The Elite Physique

Rest for Muscle Growth

When you think of building muscle, do you think of rest for muscle growth?  There are numerous elements to apply when it comes to bodybuilding.  The most overlooked factor is simple rest.  As simple as that may seem, it is essential.

rest for muscle growth
Rest for Muscle Growth Can Be The One Little Factor That Breaks Your Plateau…

Rest will allow your muscles to recover.  Without proper recovery, you will never build muscle to your full potential.  You will never achieve that award winning physique you worked so hard for unless you make sure to incorporate adequate downtime.

In this article I will teach you how to properly tie-in rest into your workouts for optimal muscle and strength gains, making sure all of your hard efforts pay off 100%.

Rest Between Training Sessions for Muscle Growth

I’ve heard lifters say that they can feel their muscles growing while working out.  While it may feel like they are growing when training, they aren’t.  The feeling they are talking about is a pump.  A pump does not equal muscle growth.

The actual muscle growth process occurs when you are resting. Your muscles are not growing in the gym when you are training.  You can certainly get a pump when you are working out.  However, that is just blood being forced into your heated muscles, causing them to get harder and increased in size for a short amount of time.  When the pump occurs you can also get a mental pump. A mental pump can cause one to drag a training session out over an extended amount of time.

When your muscles repair themselves after training they are slightly stronger than before, which can lead to further growth if training is continued after sufficient rest.  If you train before a muscle is fully recovered, you can retard growth.

Rest for muscle growth will vary for each lifter.  Your diet, sleeping habits, genetics, stress, supplements, and age can affect your recovery.  Therefore, what may work for one lifter may not necessarily work for you.

How Long Does Muscle Recovery Take?

It takes a muscle about 7 days to completely recover naturally.  So, working a muscle group two times a week is a waste of time and muscle.  You will get much better muscle-building results by training each body part just once a week.  The popular web site, www.muscleandfitness.com elaborates on the muscle and rest connection,  “You give your body the chance to repair, recharge, and regrow during sleep,” says wellness expert Dr. Felecia Stoler, DCN, MS, RD, RACSM., “It’s the ideal time to replenish nutrients, and, since your body isn’t moving, it allows the muscles to repair themselves.”

Sleep is SO critical for muscle growth and you should get a minimum of 8 hours a night.  Added power naps throughout the day are beneficial.

Rest Between Sets for Muscle Growth

Rest isn’t limited to time away from the gym.  Just as resting between training sessions is important, so is resting between sets.  This is often neglected when it comes to recovery.

Lactic acid is the little culprit that causes the soreness in your muscles the days following intense training.  It is also the burn you feel when you lift to complete failure toward the end of a set.  Due the intense burn one feels when training, rookie lifters usually stop their workout or lighten the poundage.  This cheats you out of a quality workout.

For indirect growth, you want to allow enough rest between sets so that your muscles are fully recovered, but not to the point where your muscles are cooling off.  Therefore, two minutes of rest works well for gaining mass, power, size, and strength.  If you start your next set before the two minutes, you could lack the strength and intensity needed for a productive set.  Save the short rest periods for your “cutting phase” when your load is somewhat lighter and you are training at a faster pace.

It’s The Silent Muscle Builder

No doubt, resting will build more muscle than doing those marathon workouts that last hours upon hours.  So, if you are struggling with muscle and strength gains and can’t figure out why you aren’t building muscle anymore, heed my warning and get more rest.  It will shock you at the muscle you build simply by allowing your muscles to recover.red arrow pointing down

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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

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My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too

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