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

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: June 21, 2023
How Much Rest Is Right For Building Muscle?

Achieving strength and size gains is a crucial goal for many fitness enthusiasts. However, it is 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 that as long as the training volume remained consistent, there was no significant difference in muscle growth between higher or lower frequencies.

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

One of the best ways to build muscle size and strength is to slowly increase the amount of training you do.

Combining mechanical tension and metabolic stress through heavy loads and applied intensity, respectively, can help maximize your results.

To achieve this, try performing 3–4 sets of 6–12 repetitions for each exercise during your workout, with a rest time of approximately 60 seconds in between each set.

For optimal outcomes, it’s recommended to aim for 12-28 sets per muscle group each week, with 60-85% of your maximum effort intensity.

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:

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Alleviates Muscle Pain and Soreness

After a workout, lactic acid builds up in your muscles, which can cause muscle pain and soreness. Bodybuilders take days off to let their bodies recover, get rid of extra lactic acid, and fix any small tears in their muscles that may have happened during hard workouts.

Regular bodybuilding also helps to alleviate muscle pain and soreness in a few different ways. Firstly, it helps to strengthen the muscles and make them more resilient.

This means that they are less susceptible to pain due to strenuous activity or injury.

Secondly, bodybuilding increases blood flow throughout the body, including the muscles, which brings oxygen and nutrients to where they are needed most.

Finally, it helps increase flexibility of the muscles by stretching them, making them easier to move and reducing stiffness. All these factors help contribute to reducing overall 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 serves as a crucial source of energy for our muscles during exercise. But as we move around, this important source of energy gets used up, which makes us tired and lowers our performance.

Taking rest days is important so that our bodies can refill their glycogen stores and make sure they have enough fuel for the next workout.

Rest and recovery are just as important as pushing yourself during exercise, whether you’re an athlete, a fitness fanatic, or just someone who wants to stay healthy in the long run.

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So, the next time you feel guilty for taking a day off, remember that rest is an integral part of any well-rounded fitness routine.

Reduces the possibility of injury

Regular exercise can help your health in many ways, like making your muscles stronger and less likely to get hurt.

However, it’s important to avoid overtraining, as pushing yourself to the limit can lead to unnecessary strain on the body and increased injury risk.

In addition to using the right training methods, it is very important to give yourself time to recover between workouts.

Pro athletes and trainers know that taking care of your body is the key to long-term success and avoiding setbacks that could have been avoided.

Mental Reset 

Overexercising can make you tired, which can lower the quality of your workouts and make you more likely to get hurt.

However, taking a mental reset can help manage this condition effectively. It involves taking a break from exercise routines and engaging in other activities that relax the mind and body.

For instance, meditation, reading, and taking a walk can help recharge the body and reduce the effects of fatigue.

Staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep are also important ways to deal with both physical and mental tiredness.

A mental reset is an important step for fitness fans who want to be successful in the long run because it lowers the risk of overexertion and its negative effects.

How Much Rest Do I Need?

Proper rest and recovery are essential components of any effective workout program. To ensure optimal muscle growth and conditioning, it’s recommended to allow at least 48 hours of rest before working the same muscle groups again.

Also, it’s important for people who work out often to switch between high-intensity and low-intensity workouts to avoid overtraining and injury.

Active recovery days, where you do light activities like walking, swimming, or yoga, can also help you get better and reduce swelling.

Accept Rest and Rehabilitation

Rest is a crucial component in any workout routine, however, it does not necessarily limit the number of workouts required 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.

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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
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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.