What Are The Proper Rest Periods Between Bouts of Bodyweight Training?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

During the pandemic, many gym-goers around the world started rediscovering the benefits of bodyweight exercises due to being mostly at home and the majority of gyms being closed.

Now, we already know how powerful bodyweight workouts can be when it comes to building muscle and losing weight – especially with Summer right around the corner. But all of this begs the question – how is resting between bodyweights workouts any different than resting between everyday resistance training at the gym?

Now, first of all, we have to say that resting and recovering between stretches of physical activity is important regardless of what type of workout we did or its intensity.

If proper recovery does not take place, your muscles won’t be able to replenish their energy stores and perform at their best next time.

Not only does this mean that you won’t be able to reach your maximum workout potential, but it also means you might be risking injury or overtraining. In short, we have to stay on track with our recovery to guarantee that we’re reaching our fitness goals.

And even though bodyweight workouts don’t seem as “difficult” as lifting heavy weights, you still need a lot of rest.

Many people believe bodyweight training is easier because they’re not familiar with the bazillion exercise options available to them. That being said, less options doesn’t mean less challenge.

If you’re training your entire body in the gym, you might need up to 48 hours to recover between workouts. If you’re doing a split, you can do your workouts on back-to-back days since you’re targeting different muscle groups every time.

The same goes for bodyweight training. Give every muscle group you’re training at least 48 hours of rest before jumping back into it. I know you might be tempted to do a little bit of everything every day, but you have to remember to give your muscles the necessary rest they need to grow. If you don’t, you’re not just risking losing the gains you work so hard for – you’re also risking injury that could take you away from the gym (or park) for a long time.

Another factor you should take into account is how intense your bout of exercise was.

People who train to failure when doing bodyweight training should always give themselves (and their muscles) at least 48 hours of rest between training bouts.

But if you’re the type of person to do a few sets of pushups and crunches while you’re at home, you can freely and safely do this every day without having to worry about adding too much stress to your body.

Ultimately, it’s going to come down to how your muscles feel the day after your training. Do you feel like you can do the exact same workout the next day? If the answer is yes, you probably could, and this probably means that your training bout wasn’t focused as much on intensity.

If you struggle to find the energy or motivation you need to do the exact same workout the next day, it’s likely because you’ve given it your all and you should give your muscles another 24 hours to rest before doing another bout.

Your rest periods between bodyweight workouts should also take into account your recovery methods.

Many people started discovering traditionally unconventional recovery methods in recent years, be it foam rolling, ice bathing, you name it.

Whether you choose foam rolling, stretching, a low-intensity day of walking, or just all-out rest, keep in mind to experiment on different recovery options and find one that works best for you. If you’re staying at home right now, keep trying different things and see what makes you feel and perform at your best.

But always remember the golden standard – give your muscles at least 48 hours of rest between workouts, especially if you’re the type of person to train until failure. More often than not, 24 hours will not be enough for you to properly recover, regardless of your recovery method.