T Nation

Turn Rest Days Into Growth Days

This was a really useful article that really struck a cord with me. 2 months ago I switched from a 6 day program to a 4 day program and to my surprise I’ve been getting stronger and my joints feel a whole lot better.
I was just curious if you recommend any light physical activity on these growth days like passive stretching,jogging or any recovery methods like sauna?


Don’t do anything that you need to recover from or that will negatively affect performance in the next workiout.

Jogging would be a no-no… walks are fine. Mobility work is fine. Restorative measures are okay too

Hi Couch!

I can train only for max 30 minut dayli.
In my case if I perform 3 times per week full body workout in my basement gym. Only with bodyweight and dummbells for example :
A1. Pull ups
A2. One leg squat
B1. Dumbell military press or dips
B2. One leg deadlift
C1. Swing tabata or farmers walk

This type fo workout is performed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Can I add 15 minut gymnastic skill praktice (planche, L-sit, Front Lever) on off days? For example :
Tuesday - front lever and planche
Thursday - L-sit, manna

Or this will be to much?

Well the problem with that and one thing I learned throughout the years is that your body can become desensitized to training if you do it too often. And when this happens it becomes almost impossible to keep stimulating muscle gains.

Also, even if it is "practice| the advanced gymnastic skills are hard work which is likely just as stressful as your lifting workouts on the body and nervous system. So you will essentially be training eveyr week day (which I don’t recommend) and taking two days off in a row (which I don’t recommend either).

You might be able to pull it off for a while simply because your workouts are short but I still believe that it is not an optimal strategy over the medium and long tern and that your progress will be suboptimal

Ok I understend that. I read somewhere that gymnastic skills need to be praktice often so I become to praktice handstand (3-5 minute on the morning) evryday do you thinkt that this will be to much?

Could you give me some good weekly schedule to perform weight and gymnast workout? If this is not a problem?
Maybe somthing like this ?

Monday : Upper body weight workout
Tuesday: Lower body weight workout
Thursday: Dynamic upper body work + Gymnastic upper body skills
Saturday: Dynamic lower body work + short gymnastic lower body workout

Any complex skill needs to be practiced often. It’s not so much the daily volume that is a problem but the lack of rest days.

Practicing some body weight work at every session is fine, it’s just a matter of having enough rest days in the week.

It’s not my area of expertise. But adding a 10-15 minutes practice session per workout should be fine.

Thank you very much for response!
I will try to do something like 3 days on, 1 off, 2 on, 1 off.
CT because I can only train using dummbells I won’t to ask you about some good exercises and the best reps schema for work only with db? I have bigest problem with lower body.

I just finished writing an article on the best training schedule and one of my rules for maximum progression is not to train more than 2 days in a row and not take 2 days off in a row.

2 on 1 off is great but look like bodybuilder/train like athlete would not fit this template?

re: gymnastics, 10-15 min at begining of session is fine. depends on how intense you go I guess but the better I get with skills the less demanding they are for me

Actually 2 on 1 off doesn’t really work optimally in my experience. 2 on / 1 off / 1 on / 1 off/ 1 on / 1 off is optima… I will soon have an article on that topic.

“look like…” is a program based on more frequent, less demanding sessions. Not the same concept. The schedule I mentioned works best for those who prefer to really train hard at every session without fear of breaking down.

e.g. Layer, 915, Power Look and what I’m currently doing.

Very interesting, so maybe 2 camps of CT style training.

Intense stuff (layers, etc) should do a 1on1 off? Like SGHP/off/incline tilt/off/tbDL/off/lats? Pretty hard to get all the work in with 1 on 1 off. Or you mean 2on/1off/1on/1off/2on/1off (sample week)?

Lower intensity high freq stuff (LLPPL) can do every day. And built for bad just in its own camp haha

And on this optimal training idea, im really curious what you think about anabolic signaling/muscle not responding to training. Mentioned in a few threads (and abs article)

Which would “impair” anabolic signaling more? A typcial heavy, to failure, bodybulding style training or performance?

Is it volume that causes it? Something hormonal?

Really interesting what training exacerbates this and how to avoid/improve (Maybe through supplement/diet)? Thank you

The absolute best split to use with intense work is 2 on/1 off/1on/1off/1on/1off

Monday: training day 1
Tuesday: training day 2
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: training day 3
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Training day 4
Sunday: OFF

How is it hard to do everything? Most elite strongman competitors train with such a schedule and they have to do a lot of stuff (powerlifts, some Olympic lifts, strongman events, some bodybuilding work).

Since you have more days off you can do more work per training day.

Yes. And it’s important to understand that this type of work, works mostly via motor learning (better fiber recruitment, firing rate, intra/inter muscular coordination, technique) rather than a high amount of muscle building.

Built for Bad (and 6 weeks to Superhero) are blitz programs that can only be done for 4-6 weeks, not a regular way to train.

Sorry to potentially hijack this thread, but when you say walking is that just a leisurely stroll in the park, or could it be incline treadmill walking? What should one’s HR be around?

It depends on one’s fitness level… nothing that you would describe as “training”

Hi coach, i love this idea about using days off focusing on growth. The past couple of days ive been taking the 45 mins i would workout and cooking meals for next day. Can you give us an example of a typical day of eating for you on training days versus growth days? Or an ideal way to eat on workout and growth days. Thanks

Yes that’s very true, much like your russian strength program as well.

I don’t know what it is, I keep gravitating back to layers. It’s so beautifully programmed and WORKS in practice. Every workout you get gains, or at least feel amazing because the top ramp determines your loading (sometimes waveload if I feel first ramp wasn’t reflective of performance)

Should really patent it or something.

Had a few questions, hope ok to revisit layers here or move to different thread?

  1. What sort of pre layer activation work do you prefer? Jumps, mini NC workout, maybe explosive strength work practice on non-layer compound movement? Dynamic stretches?
  2. What sort of post layer asiistance work is appropiate/beneficial? 50 ring pullups/rows and dips? Loaded carries? 5x5 on compound lift or 3x8 DB accesory?
  3. I’ve noticed in practice, my cluster weights are close to a 5x5 (or 3x5). i know you like the 5x5 double progression model so wonder which do you prefer (slightly more weight, but paused 10 sec breaks vs less weight but continuous piston like tension)
  4. you seem to favor the strength layers over the hypertrophy layers (hdl work to be used sparingly)? or the latest layer article using submaximal eccentrics and basically max pump layers?
  5. Exercise selection wise have you or client athletes used loaded bodyweight layers to much success (weighted dips, chins, pushups, even handstand pushups on boxes with weight vest)
  6. The original template had 5-6 consecutive days (depending on lat work) but with your view on rest, this cycle will be spread over more days right?
    and also why the preacher curl layer? that came out of nowhere haha

many thanks