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I’m familiar with the standard schedule of strength training any particular group of muscles three times a week, and therefore one recovery day between each routine, with a double recovery day once a week.

But after talking to trainers, and working up to it, I do six sets on most groups. Like I know my limits, and I push right to the edge. If I do happen to go too far, I can feel it on my recovery days.

My question is, maxing out like this, is it still acceptable or ideal to keep with the standard schedule of usually only one recovery day, or should I extend that to two days for any reason?

I know with only one recovery day, I am not as capable on successive workout days. Kinda wondering if there would be an progress advantage to taking for more time for recovery, as I my muscles seem more capable, and thus can be worked harder.

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There's a lot of science behind rest days but I'm going to give you an anecdotal answer.

I had personally been doing my own 5x5 and 5RM training split. Everyday was a new 5RM attempt and it was going really well. After about 10 weeks, the training days started to get really hard. Week 11 I failed my first time and week 12 I failed every day. During all 12 of these weeks I had the exact same number of rest days.

I decided that I should probably listen to my body. I took the next week really light (cut back about 25%) and after that I actually took the following week off completely. I slept a lot and still ate plenty.

When I came back I felt refreshed and I ended up completing my failed week 12 workout with ease.


The reason I wanted to give an anecdotal answer is this:

Like I know my limits, and I push right to the edge. If I do happen to go too far, I can feel it on my recovery days. [...] I know with only one recovery day, I am not as capable on successive workout days.

It sounds to me like you can tell your body is needing more rest. It also sounds like you can tell the difference between being sore/tired vs. inadequate recovery time. In this case it is absolutely more advantageous to take more rest time or improve the rest you're giving your body (longer sleep, better sleep, more food, better food, etc.)

You can also consider how you're working out. Are you training to an RPE or RIR? Or are you following a 6 x 12 workout like it's written in stone? Sometimes it's better to cut back on the set; just how sometimes it's better to press a bit harder.

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