Rest Your Body: Recover Like a Pro

recovery stretching
Woman. Stretching.

Rest Your Body: Recover Like a Pro with these time specific guidelines for rest and recovery.

Rest is a vital part of maintaining optimal health and building muscle mass and strength. Rest is when we grow stronger. It is also when we recover. Rest prevents injury and lessens the likelihood of burnout, overtraining, and developing chronic conditions related to too much exercise. The tips provided below show you how to prevent an imbalance between exercise and rest, when to rest and for how long during exercise and after.

  1. Take a quick inventory of how you feel. Sore? You have microscopic tears in your muscles. No lifting for at least 48 hours.
  2. Wait no less than three hours after cardiovascular exercise to do resistance training.
  3. Ideally, give 24 hours of rest between cardiovascular exercise and resistance training.
  4. Give muscles 48 hours of rest after high-intensity resistance training for muscles to return to baseline strength.
  5. Do you train twice per day? Make sure to provide at least six hours minimum between workouts.
  6. Provide rest to all muscles, lower and upper body, after cardiovascular exercise before resistance training. Even though only the lower body worked it seems like when you ran, there was a cross over effect that impacted all of your muscles.
  7. Schedule intense workouts prior to a day off for full recovery.
  8. Use intermittent rest. Take two non-consecutive days off per week.
  9. Do not rest or remain inactive for over 96 hours. Body begins to breakdown.
  10. Aid recovery after high-intensity exercise by staying on a regular exercise and sleep schedule.
  11. Do dynamic stretching before training or competition.
  12. Provide at least five minutes of rest between static stretching and training or competition.

To explore the latest on RT methods and earn PT CEUs, click here.


Ashmore, Amy. 2020. Timing Resistance Training: Programming the Muscle Clock for Optimal Performance. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. 

Author Biography

Amy Ashmore, Ph.D. holds a doctorate in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a physical therapy continuing education provider located in Las Vegas, NV.


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