The Muscle Recovery Time Chart:
In order to calculate your muscle recovery time chart, you need to know the following:
Your total amount of work done per workout (workout A + Workout B) Your total number of sets done per workout (Set 1 – Set 2) Your average number of reps completed per set (Reps x Sets) Your average weight lifted during each workout (Weight x Reps) The average volume performed during each workout (Volume x Reps).
Now that you have all these data points, you can calculate your muscle recovery time chart.
How Much Recovery Do You Need?
7 Factors to Add Up
You will need to add up the above factors and then divide it by 7. The result will give you your recovery time needed for one week.
If you are doing two or three workouts per day, multiply the above factor times 3 or 4 respectively. For example if you do 5 sets of 10 reps with 85% of your max, multiply your total number of sets by 5 and then divided it by seven. If you train two times a day, multiply the total volume by 2 and then divided it by seven.
As an example, let’s say that you did 200 sets last week, and your average weight lifted was 220lbs per set with an average of 6.2 reps completed per set.
If you trained twice a day, you would multiple the total number of sets by 2 and the total volume by 2. Let’s say that you are a beginner and you trained four times a week last week. You would multiple your weekly volume by 4 and your daily volume by 2. Now we can calculate your recovery time needed for one week.
First, let’s multiply the total number of sets by 2 and then divide it by 7: 200 sets multiplied by 2 equals 400 and divided by 7 equals 57.14.
This means that you need an average of 57.14 hours of rest between each training session due to the volume that you did last week.
Secondly, let’s multiply the average weight lifted per set by 6.2 and then divide it by 7: 220lbs multiplied by 6.2 equals 1364 and divided by 7 equals 188.57.
This means that you need an average of 188.57 hours of rest between each training session due to the intensity that you did last week.
Finally, let’s multiple the weekly volume by 4 and the daily volume by 2: 400 multiplied by 4 equals 1600 and divided by 7 equals 233.14.
This means that you need an average of 233.14 hours of rest between each training session due to the total work done last week.
Now we have the following totals:
57.14 hours for volume
188.57 hours for intensity
233.14 hours for the total workload
When you have these numbers, you can calculate your weekly muscle recovery time. Let’s just round these numbers up to 60, 200 and 240 respectively.
This means that you should have at least 60 hours of rest after one training session for volume, 200 hours of rest after one training session for intensity, and 240 hours of rest after one training session for workload.
So what does this mean?
Well, this means that you should not train your upper body again until at least 60 hours after your last workout. It also means that you should not train your upper body again until at least 200 hours after your last workout for intensity and finally it means that you should not train your upper body again until at least 240 hours of your last workload.
In the above example, if you trained your upper body on Monday, then you can train it again on Thursday. If you trained your upper body on Monday, then you can train it again on Tuesday evening.
If you trained your upper body on Monday, then you can train it again on Thursday evening.
What this also means is that you should always have at least one day of complete rest each week to allow for maximum recovery. However, you can increase your weekly recovery by adding various recovery techniques and taking certain supplements which we will get into later in this chapter.
Motor learning and skill practice
Another factor that you need to take into consideration is your actual skills. If you are a tennis player, then you should practice your tennis skills as much as you can.
If you are a swimmer then you should practice your swimming skills as much as you can etc. The more refined your skills are, the more efficient your practice will be, and the less energy and stress you will endure.
A good general rule is to practice until you are refining your skills rather than wasting time and effort. This means that if you are lifting weights, you should concentrate on your form first and foremost, making sure that you master the movement pattern before increasing the weight that you are using.
It is also important that you limit your practice of any skill so that you don’t over-practice it.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Factors predicting motor recovery and functional outcome after traumatic central cord syndrome: a long-term follow-up by MF Dvorak, CG Fisher, J Hoekema, M Boyd, V Noonan… – Spine, 2005 – journals.lww.com
Muscular movement in man: the factors governing speed and recovery from fatigue. by AV Hill – … in Man: the Factors governing Speed and Recovery …, 1927 – cabdirect.org
Turnaround and recovery: What strategy do you need? by HM O’Neill – Long Range Planning, 1986 – Elsevier
Changes in host blood factors and brain glia accompanying the functional recovery after systemic administration of bone marrow stem cells in ischemic stroke rats by M Yang, X Wei, J Li, LA Heine… – Cell …, 2010 – journals.sagepub.com
Prognostic factors for poor recovery in acute whiplash patients by EJM Hendriks, GGM Scholten-Peeters… – Pain, 2005 – Elsevier
Clinical course and prognostic factors in acute low back pain: an inception cohort study in primary care practice by J Coste, G Delecoeuillerie, AC De Lara, JM LeParc… – Bmj, 1994 – bmj.com