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Do muscles really need "to rest"?

I joined a gym several weeks ago and now I would like to work out every day. I'm obese with lots of gut fat, and I want to build muscle everywhere else.

I've heard you're supposed to lift weights only every other day because your muscles need to rest. Is this true or nonsense?

by Anonymousreply 4701/05/2013

This will never happen.

by Anonymousreply 101/02/2013

Yes, it's true. However, you CAN work out every day. Just alternate muscle groups.

This is a great site with a lot of helpful information.

Good luck, and you are very smart for wanting to lift and build muscle.

PS: Try and schedule at least one session with a personal trainer to show you a fat busting/muscle building routine - the use of free weights and the machines. If you are doing it incorrectly, you're just wasting your time.

Let us know how it goes!

by Anonymousreply 201/02/2013

Sorry - here's the site

by Anonymousreply 301/02/2013

Check out this guy's transformation after losing 65lbs. Amazing. This also shows his routine and diet.

by Anonymousreply 401/02/2013

More transformation stories to inspire you, OP.

by Anonymousreply 501/02/2013

Not the OP but in a similar situation (obese, gut fat, etc): I am in the process of joining a gym and I was planning on alternating days where I do just cardio and days when I do weight/strength training; is that going to help me lose weight and tone-up? I've gone through periods in my life where I have gone to gym and worked out, but I get discouraged and it always seems to fall apart after 12 weeks. The most I managed to lose once was 40lbs, but I gained that back and then some. I wish I could afford sessions with a personal trainer, but I can barely afford the gym. I'm hoping the cost and the fact that it's right across the street from my job helps to give me incentive to stick with it. I just can't stand myself anymore, I feel ugly inside and out

by Anonymousreply 601/02/2013

R6 (and OP), please don't get discouraged. I know it's hard - I've been there. I used to hate myself. The way I looked, the fact that I had no discipline or self control, that I told myself everyday that TOMORROW I'd start over... of course tomorrow came and went over and over.

One day I finally hit rock bottom. I was sick of it. My weight had not only affected me on the outside, but also on the inside. I became defensive, cranky, mean, negative .. and it was hard for me to be happy for others and their success. I was miserable, and made everyone else around me miserable. I wouldn't be photographed, and missed a lot of events because I hated the way I looked. I isolated myself and became very lonely.

Then, I realized I only had one life, and the clock was ticking.

I MADE myself go to the gym. I hated it. But it worked. I still don't "love" it, but I love how I feel after a workout and I love what it has done for me. (down 75lbs and have kept it off for 5 years and counting). I still go to the gym 5 days a week because I love the way I look and feel, and want to keep it that way!

You MUST be serious about your eating and working out. Give it 6 months of commitment.

What worked for me:

Workout 5 days a week. 30-45 minutes of cardio and then lift for an hour (alternate muscle groups). 1800 calories a day. Chicken, turkey, vegetables, fruit, egg whites, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, whole grain bread, lots of home made vegetable soup, brown rice..

Please do this for yourself - it is life changing.

Check out this link below - put in all of the info, click submit, and you will see how much you will weigh each day from now until the end of the year. Don't like what you see? Then lower your daily caloric intake or exercise more, then try it again with different values.

If you have any questions, I am happy to help.

by Anonymousreply 701/02/2013

OP, accept that it might be boring (bring music to listen to or something), but don't make it painful or exhausting or otherwise unpleasant, because in that case you'll be more likely to quit. Don't push yourself too hard. (In my experience, there's a lot of absurd trainers who think that, even with beginners, it has to really hurt the next day in order to be effective.) Just do a little more than is comfortable.

And don't think anything is going to happen overnight - it takes a while.

And always pretend you're the only person in the gym.

by Anonymousreply 801/02/2013

Will you damage your body by working out the same muscle group every day?

by Anonymousreply 901/02/2013

R7 has great advice.

by Anonymousreply 1001/02/2013

OP it depends on your age.

It is best for most men over 30 to work each muscle group heavily once a week. It also takes hours to work an entire body correctly in one day.

If you are 22 do whatever the fuck you want, if you are 32 each part weekly and well.

by Anonymousreply 1101/02/2013

Start now.

by Anonymousreply 1201/02/2013

R6 here, and that "calculator" just confirmed my worst suspicion, that in order for me to lose the weight I need to lose, I would basically have to give up my entire life and do nothing but exercise for just over 2 years to hit the ideal weight for my height and body type, and for ever after just to maintain. And now I feel completely overwhelmed before I've even had a chance to begin (not dragging my heels about joining a gym BTW, the Y near my office needs an okay from my dr before I can complete the admission process, and I'm not going for my annual stress eco til tomorrow) But that does explain why I haven't gotten very far with my attempts in the past. You know what, I can't worry about it: I just have to get my ok from my cardiologist, join the Y on Monday and get started. If I can get myself to the point where going to the gym becomes routine, I can worry about the rest later. Speaking of the Y, it's $54 a month and I have access to all the Y facilities in the city, plus my work has a health incentive that for every 50 visits to the gym in a 6 month period, they give you back $100 dollars. Not sure if that's a good deal or not, but it's convenient because it is right across the street from my job, so I can theoretically do cardio on my lunch hour and weight training or swimming after work in the afternoon (I'm out by 3:30pm) at least 5 days a week

by Anonymousreply 1301/03/2013

I was in the military, always thin, always in shape, but then started smoking weed for five years and welllllll.....

I want to get back into it, but the problem is that I seem to have lost faith. I know how to work out, and I know it works - I just seem to have no motivation at all, even though I know I look terrible. I stopped the weed (good first step) but my desire to return to the gym is a flat nothing.

(Also I teach at a Univ, and my student go to the same gym, so that's kind of freaking me out)

by Anonymousreply 1401/03/2013

The catch phrase is Rip & Repair. You need a repair day between each Rip day.

by Anonymousreply 1501/03/2013

Just do 3 times a week to start. 30 minutes. Sweat.

This is a *psychological* boost, primarily. A "reset."

Just get in the habit of exercising. Make it routine.

After 30 days, increase your time (and days, if possible). Try an hour, 3 times a week, then 4. Weight train at least twice a week.

Once you get a glimpse of how exercise can improve your body and mind (mostly mind at the beginner level) you'll want to do more, and you will.

by Anonymousreply 1601/03/2013

R6, would you mind sharing your height and weight? I want to help you, you seem really overwhelmed :(

by Anonymousreply 1701/03/2013

Asking an anxious beginner to exercise 5 times a week for 2 hours and severely restrict their diet is a prescription for failure.

by Anonymousreply 1801/03/2013

If you're pushing weights properly, the muscle groups you're working will be sore for a day or two afterwards. This is normal but you want to give those muscles time to repair before you hit them with the weights again. That's why rest periods are recommmended. Break your weights exercises down by muscle group and rotate the muscles you work each day. I hit arms and chest one day, legs and shoulders the next, then my back on the third, and no weights on the fourth. Rinse, repeat, and throw some regular cardio into the mix, and you'll be feeling (and looking) great within a few months. Good luck OP

by Anonymousreply 1901/03/2013

You're really asking a lot, R2-5-7; I'm already swimming in shark infested waters here in the Datalounge by admitting I'm fat, and not just fat but morbidly obese :-) But since you seem genuinely concerned: I'm going to be 45 in a few months, I am 6ft tall and currently 286lbs. I was up over 300 at one point, and within the past 5 years had gotten down to 254 but gained it back. I have always had trouble with my weight since I was 4 years old. The closest I ever got to being thin was in my late teens and early 20's when I was about 190, give or take, and could squeeze into a size 34 waist jean, but that was sill too fat for the gay community in the mid 80's and I was sneered at anyway. Looking back, I wish I had known about the bear community; I think I would have made a cute cub for somebody. During my 20's my weight slowly crept up again, and then the Summer that I lost my job and had to drop out of college was spent drinking a lot of beer with my friends, and my weight went from bad to worse. I am partnered and have been so for 17 years, but the older I get, the more worried I am about my health, but I am also going through a severe midlife crisis; I feel like I have completely lost the person that I was and that I wanted to be, and I go through periods where I feel like I'm going to cry at the drop of a hat. Then I rally and I think it's not so bad, but then again here I am pouring it out on the DL so it's not so good either

by Anonymousreply 2001/03/2013

This is all fantastic advice

I think what would really help some people

and myself, true

is advice on the psychological

that's likely the largest reason that some of us stay out of the gym, even if we like it

the intimidation

the fear of doing it wrong


not to speak for anyone else

maybe i'm the only freak in the gym thinking these things

by Anonymousreply 2101/03/2013

R20, since you weighed over 300 at one point, you must know that weighing 286 makes your life better, even negligibly. Take it in 10 pound increments. Your life will continue and you will either weigh 286 next week or 285. And so on.

Get yourself medicated to stop the crying spells, maintain a small weight loss every week, and you will gradually feel better enough to tackle other problems. 6 months from now, you will either be fat or not so fat with all the same problems. Life is easier when you're not so fat. You CAN do this.

by Anonymousreply 2201/03/2013

OP you can do cardio every day. Do that for 30 minutes and then work on whatever muscle group you are on that day. On your days off get out and walk. Cardio is what is going to burn off the fat. No matter how much weight training you do it wont show if your hard work is covered in fat.

by Anonymousreply 2301/03/2013

OP, you got it wrong. If you want to get muscular you have to workout 5-6 days a week. You DON'T excerise the same muscle group every day. Bodybuilders recommend you work out the same muscle group twice a week but not back-to-back days so you give that muscle group a rest. Bodybuilders also recommend you do the same routine for 8-10 weeks then take one week off then start a new 8-10 week routine again. Muscle atrophies after two weeks of inactivity.

Since you are just starting off you need to start slow and appreciate what you accomplish. I don't recommend you follow what I wrote in the first paragraph right now because you are not capable of handling a full bodybuilding rountine now. Instead, do one or two different exercises a day until you feel you mastered it. Then gradually increase the number of excercises you do a day. Eventually you will be able to handle a bodybuilding rountine.

Besides building up muscle mass you will have to do cardio to lose the stubborn fat around your stomach, butt and upper legs. When you get to about 14% body fat you will be able to see slight definition of your abs without flexing.

Go visit They have a huge site with lots of information.

by Anonymousreply 2401/03/2013

It's absolutely true -- if your muscles are still sore you DON'T want to work them out again.

It takes a day at least for muscles you worked out hard to heal and recover, which is the act of adding new muscle tissue.

Do not get ahead of yourself.

You can still work out muscles every day, just alternate to different muscle groups.

For instance, maybe on Day 1 you hit your chest, biceps and triceps, then on Day 2 you hit your legs.

Most pro bodybuilders do not even return to the same muscle grouping until they've hit 3-5 different ones first (although some hit the gym twice per day).

Do not disregard this advice as a myth, you will feel miserable, wreck yourself and destroy muscle tissue.

by Anonymousreply 2501/03/2013

[quote]The catch phrase is Rip & Repair.

That's what Ina Garten calls it when she has to mend her pants after cutting a face-melter.

by Anonymousreply 2601/03/2013

I started doing 20-30 minutes of bowflex each day along with 20 minutes of elliptical about 2 months ago. My rule is I have to do at least 45 minutes of something daily, and I usually choose to combine the two. I also dropped wheat from my diet along with refined sugar. I gotta say, it's pretty slow going. I want to drop 30-40 pounds, and I've managed about 10 so far. I'm not all that concerned that it's going slowly because I'm definitely noticing changes in body shape. I've become much more toned (more muscle), I have better posture and my joints feel really good. I wish I could lose the belly fat more quickly, but I've resolved myself to not get down about it. It took years to slowly put on, so I guess it's okay if it takes awhile to take off. Just don't get discouraged, OP (and anyone else who's feeling the same). You might not necessarily see the weight loss benefits as quickly as you want, but some of the other things like muscle tone and flexibility are pretty great, too.

by Anonymousreply 2701/03/2013

OP, some of the posters here mean well but are getting WAY too detailed. You'll want to keep it simple and stay focused.

Do muscles really need to rest? Depends on your exertion level.

No, if you are just doing medium-light lifting/toning on machines , giving like 60% exertion vs your ultimate capacity, and if you are not sore 2 days later.

Yes, if you are really straining and giving the weight training 100% of your capacity. If there is soreness on Day 1 afterward and even more soreness on Day 2 afterward, then do take a rest day. Or even two.

Good luck -- hope you are one of the few who stick with it. There is an annual horde of "January heavies" who try fitness for a few weeks and then are never seen again.

by Anonymousreply 2801/03/2013

ALWAYS do weight first cardio second, never do the cardio first.

by Anonymousreply 2901/04/2013

R29 why is that?

by Anonymousreply 3001/04/2013

Because you can really hurt yourself lifting weights in a semi-exhausted state. Need a full tank of energy and focus. But you're not that likely to rip a knee ligament or a rotator cuff just pedaling along on the bike or the incline stair thing, even if you're half wiped out.

by Anonymousreply 3101/04/2013

Also, it's easier to keep yourself motivated for a whole pain-in-the-ass workout when you do weights first. I tell myself I can get through another set of lifting whatever and then I can rest, whereas you're stuck on that treadmill for a while.

by Anonymousreply 3201/04/2013

OP, if you are one of the many deluded fatties who believe that you can convert blubber to muscle, rest assured that you cannot. What fatties do outside the gym is WAY more important than what they do inside the gym. Stop eating for any reason other than hunger. Fat problem solved.

by Anonymousreply 3301/04/2013

OP please sit on R30 and crush him to death.

by Anonymousreply 3401/04/2013

R34 do you mean R33?

by Anonymousreply 3501/04/2013

R33 is an idiot and obviously knows nothing about fitness.

Diet without exercising and you will be a flabby, untoned mess.

by Anonymousreply 3601/04/2013

You guys really cannot stand to hear the truth can you?

by Anonymousreply 3701/04/2013

OP, have you abandoned your boycott of Papa Johns in favor of one of his delicious specials?

by Anonymousreply 3801/04/2013

[quote] The catch phrase is Rip & Repair. You need a repair day between each Rip day.

Exactly, R15. It's in the repairing that the muscle gets strong. Little tears in the muscle that heal. I would work out every day - but leave the weights alone every other day.

Anyone who needs to lose 75 - 85 lbs or more needs to realistically have a long range view of about 2 years. With dieting and exercise you should be where you want within a 2 years time frame.

by Anonymousreply 3901/04/2013

Does anyone believe the story in r4's post? Wouldn't that guy have stretched out skin from being overweight?

by Anonymousreply 4001/04/2013

You can build muscle by working out once a week, an hour a week. Google Occam's Protocol.

Building muscle mass and losing weight are two different goals.

by Anonymousreply 4101/04/2013

R40 he was 19 and only lost 65 pounds. The before photo is very misleading because the angle makes him look much wider than he really was.

by Anonymousreply 4201/04/2013

Sorry R30 and R35 I did mean R33.

by Anonymousreply 4301/05/2013

What about runners? They use plenty of large muscles in the legs and buttocks, yet they run every day.

by Anonymousreply 4401/05/2013

Yeah, as long as your muscles don't feel "ripped" why can't you lift weights every day?

by Anonymousreply 4501/05/2013

R2 is 100% right.

If you work out your biceps (or any muscle group) every day, you will make no progress at all. The muscles HAVE TO rest a day.

But you can make Monday, Wed. & Friday your day for certain muscles, then make Tues., Thurs., and Saturday your day for working out other muscles. Any gym trainer can make good reliable suggestions for this.

by Anonymousreply 4601/05/2013

[quote] Does anyone believe the story in [R4]'s post? Wouldn't that guy have stretched out skin from being overweight?

Once again. Healthy skin is elastic. If you lose slowly and at some point start to exercise, your skin will be fine. I lost 80 lbs and I had no - that is zero - "stretched out skin".

Pay attention.

by Anonymousreply 4701/05/2013
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