If you don’t rest enough, you don’t grow enough.~ Mike Mentzer
I’ve tried to explain this concept ’til I’m red in the face. However, some people still don’t get it. I don’t really know why, so I’m going to try and articulate this point in the clearest way possible today. If you have any questions, concerns, or need me to clarify anything for you, just ask me in the comments below.
This is extremely important because understanding it holds the key to knowing for certain whether or not you are building muscle. You want that certainty? Then read on…
Here’s the bottom line: If there is not sufficient rest between workouts, you will not build any muscle.
It’s really that simple.You want to have certainty that you are building muscle? Click here to find out how Click To Tweet
Your workout needs to be intense in order to ensure that you have stimulated growth. However, once stimulated, all the body needs is rest (and calories and protein) in order to grow.
But many people just refuse to do it. They’re so caught up in the “more is better” mindset, that they cannot grasp this simple scientific fact.
They don’t seem to understand what overtraining really is. Even CT Fletcher doesn’t know what it is, though he is fond of telling people that you can’t overtrain.
So how about thinking about it as “under-recovery” or “under-growth”, instead of overtraining? Does that make more sense?
Understand that you do not go to gym to build muscle. You really don’t. A workout does not ‘produce‘ growth, it only stimulates growth, and that growth is a process that takes time.
So there are 2 phases of building muscle, and both equally important.
- The stimulation
- The rest period to allow the body to produce the gains that were stimulated
Here is a diagram I had created a few years ago to explain this point. I call the point in time when you have produced all the gains stimulated by the workout, the Peak Overcompensation Point (POP for short).
So if enough time has not elapsed, you have under-recovered/over-trained and you will make NO progress. None.Overtraining = Under-recovering. Too much work + not enough rest = no muscle growth Click To Tweet
HOW LONG DOES FULL RECOVERY & GROWTH TAKE?
How long does it take for full recovery. If doing ~2 sets to failure for each body part, it will take around 36-48 hours. So you can train your whole body with about 2 sets every 48 hours and make great gains. Though don’t be tempted to do more sets. This is the basis of the THT 3-day/week full-body routine.
If doing around 8-10 sets to failure for each muscle, it will take 5-7 days for full recovery and growth. Using this higher volume approach, we must split the body up, doing 2-3 body parts per day and training each muscle once a week (the traditional 5-day split).
By the way, when cutting your POP time increases because the caloric deficit means it takes longer to recover. Many guys go on a cut and do MORE work! This is just one reason why so many guys lose muscle when trying to get ripped. If you really want to cut quickly and effectively, check out my dedicated cutting program Total Six Pack Abs.
HOW TO KNOW FOR SURE THAT YOU HAVE GROWN
So now back to the title of this article: how can we know with certainty that we are growing and progressing?
Really what we are asking here is, how do I know if enough time has elapsed so that I am fully overcompensating? (hitting that P.O.P. point)
It’s actually simple. First, you need to keep training logs and keep a record of all your weights and reps for each exercise (you get free training logs with free THT training).
Now, did you get stronger? Did you get at least 1 more rep in most sets? Or where you able to use a slightly heavier weight in the same rep range?
Yes? Then you’ve hit POP. You’ve overcompensated. The body has adapted. Good times!
If you are weaker or about the same, you have not let enough time elapse. You’re overtraining/under-recovering and getting nowhere. You’re either doing too many sets or not taking enough rest. Simple.
So now you know.
NOTE: Download THT training free: If you want a training package that strikes the right balance of sets and frequency, it’s all covered in THT! Whether you want to train 3 days or 5 days per week, you can make uninterrupted progress and hit POP every time.
You can download the full and FREE THT training program right now and start packing on mass like these guys did. You don’t have to go to your email to confirm anything. Once you click the button, you’ll be taken straight to the download page 😀 I operate a ‘Strictly Zero Spam‘ policy.
I hope this helps. And if you have any more suggestions, or even questions about your training, get in touch with me below. I’m always happy to help.
And also add me on social media here…
Train With Intensity!
P.S. If you need help and would like to schedule a 1-on-1 consultation with me via skype, go to this page for more info and times when I am available to chat to you.
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