How Much Rest Is Right For Building Muscle? Is It Essential

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: December 13, 2023
How Much Rest Is Right For Building Muscle?

Achieving strength and size gains is a crucial goal for many fitness enthusiasts. It’s important to understand that the right balance of training frequency, volume, and recovery is critical for success.

Without proper rest and recovery, the body simply cannot adapt and grow. To get the most out of your fitness program, you need to know and use the principles of rest and recovery.

By finding the right balance, you can optimize gym performance and overall muscular growth.

So, if you want to know how to find that balance, keep reading to get all the important details.

How Often Should You Resistance Train to Notice Muscle Growth?

When it comes to resistance training and muscle growth, many people focus on how often they need to hit the gym.

However, research suggests that training frequency may not be the most important factor. One study found no significant difference in muscle growth between higher or lower frequencies, as long as the training volume remained consistent.

Another review found similar results with regards to strength gains. So, how often should you resistance train?

The general recommendation is to aim for 2-4 sessions per week to accumulate enough volume, factoring in time for recovery.

It’s also important to target each muscle group at least twice a week for optimal results. Remember, consistency and proper form are key to achieving your muscle growth goals.

Muscle Growth Training Volume

A great way to get stronger and build bigger muscles is to slowly do more and more training.

Heavy loads create mechanical tension. Intense workouts cause metabolic stress. You can get the best results by combining both.

To do this, you should try doing 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps for each exercise during your workout. You should rest for about a minute between each set.

For the best results, you should aim to do 12-28 sets for each muscle group every week. You should also try to work out with 60-85% of your hardest effort.

Where Does Rest Fit In?

Mixing hard work with rest is important if you want to see results and keep your body healthy so you can keep making progress. Here are several advantages to taking a day off:

Alleviates Muscle Pain and Soreness

After you work out, something called lactic acid builds up in your muscles. This can make your muscles hurt and feel sore. That’s why bodybuilders take days off. They need to let their bodies heal, get rid of the extra lactic acid, and fix any tiny tears in their muscles from tough workouts.

Doing bodybuilding regularly can also help with muscle pain and soreness in a few ways. First, it makes your muscles stronger and tougher. That means they won’t hurt as much when you’re doing hard activities or get injured.

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Second, bodybuilding makes more blood flow all over your body, including your muscles. This brings oxygen and nutrients, which are like food for your muscles.

Last, it helps your muscles become more flexible by stretching them. This makes them easier to move and less stiff. All of these things help lessen muscle pain and soreness.

Muscle Repair and Muscle Growth

Exercise is not simply about burning calories or achieving a certain physique. It is a physical process that involves tearing down and rebuilding muscle tissue.

During exercise, the muscles experience small tears that create stress on the body. This stress, in turn, encourages the body to adapt and become stronger.

However, this process of adaptation does not happen overnight. Rather, it occurs during the rest and recovery period.

During rest days, fibroblasts fix and rebuild the damaged muscle tissue. This makes the muscle stronger and better able to handle stress in the future.

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It replenishes the body’s energy reserves

Glycogen is like the fuel for our muscles when we exercise. But as we move and work out, this fuel gets used up, which can make us feel tired and not do as well.

That’s why it’s important to take days off. Our bodies need time to refill their glycogen, or fuel, stores so we have enough energy for our next workout.

Resting and recovering are just as important as working hard during exercise. This is true whether you’re a sports player, love fitness, or just want to stay healthy for a long time.

So, if you ever feel bad for taking a day off, remember that rest is a key part of any good fitness routine.

Reduces the possibility of injury

Regular exercise is really good for your health. It can make your muscles stronger and less likely to get hurt.

But, it’s important not to overdo it. If you push yourself too hard, you could strain your body or increase your chances of getting injured.

Besides doing the right exercises, it’s also super important to rest between workouts.

Professional athletes and trainers know that taking care of your body is the secret to being successful for a long time. It also helps to avoid problems that could have been prevented.

Mental Reset 

Doing too much exercise can make you feel tired. This can make your workouts not as good and you might get hurt more easily.

But, taking a “mental reset” can really help. This means taking a break from exercising and doing other things that help you relax.

For example, meditating, reading, or taking a walk can help recharge your body and make you less tired.

It’s also important to drink enough water, eat healthy food, and get lots of sleep to help with feeling tired.

A mental reset is a big help for people who love fitness and want to do well in the long run. It makes it less likely that you’ll push yourself too hard and end up with problems.

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How Much Rest Do I Need?

Getting the right amount of rest and recovery is really important when you’re working out. To make sure your muscles get stronger and healthier, you should rest for at least 48 hours before exercising the same muscles again.

Also, if you exercise a lot, it’s good to switch between tough workouts and easier ones. This can help you avoid working out too much and getting hurt.

You can also have “active recovery” days. On these days, you do easy activities like walking, swimming, or yoga. These can help you feel better and can reduce any swelling.

Accept Rest and Rehabilitation

Rest is crucial in any workout routine. However, it does not necessarily limit the number of workouts needed to achieve desired results.

Rather, emphasis should be placed on volume over frequency. A few high quality workouts each week can be incredibly beneficial in achieving hypertrophy and strength goals.

Also, training needs to be paired with enough rest and recovery time to help and increase the chances of reaching these goals.

By balancing rest and training in a professional way, people can get the most out of their workouts and get the best results.


To make progress in both hypertrophy and strength, balancing recovery and training volume is crucial.

It’s not enough to simply increase the weight or the number of reps in each workout. Adequate rest and proper nutrition also play a vital role in achieving these goals.

While working out frequently is important, more is not always better. Overtraining can actually slow progress and increase the risk of injury.

Instead, focus on finding the right amount of volume for your body and gradually increasing it over time. By doing so, you can ensure that you are making the most of your training and achieving the desired results.

Dave Moffat

Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.