T Nation

Muscle Recovery - Questions


In the past, I was using a routine that has me working each body part once per week. At first it was great because the volume (per part) was higher than I was used to. However, I quickly adapted to it and feel like there's too much time in between sessions (for each part).

On the flip side, I've used full body routines that had me hitting each part every other day. It didn't take long before trying to squat (or hit legs with other movements like lunges and leg presses) got to be a bit of a challenge. If I backed off of the weight, I could squat 3x/week, but then I didn't feel like I was getting my money's worth out of that workout.

Lately I've been using a routine that has me hitting each part once every 5 days and it seems to be just about right. My split is:


So, my question is am I 'normal' for bouncing around in order to find a recovery schedule that fits me both physically and mentally?

Are there any hard and fast rules when it comes to recovery?

Is it possible to plan 'too much' recovery into a routine? (just like it's possible to include too little recovery time)

I like the split I currently have. At times, is it ok to add a few extra sets on the days when I feel exceptionally good? Also, is there any harm in cutting a routine short if my mind is elsewhere or my body feels like it's not recovered enough to complete the routine?

What's the best way to determine if your body has recovered enough to hit the same parts again?

Thanks so much for the advice. I haven't been around here as much as I would have liked, but I've been hit with a wave of motivation like you wouldn't believe.



A life unexamined is not worth living…

Depends on your goals as to what your question is asking.

Bodybuilding or pure strength?


Sorry, should have stated that I suppose. I’m after muscle growth for pure aesthetics, I want to look good for my girlfriend. I’m not a strength athlete, and don’t have any interest in competing. Just a regular Joe who wants his girl to enjoy looking at him…a lot, haha.

Seriously, I’m after muscle growth so I look good and feel good about myself. I have more self confidence and carry myself better when I’m satisfied and happy with how I look, body-wise that is. My bald head and big nose, well, that’s another story. :slight_smile:


Your current split is fine.

The really thought out routine that covers all the bases but is followed with lackluster efforts will produce piss poor results.

A not very thought out routine but is followed with a lot of intensity and passion will reap rewards far greater than the above routine.

What I am trying to say in laymans terms: Whatever you do, do it with conviction.


You’re 100% right. I have a wave of motivation that hit me recently like I’ve never felt before. In a year (maybe less), I want to transform myself so I’m not anything like my current state: 6’2", 190#, and ~18% body fat (according to my Tanita scale). I know those scales aren’t super accurate, but at least I can see the %bf drop as I make progress.