POWER WORKOUT! Post Workout Muscle Recovery Time
Post Workout Muscle Recovery Time
This is part four of my how to “power workout from beginner to advanced” series. Before I continue with the various muscle groups of the body I’ll explain something fairly modern known as muscle isolation for the purpose of working out. It has been discovered various muscles require different periods of rest after a hard workout to recover and grow to their maximum before needing to work out again. If you don’t let a muscle rest enough you won’t get the maximum amount of benefits – so working out TOO much is bad. You can overtrain, you can hurt and strain muscles, you can simply not let them heal and grow and so not benefit the most from your workout simply by working out too much. That said, some muscles should only be isolated for a good workout no more often than once every four days. Others can be worked out fully twice a day.
This causes a problem though if you have an exercise that works out a muscle group that can be worked out daily along with one that should only be worked out twice a week. What do you do? Overtrain one or undertrain the other?? Answer? Isolate the muscles groups by performing specialty exercises targeting as closely as possible just those particular groups!
Question: How often CAN you safely work out? Answer: Twice a day! This is advanced but it can be used even by a beginner right from day one – it’s a way to help you improve one part of your body at a time, exercise up to twice a day, never (or rarely) overtrain, not hurt yourself, be able to feel phenominal growth AND not give yourself a coronary.
Those washboard rock hard abs you see on television commercials? Want them? Abdominals are great because they only require 12 hours to grow and 12 hours of rest before you can hit them with another exercise session. So slim down and work them twice and you’ll look great IF you do the right exercises. (I’ll give you a bunch you can turn into a routine later in this series, but for now know that they’re several different crunches done in sets of 20 repetitions each). Great washboard abs won’t make you in great shape though, just give you trophy abs which you can use to fool people if that’s what you’re into.
Those things in your arms people always say to squeeze when they make a muscle? Biceps. 24 hours rest between working them out. They’re fast growers too because they require less time between training sessions than anything besides the abdominals on the upper body.
Triceps are pretty neat. They’re the muscles on the OTHER side of your biceps – you know, the “Hey, feel my muscle” only the one on the bottom in the BACK of the arm. These require about 36 hours of rest in between each hard workout isolating them for them to heal and grow rested and ready to be worked out again. They’re not strengthened much by doing standard shoulder width or wide pushups (the way I used to think back in grade school) but close grip and Chinese pushups will work them.
“Pecs” for short. These are chest muscles and can be worked out like the abs, once a day, every 24 hours. These are the muscles strengthened by standard pushups.
“Lats”. Upper back muscles. These are the pullup and rowing muscled – the wide strong musles of the back. They’re second in strength to the quadraceps which are the heavy front thigh muscles. The secret to the great athlete is a strong back, an area most people don’t spend a lot of time developing. Lats are good to workout about once every 60 hours – a tough “break” since an 8 am morning workout of the lats on Tuesday would be followed by an 8 pm evening workout of the lats again on Thursday (60 hours) followed by another workout on Sunday at 8 am – 60 hours after that! This is if you wanted to follow the maximum fitness attainment rule using scientific methods. For most of you this won’t be the case – but it makes for some very interesting training schedule problems.
Traps. The traps are located starting at the very upper back by the neck muscles and extend down the center of the back around halfway down to the waist (almost like a diamond pattern). Typically shoulder shrugs will work here. Shrugs use heavy weights and essentially only very short movements of say 4 to 6 inches at a time. You stand and hold a heavy bar filled with about as much weight as you can and “shrug” your shoulders 6 to 10 times with the weight. There are entire workouts dedicated to the various areas of the trapezious dorsi (upper, lower) development but essentially the shrug is the grandaddy for getting the upper traps developed around the neck and inside between the shoulder area.
This is the one everyone winds up injuring and the reason you’re supposed to bend your knees when lifting. The lower back needs four days to recover, so if you want to focus on lifts using your lower back you’ll need to isolate the other areas you’ll use and only do the specific blower back lifts every 96 hours or so.
Quadriceps, Calves, Glutes
Ok, gastrocnemius and glutissimus whateverus. You know what I’m referring to. Mostly you’re on a bio-feedback schedule with your sprints if you do them. Two or three times a week is good. Squ5s etc with or without weights depending on your purpose. Again, excellent leg routines are in places like Muscle and Fitness Magazine. I’m into distance and speed, not power leg lifting, so to each his own, but the clean and jerk (power overhead press where the weight is heaved quickly, the ars swing the weight up and the lifter gets below the bar, arms locked and then power lifts it up with his legs) does require that kind of power.
The Split Workout Routine
Back in cave man days (1960-1980?) you were told to work out every other day doing the whole body, not to drink any water during workouts and to rest 5 minutes between each “set” (when you’re body building you do a certain amount of repetitions of lifting a weight and that’s called one “set”). So you might do bicep curls using a barbell with 70 pounds on it by lifting it up and “curling” the bar from your waist to your shoulders 12 times for one set, then putting it down and waiting five minutes before doing another “set” of 12 repetitions.
Now we move forward to the future and all the rules are different. No more working out the complete body once every 2 days, no more five minute rests between sets, no more not drinking any water etc. All gone. (There are still some caveman trainers out there and sometimes you’ll read about them in headlines when an otherwise perfectly healthy person drops dead on a field during a workout due to heat exhaustion and dehydration. We don’t like them. They’re dangerous.). Moving on.
The “split routine” means that now we exercise a body area (say the upper body) on Mondays, and the lower part of the body (legs) on Tuesday. This has the advantage of letting us work out the upper body to exhaustion Monday, then rest, and come back fresh to work out the legs on Tuesday. It’s a “power” workout because you don’t have to hold back!
Double Split Workout Routine
The Double Split is the greatest thing ever to happen to working out.
Ok, so what is the Double Split Workout Routine?
The double split takes your already divided workout and divides it up into two MORE workouts a day split morning and evening. Your power workouts are SHORT – they are INTENSE – and they give you speed and strength. You seem to only be taking 20 minutes to work out but you’re ALSO not resting in between sets – you’re either doing circuit training (where you move from one exercise focusing on one isolated muscle group or another) OR you’re just bombarding one particular muscle using dumbbells – first the left, then the right side of the body for each – no resting at all as you switch sides. This gives you the added advantage of also getting some real aerobic benefit from the exercise for your heart.
Additionally I just found a decent site that covers a lot of the recovery times I’m talking about here, and not just the recovery times but also a lot of the philosophical and bio-feedback areas of working out that I’ve already covered. My program is more concerned with heart rate as a means of developing fitness rather than strength training, but since these areas will overlap go ahead and learn whatever you can about specific areas of muscle development you want for whatever interests you most (canoing, bicycle racing, extreme sports etc).
Knowing your recovery times and that you can alwayys wor out intensely twice a day every day and even avoid an injured area and still get in a week’s worth of good workouts is a great thing that will help you stay fit, quickly get fit (whether or not you ever have been or not) and stay happy.
DOUBLE SPLIT EXAMPLE:
If you have some idea of what exercises work what muscle groups filling them in is easy enough. So you could break a double split something like this:
Mon., am: Shoulders
Mon., pm: Back
Tues., am: Arms
Tues., pm: Chest
Wed., am/pm: Legs
Thurs., am: Shoulders
Thurs., pm: Back
Fri., am: Arms
Fri., pm: Chest
Sat., am/pm: Legs
Sun., am: Shoulders
Sun., pm: Back
Then on Monday do arms and chest, Tuesday legs, Wednesday shoulders back again etc.
That’s a simple example of a set double split routine. Now start factoring in individual muscle group recovery time schedules and your routine can become quite intelligent.
Next Sections: Stretching and Nutrition, MELANIN! If your skin is black or your eyes are green or hazel! and ZEN mind control techniques that will help you win – even over the extreme pain of root canal [pain is only an image. An illusion to be observed].