve heard recently from @littlesleeper.

Loss of reps in a top set at a weight you’ve done before isn’t great, because all that tells you is that you’re fatigued. It doesn’t tell you whether it’s enough to warrant deloading. Same with rep PRs.

If you’re failing to complete multiple sets of reps, that’s probably a better indicator.


Very good posts. You can deload many ways. drop intensity, drop volume, drop frequency. One way I like to do is keep my P/P/L routine and keep exercises and volume the same and just drop frequency. Example

Week 1: Lift 4 days a week
week 2: Lift 4 days a week
Week 3: Lift 5 days a week
Week 4: Lift 3 days a week.

Week 3 is accumulating more fatigue, than recovery. Week 4 is my deload…Everything gets trained once that week and gets 6 days of rest. Another thing you can incorporate on deloads is no barbell work. just get some blood flowing with dB work and cable work. No squats, deadlifts or OH BB pressing.

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