If there is one surefire bodybuilding tip that I can share with you, which will skyrocket your muscle building efforts, it is rest.
Now you say rest. Yes, I am saying rest, don’t workout. This may be way against the grain of your logical thinking, but according to sound physiology, it is right on. If you want to get bigger, stronger, and more cut; then I am recommending not to workout. Resting is the most powerful muscle building technique you can implement.
First off, your body develops muscle while you are resting, not during your bodybuilding workout sessions. Muscle fibers hypertrophy, or get bigger, and stronger than before, thus, get you ready to lift more weight during the next bout of exercise.
The entire muscle building process begins when you lift your first weight to a level of overload, or momentary muscle failure. You will be unable to move the weight for another repetition. This momentary muscle failure places stress on the muscle and calls upon it to adapt by becoming stronger to overcome similar resistance in the future. Thus, the growth process has been stimulated. Strength training to absolute muscle failure stimulates muscle growth, but doesn’t produce muscle by itself.
Now you go home from the gym, and fuel your body to allow for an energy compensation to occur, which gets your body back to the energy level it was prior to your high intensity training session. When this short step has completed, overcompensation begins. This is where muscle fibers thicken and begin to grow stronger.
The next question you might ask is how long do I rest? You rest long enough to complete this overcompensation process. Not resting long enough is the biggest mistake ninety nine percent of bodybuilding participants make. If you take the more is better approach by coming back before your muscles are fully recuperated, you will short circuit the whole muscle building process and decrease your bodybuilding workout results. Don’t make this deadly mistake! Let your body completely finish growing before you stimulate it again with another bout of resistance overload.
There are a lot of variables that come into play when recommending the exact number of rest days. How hard did you workout? How many sets? How intense was the workout? The higher the intensity, and volume, the more rest days you will require between workouts. The average rest days vary between 3-15 days between workouts.
The best bodybuilding tip I can offer you for figuring out the exact amount of rest you need is by testing it. When I say “testing," I am referring to keeping a training log to determine if your strength increases, decreases, or stays the same. If your strength increases, your rest is optimal. If it decreases, you need to take 1-2 or more days off to allow the growth process to complete. If strength stays the same, take another day off before your next bodybuilding workout session.
Your goal should be to become stronger with each subsequent workout. Get into the gym, stimulate growth, and then get the hell out of the gym to go home and grow.
Therefore, rest is the most neglected principle in the bodybuilding universe. Think more is not better. Higher intensity plus optimal rest equals muscle growth.
Please don’t make this critical mistake, rest is by far the most important bodybuilding tip I can share with you. Follow it to obtain maximum muscle growth quickly.