Is a rest day really needed?

Stimulate don’t annihilate – it’s a famous gym slogan that needs some consideration when it comes to the length of training sessions and the need for optimal levels of rest outside the gym. With this in mind, while it’s often tempting to train 6 or 7 days a week – is a rest day really needed?


Training different body parts on consecutive days enables you to hit the gym hard without taking a rest day – for example train chest on Monday and legs on Tuesday. This 2-day-on, 1-day-off strategy is a popular choice among many trainers. Equally, using a split body part plan over 5 straight days, before taking 2 days off can work well. Another quality approach is hardcore training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – with the other days of the week being your rest days (1-2 cardio sessions optional).

Training-split examples:

2 days on, 1 day off
5 days on, 2 days off
Alternate days mon-fri, weekend off

Ultimately, a well structured training-split enables the whole body to be trained over 3-5 days per week – leaving 2-4 potential rest days. Few trainers have the capacity to train a body part more frequently than once every 5 days.

The benefit of complete rest days include several physique factors:

  • Full muscle recovery, repair and growth
  • Nervous system rejuvenation (more power and drive!)
  • Immune system support
  • Increased training motivation
  • Replenished muscle glycogen stores

Picking the right rest protocol comes down to personal preference, the type of plan you’re following and how you respond to different training:rest levels. It’s also worth noting that less experienced trainers can often get away with a higher training frequency! When you become capable of lifting extremely heavy weights and training with truly hardcore intensity, the body often needs more rest days.


Rest days need taking seriously for optimal recuperation, growth and performance when you next hit the gym:

Maintain optimal protein, macro’s and calorie intake in-line with your goal…

    • Take you daily supplements (e.g. a supplement such as OMNI-MX® HARDCORE needs taking on both training and rest days).
    • Sleep at least 8 hours for maximum recovery.

However much you love training, it’s highly likely that you’ll experience optimal power, endurance, strength, muscle growth and physique progression, by taking 2-3 rest days per week.

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