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question for monte or other body builders or athletes

Posted by paula on 1/24/02 at 09:06 (071101)

i am growing muscles back from losing them all in a temporary illness. every physical therapist has a different answer to this question. i wonder what the athletes here think. after you exercise with resistance muscle building how long do you wait till you exercise that set of muscles again? i am often in a lot of pain one or two or three days after . how long can i wait before i lose my benifit on those muscles? isn't waiting a certain period of time good to let the muscles recover to a new level of growth?

Re: question for monte or other body builders or athletes

Carmen H on 1/24/02 at 09:34 (071103)

No worries there Paula on losing the benfit...it takes literally weeks for the muscles to start to lose definition and strength. Make sure you are eating enough protein to build those muscles though. Sometimes I have found that physical therapists aren't the most knowledgable when it comes to these types of things. I would consult a trainer skilled in Rehab and nutrition before a PT. You can ususally call any gym and get a number of a trainer who will be happy to give credentials and advice on your situation.
A good program would be something like this for example:

Monday-Work Chest and triceps and cardio of some sort even if it is just biking or rowing
Tuesday-Work Back and biceps and ABS
Weds-Work legs and cardio
Thurs.- take a break no exercise
Friday- Work ABS and extensive stretching or yoga
Sat.- Chest and Tri's and cardio
Sun.-Back and bi's and ABS
Mon-take a break

Etc etc and repeat the exercises as such.....incorporate your own stretching routine into EVERY day...no matter what you work on you need to stretch before and after the exertion.
Three days is a decent break for the muscle groups.....four is better if you are starting anew.
That's the routine I followed for three years until I got Pf (lost 8% body fat and 15 pounds) and I had a trainer who encouraged that routine as he set it up for me.
The important thing is to listen to your body. period. You should ACHE and have sore muscles to an extent but you should be in 'pain'. It's a different feeling having sore muscles from exercise than being in pain from doing something wrong.
Hope this helps!

Re: question for monte or other body builders or athletes

Monte on 1/24/02 at 10:14 (071112)

Paula..Carmen gave you some really good advice. All I will add is that working out is definitely an individual thing as far as results are concerned. I have good genetics for arms and back...but terrible legs and calves genetics. I have to work out harder on those lagging muscle groups. You will find that certain body parts respond faster and better thatn others. No problem...work out the laggers first in your routine so you are fresh and can give it a real push. Also, soreness should not feel like terrible injury pain! Make sure of that. Use what Carmen gave you and always feel free to modify your routine to fit you. Most importantly...ALWAYS ENJOY YOUR TIME WORKING OUT! It is a benefit to your life! A personal trainer can definitely point you in the right direction as long as they work with you and your feedback.

Re: question for monte or other body builders or athletes

JudyS on 1/24/02 at 10:28 (071115)

Paula, this is something that I have a bit of familiarity with so, if you don't mind, I'll just make a suggestion or two.
One; make sure the weights, repititions and sets are light. You're starting from scratch, more or less, so it's really important not to invite injury. At first, less is more even if you think you're not feeling benefits.
Two; a good rule of thumb is to let two days pass between workouts. You could do that for, say, a month or two, see how you feel, then maybe let just one day pass between workouts.
You should be at a very mild intensity right now so one or two days should be OK.
Listen to your body. It'll tell you if you're overdoing. The flip side of that philosophy is that you should expect to have at least some muscle soreness at the start of each workout until you've developed a stable routine. That's why waiting two days for the first month or two will help those muscles be ready for another workout.
Not knowing your situation, you might take this next bit of information cautiously - letting more than three days elapse between workouts could be where your muscles start to lose the benefit of the exercise.

Re: question for monte or other body builders or athletes

john h on 1/24/02 at 10:29 (071116)

You will get different answers on this Paula but typically you want to do an aerobic type exercise one day and muscle building the next unless you really into muscle building. Professional athletes and body builders lift weights almost daily throughout the year. When you start on a program of stretching and muscle building you will develop sorness which will gradually go away as the muscles strengthen. Waiting to long between your muscle building exercise will have you sore all the time. I think for the average Joe or Joan that 3-4 days a week of muscle strengthing is adequate. It is important to know how to do your strengtening exercises properly and to establish the proper number of reps. It is well worth the money to go to a club and pay a personal trainer for a couple of sessions to ensure what you are doing is benefiial and in line with your goals.

Re: Judy I have a question...

Carmen H on 1/24/02 at 12:52 (071134)

I am curious about your statement about three days and muscles lose benefits of exercise. Could you elaborate on that and where you got that information? I have a brother in law that does Cardiac rehab and wellness strength training (has for over 15 years-he's a director of a wellness center) and also I have been trained by a professional body builder and I have never heard that. Any input would be appreciated...I stay pretty on top of this stuff so it would be useful if I am incorrect in what I have been taught.
Thanks!!

Re: Judy I have a question...

JudyS on 1/24/02 at 13:42 (071140)

Yes, I agree, Carmen. My words were chosen poorly. And I'm definately no pro! I've been doing weight conditioning for about 15 years, starting with a class or two at the local college, excepting for having let PF back me off it too much. I also spent time with a personal trainer. Although I'll admit that the PT didn't really teach me anything I didn't already know. One thing he did tell me was to have two days between workouts instead of the every-other-day routine I had. And, like every other wanna-be jock, I've always read lots of publications about fitness.
I don't think it's so much that muscles lose strength in three days, surely conditioned ones don't as you've pointed out, but rather that unconditioned ones may lose successive conditioning benefits if one waits too long between workouts. While on a strenghtening program, especially from 'scratch', you will have consistent results, sooner and with less discomfort if you don't let too many days pass between workouts. I suppose the question is, what is too many days?
I'm wondering that, if the idea is to build muscle tissue early in a conditioning program, and especially with the necessary light weights, it wouldn't, more or less, be true that waiting 6-7 days, as opposed to, say, three, between workouts would be too long in terms of building on the workout(s) that came previously?
We may only be talking about the difference between workouts of already-conditioned muscles as opposed to muscles that are in the early stages of strengthening.
Of course, the one thing that has to be at the top of any conditioning program is - what is the exerciser capable of?
It'd be fun to pick the brains of physical therapists and trainers and ask them what, in an early conditioning program, is an acceptable amount of time to wait between workouts before benefits are lost. Maybe there's a pro around who could fill us in on this stuff!
Plus, and this is just me, mentally I feel much 'stronger' if I don't wait more than a few days between workouts. I'm not very good at self-discipline so I have to be careful to 'keep up the mo'!

Re: Judy I have a question...

John h on 1/24/02 at 17:18 (071158)

Carmen: It takes very little time to lose body conditioning. Of course it will depend on your current condition and state of health,age,etc. Of course strength and cardio conditioning are very different. I knew the worlds champion arm wrestler as he lives in Little Rock and trained at our club. He was never in good cardio condition but he had enormous arm strength and spent all his time on upper body and arm strenth execise. The worlds long drive (golf) champ also lives here and I doubt he could keep up with me on a 10K run 7 or 8 years ago. Personal experience tells me that if I engage in regular stretching or weight lifting and then lay off for around 10 days on vacation it takes me some time to return to my prievious condition. I have read that you can lose a large part of your cardio conditioning in 10 days. Champion body builders and indeed pro football players lift weights almost daily for the entire year for hours each day. I suspect if they lay off for a week they most certaily lose some of their edge. How much? Depends on the individual and current level of fitness and strength. I think people in a rehab situation from injury and heart attacks present a different set of circustances As an 18 year old I could easily do 200 situps and 25 pullups, take a week of, and do it again. As we age it is going to take us longer to get back what we lose faster be it strength, flexability, or whatever.

Re: Judy I have a question...

wendyn on 1/24/02 at 22:31 (071192)

I've always understood that one to two full days rest on muscle groups is necessary. About 1 minute between each set of about 10 reps (2 or 3 sets_, when you're weight training.

Somewhere I read that it takes about 2 months to really toast your benefits from working out, but I think the weight training benefits last longer...muscle mass sticks around for a while...and then it doesn't take that long to get back up to where you were.

Bottom line is don't beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon for a while, you're not a write off if you miss a few days at the gym. But the amount of rest you really need Paula may depend on your physical condition - in your case definately go with the trainers advice. (Because of the thyroid problem)

Re: Judy I have a question...

Julie on 1/25/02 at 02:32 (071198)

My understanding has been that a resting day between workouts is needed to allow the micro-tears in the muscle fibres (the cause of muscular pain after working out) to heal, and that working out every day without breaks will worsen the tears. The period of rest would naturally vary with the individual, as Wendy says.

On the question of losing ground, I agree with those who have pointed out that we quickly lose the benefit of exercise (any exercise) if we stop exercising. As with everything else in life, appropriate balance is the key.

Re: Judy I have a question...

Carmen H on 1/25/02 at 07:32 (071212)

'We may only be talking about the difference between workouts of already-conditioned muscles as opposed to muscles that are in the early stages of strengthening.'

Your statement is exactly true....I believe that is the difference. We have really never discussed unconditioned muscles...so that makes perfect sense.
Yes...I truly believe every person is different so it's according to their make up and existing condition.
I feel the same as you .....I used to anyway before PF I was on the go go go at the gym all the time. I mean 5-6 days a week 2 hours a day.
I love it! Now i settle for the Bowflex and the Pilates...I am fine with it b/c it is at least something. right?
;-)

Re: Judy I have a question...

john h on 1/25/02 at 09:36 (071222)

the real workout guys and girls work on different muscles groups on different days as a rule, so they are able to workout daily. Weight lifters are another story. These guys get after it 6=7 days a week in many cases. If you are bench pressing 250 lbs and doing 25 reps you got to be doing more than micro tears i would think Julie

Re: Judy I have a question...

john h on 1/25/02 at 09:42 (071226)

Carmen. Like you I have been a gym RAT all my life. Before PF I was at the club 6 times a week and sometimes 2 times a day. I was in the best condition of my life and weighed what I weighed at 21. Then PF and now I walk a couple of miles and do some machines. PF really sucks. Daily I have watch my running friends run by my house. Ouch! Of course many of you are a lot worse off than me so I need to stop my whinning as Judy would say. Anyway I still think I can get better.

Re: Judy I have a question...

paula on 1/25/02 at 09:52 (071231)

this discussion has reall helped me. my own body was saying skip a day or two between the resistance training. but physical therapists are different from sports trainers. they really really push, and pain is not a big deal to them. i am going to give it one or two days rest now between sessions and see if that helps. the micro tear idea really resonates. it feels like i'm tearing but never healing with this everyday training. as for letting the experts guide me totally, no expert i've had has ever worked with someone who lost so much muscle for so long a time, so no one really knows for sure how to help me best i think.

Re: Paula

Julie on 1/25/02 at 10:44 (071241)

Paula, just trust your body. It knows better than any PT or trainer what's good for it. It sounds as though you're really aware of what's going on within you, so stick with that, progress at rebuilding your muscle strength at your own pace and I'm sure you'll be fine.

Re: John

Julie on 1/25/02 at 10:47 (071242)

Well, I'm sure you're right, John, but I'm in way over my head here! 250 pounds! 25 reps! Goodness. I was thinking of normal human beings like me and Paula.

I remember the Relaxaciser!

Re: question for monte or other body builders or athletes

Richard, C.Ped on 1/25/02 at 11:34 (071249)

Some things that I have learned about working out:

If I am trying to lose weight...I do lighter weight with more reps and less time between sets.

When I want to gain mass, I do heavier weights with less reps and more rest between sets.

When I am not trying to do anything at all, I sit in front of the tv and do more reps with a 16 oz chocolate milk with hardley no rest bewteen sips.

Richard

Re: Judy I have a question...

john h on 1/25/02 at 11:50 (071258)

I have read numerous papers on PF where they discuss micro tears in the fascia as Julie says.

Re: question for monte or other body builders or athletes

Carmen H on 1/24/02 at 09:34 (071103)

No worries there Paula on losing the benfit...it takes literally weeks for the muscles to start to lose definition and strength. Make sure you are eating enough protein to build those muscles though. Sometimes I have found that physical therapists aren't the most knowledgable when it comes to these types of things. I would consult a trainer skilled in Rehab and nutrition before a PT. You can ususally call any gym and get a number of a trainer who will be happy to give credentials and advice on your situation.
A good program would be something like this for example:

Monday-Work Chest and triceps and cardio of some sort even if it is just biking or rowing
Tuesday-Work Back and biceps and ABS
Weds-Work legs and cardio
Thurs.- take a break no exercise
Friday- Work ABS and extensive stretching or yoga
Sat.- Chest and Tri's and cardio
Sun.-Back and bi's and ABS
Mon-take a break

Etc etc and repeat the exercises as such.....incorporate your own stretching routine into EVERY day...no matter what you work on you need to stretch before and after the exertion.
Three days is a decent break for the muscle groups.....four is better if you are starting anew.
That's the routine I followed for three years until I got Pf (lost 8% body fat and 15 pounds) and I had a trainer who encouraged that routine as he set it up for me.
The important thing is to listen to your body. period. You should ACHE and have sore muscles to an extent but you should be in 'pain'. It's a different feeling having sore muscles from exercise than being in pain from doing something wrong.
Hope this helps!

Re: question for monte or other body builders or athletes

Monte on 1/24/02 at 10:14 (071112)

Paula..Carmen gave you some really good advice. All I will add is that working out is definitely an individual thing as far as results are concerned. I have good genetics for arms and back...but terrible legs and calves genetics. I have to work out harder on those lagging muscle groups. You will find that certain body parts respond faster and better thatn others. No problem...work out the laggers first in your routine so you are fresh and can give it a real push. Also, soreness should not feel like terrible injury pain! Make sure of that. Use what Carmen gave you and always feel free to modify your routine to fit you. Most importantly...ALWAYS ENJOY YOUR TIME WORKING OUT! It is a benefit to your life! A personal trainer can definitely point you in the right direction as long as they work with you and your feedback.

Re: question for monte or other body builders or athletes

JudyS on 1/24/02 at 10:28 (071115)

Paula, this is something that I have a bit of familiarity with so, if you don't mind, I'll just make a suggestion or two.
One; make sure the weights, repititions and sets are light. You're starting from scratch, more or less, so it's really important not to invite injury. At first, less is more even if you think you're not feeling benefits.
Two; a good rule of thumb is to let two days pass between workouts. You could do that for, say, a month or two, see how you feel, then maybe let just one day pass between workouts.
You should be at a very mild intensity right now so one or two days should be OK.
Listen to your body. It'll tell you if you're overdoing. The flip side of that philosophy is that you should expect to have at least some muscle soreness at the start of each workout until you've developed a stable routine. That's why waiting two days for the first month or two will help those muscles be ready for another workout.
Not knowing your situation, you might take this next bit of information cautiously - letting more than three days elapse between workouts could be where your muscles start to lose the benefit of the exercise.

Re: question for monte or other body builders or athletes

john h on 1/24/02 at 10:29 (071116)

You will get different answers on this Paula but typically you want to do an aerobic type exercise one day and muscle building the next unless you really into muscle building. Professional athletes and body builders lift weights almost daily throughout the year. When you start on a program of stretching and muscle building you will develop sorness which will gradually go away as the muscles strengthen. Waiting to long between your muscle building exercise will have you sore all the time. I think for the average Joe or Joan that 3-4 days a week of muscle strengthing is adequate. It is important to know how to do your strengtening exercises properly and to establish the proper number of reps. It is well worth the money to go to a club and pay a personal trainer for a couple of sessions to ensure what you are doing is benefiial and in line with your goals.

Re: Judy I have a question...

Carmen H on 1/24/02 at 12:52 (071134)

I am curious about your statement about three days and muscles lose benefits of exercise. Could you elaborate on that and where you got that information? I have a brother in law that does Cardiac rehab and wellness strength training (has for over 15 years-he's a director of a wellness center) and also I have been trained by a professional body builder and I have never heard that. Any input would be appreciated...I stay pretty on top of this stuff so it would be useful if I am incorrect in what I have been taught.
Thanks!!

Re: Judy I have a question...

JudyS on 1/24/02 at 13:42 (071140)

Yes, I agree, Carmen. My words were chosen poorly. And I'm definately no pro! I've been doing weight conditioning for about 15 years, starting with a class or two at the local college, excepting for having let PF back me off it too much. I also spent time with a personal trainer. Although I'll admit that the PT didn't really teach me anything I didn't already know. One thing he did tell me was to have two days between workouts instead of the every-other-day routine I had. And, like every other wanna-be jock, I've always read lots of publications about fitness.
I don't think it's so much that muscles lose strength in three days, surely conditioned ones don't as you've pointed out, but rather that unconditioned ones may lose successive conditioning benefits if one waits too long between workouts. While on a strenghtening program, especially from 'scratch', you will have consistent results, sooner and with less discomfort if you don't let too many days pass between workouts. I suppose the question is, what is too many days?
I'm wondering that, if the idea is to build muscle tissue early in a conditioning program, and especially with the necessary light weights, it wouldn't, more or less, be true that waiting 6-7 days, as opposed to, say, three, between workouts would be too long in terms of building on the workout(s) that came previously?
We may only be talking about the difference between workouts of already-conditioned muscles as opposed to muscles that are in the early stages of strengthening.
Of course, the one thing that has to be at the top of any conditioning program is - what is the exerciser capable of?
It'd be fun to pick the brains of physical therapists and trainers and ask them what, in an early conditioning program, is an acceptable amount of time to wait between workouts before benefits are lost. Maybe there's a pro around who could fill us in on this stuff!
Plus, and this is just me, mentally I feel much 'stronger' if I don't wait more than a few days between workouts. I'm not very good at self-discipline so I have to be careful to 'keep up the mo'!

Re: Judy I have a question...

John h on 1/24/02 at 17:18 (071158)

Carmen: It takes very little time to lose body conditioning. Of course it will depend on your current condition and state of health,age,etc. Of course strength and cardio conditioning are very different. I knew the worlds champion arm wrestler as he lives in Little Rock and trained at our club. He was never in good cardio condition but he had enormous arm strength and spent all his time on upper body and arm strenth execise. The worlds long drive (golf) champ also lives here and I doubt he could keep up with me on a 10K run 7 or 8 years ago. Personal experience tells me that if I engage in regular stretching or weight lifting and then lay off for around 10 days on vacation it takes me some time to return to my prievious condition. I have read that you can lose a large part of your cardio conditioning in 10 days. Champion body builders and indeed pro football players lift weights almost daily for the entire year for hours each day. I suspect if they lay off for a week they most certaily lose some of their edge. How much? Depends on the individual and current level of fitness and strength. I think people in a rehab situation from injury and heart attacks present a different set of circustances As an 18 year old I could easily do 200 situps and 25 pullups, take a week of, and do it again. As we age it is going to take us longer to get back what we lose faster be it strength, flexability, or whatever.

Re: Judy I have a question...

wendyn on 1/24/02 at 22:31 (071192)

I've always understood that one to two full days rest on muscle groups is necessary. About 1 minute between each set of about 10 reps (2 or 3 sets_, when you're weight training.

Somewhere I read that it takes about 2 months to really toast your benefits from working out, but I think the weight training benefits last longer...muscle mass sticks around for a while...and then it doesn't take that long to get back up to where you were.

Bottom line is don't beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon for a while, you're not a write off if you miss a few days at the gym. But the amount of rest you really need Paula may depend on your physical condition - in your case definately go with the trainers advice. (Because of the thyroid problem)

Re: Judy I have a question...

Julie on 1/25/02 at 02:32 (071198)

My understanding has been that a resting day between workouts is needed to allow the micro-tears in the muscle fibres (the cause of muscular pain after working out) to heal, and that working out every day without breaks will worsen the tears. The period of rest would naturally vary with the individual, as Wendy says.

On the question of losing ground, I agree with those who have pointed out that we quickly lose the benefit of exercise (any exercise) if we stop exercising. As with everything else in life, appropriate balance is the key.

Re: Judy I have a question...

Carmen H on 1/25/02 at 07:32 (071212)

'We may only be talking about the difference between workouts of already-conditioned muscles as opposed to muscles that are in the early stages of strengthening.'

Your statement is exactly true....I believe that is the difference. We have really never discussed unconditioned muscles...so that makes perfect sense.
Yes...I truly believe every person is different so it's according to their make up and existing condition.
I feel the same as you .....I used to anyway before PF I was on the go go go at the gym all the time. I mean 5-6 days a week 2 hours a day.
I love it! Now i settle for the Bowflex and the Pilates...I am fine with it b/c it is at least something. right?
;-)

Re: Judy I have a question...

john h on 1/25/02 at 09:36 (071222)

the real workout guys and girls work on different muscles groups on different days as a rule, so they are able to workout daily. Weight lifters are another story. These guys get after it 6=7 days a week in many cases. If you are bench pressing 250 lbs and doing 25 reps you got to be doing more than micro tears i would think Julie

Re: Judy I have a question...

john h on 1/25/02 at 09:42 (071226)

Carmen. Like you I have been a gym RAT all my life. Before PF I was at the club 6 times a week and sometimes 2 times a day. I was in the best condition of my life and weighed what I weighed at 21. Then PF and now I walk a couple of miles and do some machines. PF really sucks. Daily I have watch my running friends run by my house. Ouch! Of course many of you are a lot worse off than me so I need to stop my whinning as Judy would say. Anyway I still think I can get better.

Re: Judy I have a question...

paula on 1/25/02 at 09:52 (071231)

this discussion has reall helped me. my own body was saying skip a day or two between the resistance training. but physical therapists are different from sports trainers. they really really push, and pain is not a big deal to them. i am going to give it one or two days rest now between sessions and see if that helps. the micro tear idea really resonates. it feels like i'm tearing but never healing with this everyday training. as for letting the experts guide me totally, no expert i've had has ever worked with someone who lost so much muscle for so long a time, so no one really knows for sure how to help me best i think.

Re: Paula

Julie on 1/25/02 at 10:44 (071241)

Paula, just trust your body. It knows better than any PT or trainer what's good for it. It sounds as though you're really aware of what's going on within you, so stick with that, progress at rebuilding your muscle strength at your own pace and I'm sure you'll be fine.

Re: John

Julie on 1/25/02 at 10:47 (071242)

Well, I'm sure you're right, John, but I'm in way over my head here! 250 pounds! 25 reps! Goodness. I was thinking of normal human beings like me and Paula.

I remember the Relaxaciser!

Re: question for monte or other body builders or athletes

Richard, C.Ped on 1/25/02 at 11:34 (071249)

Some things that I have learned about working out:

If I am trying to lose weight...I do lighter weight with more reps and less time between sets.

When I want to gain mass, I do heavier weights with less reps and more rest between sets.

When I am not trying to do anything at all, I sit in front of the tv and do more reps with a 16 oz chocolate milk with hardley no rest bewteen sips.

Richard

Re: Judy I have a question...

john h on 1/25/02 at 11:50 (071258)

I have read numerous papers on PF where they discuss micro tears in the fascia as Julie says.