T Nation

If You Aren't Sore Don't Take a Day to Recover?


You should take atleast 1 day off in a 7 day week sore or not right? I thought that was the freakin rules.haha, that's what i do anyway. Seen a bunch of people sayin they only take a day off if there sore. Makes me curious


Why would you not train if you can and feel like it?
Just because the program says you can't?


I take days off as I feel that I need them. Are they a necessity? no. Can someone else really give you a prescribed take to skip? of course not. Are the needed? well, They're not a bad thing, when used intelligently. My training partner and I tend to batter around a lot of terms used around here, and a couple of high school kids who are always asking Corey questions, skipped a few days explaining that they wanted to avoid "overtraining their CNS".

At this point, you have trainees who don't understand what they're doing. In this group is also the one Professional Trainer in my gym who feels that anything more than 1 set of an exercise is counterproductive (and this isn't for advanced BBers, he uses this with his mostly older, overweight female clientle, all of whom do the exact same exercises 52 weeks out of the year!). If you are making gains, and honestly FEEL that you are not ready to train a muscle group again, then take a day, and recover. On the other hand, if you're a little sore, but otherwise raring to go,... then why the hell would you make excuses not to train? I know a guy who never takes days off, hits the weights 7 days a week, and has done so for years, and he's a damn big dude. Obviously his body is able to take it. Yours may be as well, or it may not, but you need to figure it out, not have someone else give you a set day to skip.



There are plenty of days where I feel like I can go to the gym. But after 6+ years of lifting I know that I need a certain amount of off days per week or else my body will not perform the way I expect it to. I've found out that if I don't take a day off, after some time, I start getting run down. At that point it usually takes more than one day off for me to feel normal again. Taking off days keeps me in the gym at full speed more often than if I just go until I physically can't.

And soreness is hardly the best guage of recovered muscles.


This is just like an example of "do this because you are supposed to". With that logic everyone should be benching, squatting, deadlifting etc even if it doesn't work. Thats not how bodybuilding works and if you think soreness is a guage for working out or not you should pick another hobby. The reason why Mike Mentzer does 1 work set, Ronnie does partial reps, and Platz does 10 min squats are all the same. BECAUSE PEOPLE ARENT THE SAME.


I totally agree with this.


I have found my body can take daily training. I've been doing it for months now without detriment. I'm growing and getting stronger. I take a break only if I travel (about 1x a month). My legs are usually the only bodypart that might still be sore when its their turn again. I decided to train them anyway, and they are growing and my lifts are better, so I agree with others who have already pointed out that soreness is not the best test for recovery. I believe it is nervous system more than anything. By the way, I have been using CT's "perfect reps", otherwise, I might not be able to train everyday.


Me too


wow, didn't expect that many good replies. Thanx to mighty stu, bonez and davie. Really cleared it up for me.


This be true. Your body can be fatigued in may other ways (CNS, joint, tendon, etc). Many types of fatigue won't show up until you start getting sick a lot or something breaks or tears (very bad). Muscle soreness is very deceptive. I have hit PRs while sore..plus many times a workout will aid in recovery of sore muscles; or a good warm up will make the soreness all but go away before you begin a workout.

In any case, if you feel like hitting the gym on a rest day maybe you can do something else - a sport, work on a minor muscle that may be weak, work on some advanced Ninja skills or something...go for a walk in the park even.


That's a very relative question. It all depends on the point of time in your training (are you reaching new PR's and having to grind reps?), how much volume / intensity you're doing etc. If you are only doing a few exercises per workout, then of course, you could train much more frequently, like 7 days a week (probably most efficient way of training...although not always practical for some).

Although muscle soreness isn't the deciding factor in how recovered you are, 8 times out of 10 it is because you aren't fully recovered. You can train through the soreness for a while, but it will really "bite you in the ass" if you do consistently. I'm not reffering to the soreness one gets from trying something new, coming back to training after a layoff or from doing high rep sets.

Bottom line; progression is the deciding factor on how often you train, not soreness.


Modok, can you teach me how to train my CNS? I usually just train my muscles :wink: