T Nation

Recovery Speed

Hi,
I was wondering if the recovery speed is
proportional to the size of the muscle.
In other words,if I workout a very large muscle (example:legs) will it take more time to recover than a small muscle (example:rear delts) ?!

It sounds “logic” but I don’t know…

There’s this big guy at the gym who told me that since I’m very small I can recover a lot faster than big guys…this is why I’m asking about the recovery speed…

I dont think so I think the muscles that take longer to heal take longer to heal because you dont work them as often legs usualy.

[quote]Horazio wrote:

There’s this big guy at the gym who told me that since I’m very small I can recover a lot faster than big guys…this is why I’m asking about the recovery speed…

[/quote]

Yeah I think people who are new have to workout more often to achieve the same results a more experienced lifter would get considering they are much more muscles are efficient

So if the big guy only benches once a week but he says you can do it 2-3 times without much trouble this is why

I’ve read that this is true from Ian King.

I’ll take his word for it.

[quote]Horazio wrote:
Hi,
I was wondering if the recovery speed is
proportional to the size of the muscle.
In other words,if I workout a very large muscle (example:legs) will it take more time to recover than a small muscle (example:rear delts) ?!

It sounds “logic” but I don’t know…

There’s this big guy at the gym who told me that since I’m very small I can recover a lot faster than big guys…this is why I’m asking about the recovery speed…

[/quote]

Although this sounds logical, I would be wary of this. Different people respond differently to training. Some people take longer to recover, and need that period to grow.

One thing that is certain though, is that as a beginner you can do the exercises a lot more often as your actual muscle capacity isn’t so much being taxed as your CNS is. Once you’ve got the CNS control to really blast your muscles, you’ll find out how much recovery time is right for you, I’d guess.

[quote]Horazio wrote:
Hi,
I was wondering if the recovery speed is
proportional to the size of the muscle.
In other words,if I workout a very large muscle (example:legs) will it take more time to recover than a small muscle (example:rear delts) ?!

It sounds “logic” but I don’t know…

There’s this big guy at the gym who told me that since I’m very small I can recover a lot faster than big guys…this is why I’m asking about the recovery speed…

[/quote]

I can work my biceps into oblivion one day and barely feel it the next. If I squat hard, my legs will remind me of it for up to four days.

Just an observation.

[quote]Horazio wrote:
There’s this big guy at the gym who told me that since I’m very small I can recover a lot faster than big guys…this is why I’m asking about the recovery speed…

[/quote]

I missed this the first time around. No coffe=bad reading skills.

This seems like a fallacy of resoning. The reason I say this is because the size of the muscle is proportinal to the size of the body it is attatched to. This would negate the idea that a bigger person would need more recovery time for the same muscle based simply on size.

Once you take in to consideration training age and the ability for a more well conditioned lifter to exert more force though, It may become true, but that is not based only on the size of the muscle.

So, I would say- It is false to believe that a smaller persons bicep would take less time to recover than a larger persons bicep, based only on size of the person.

[quote]steinnes wrote:
One thing that is certain though, is that as a beginner you can do the exercises a lot more often as your actual muscle capacity isn’t so much being taxed as your CNS is. Once you’ve got the CNS control to really blast your muscles, you’ll find out how much recovery time is right for you, I’d guess.[/quote]

I am quite certain that you have this backwards.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
steinnes wrote:
One thing that is certain though, is that as a beginner you can do the exercises a lot more often as your actual muscle capacity isn’t so much being taxed as your CNS is. Once you’ve got the CNS control to really blast your muscles, you’ll find out how much recovery time is right for you, I’d guess.

I am quite certain that you have this backwards.

[/quote]

You think? My experience as a relative beginner is that I was really sore in the beginning few weeks of training – and I will get really sore if I don’t train for a few weeks, and start again. However once I’m into my routine I’m not getting as sore as before, and not needing as much time to recover. I wrote this off to me mostly working on my CNS these days.

Some friends of mine who have been lifting longer say that after a year or so of consistent lifting their pattern changed, so they can blast a muscle group well once per week and make progress, whereas before they had to do it twice per week.

In either case, I am as I said a beginner myself, so my knowledge is far from comprehensive, but I figured for the first year or so it would be mostly CNS improvements, and after that, better muscle fiber recruitment, and you’d really find what kind of pattern works for you – different bodytypes etc. I’ve heard people say for example that ectomorphs need more time for their muscles to grow, than mesomorphs for example, but in the first year I’d suspect anyone can hit most bodyparts twice per week because of the CNS being the limiting factor more often than not?

Anyone care to set me straight? :slight_smile:

I have a book at home, by Fred Hatfield I believe, that discussed this very topic. He did say that different muscles required different recovery size. He even made an elaborate split routine where you might work certain muscles like quads every 5 days and others, like abs and calves everyday. I will see if I can find that book tonight.
As far as recovery for experience; I believe a newer lifter can lift more often because he has not “learned” to give the same effort per workout as a seasoned lifter can. He does not “wear out” his muscles as much, thus they recover more quickly.

Your core is a huge part of your body, I doubt it takes ten days for abs to recover. Just my two cents; however, generally major muscles take a shorter time to heal since your body adapts to the amount of muscle damage

For A person, his smaller muscle groups recover faster than his larger muscle groups, so for an individual, recovery is a function of muscle size (and other factors which are probably the same since we’re looking at an individual) When comparing two different people, these “other” factors can be wildly different so I don’t think you can extend the same argument.