Rest days depend on the individual and the type of training that they’re doing. Most of my clients can get exceptional results by training four days a week – for a total of four hours¬ – then taking three days off.
Spending four hours a week isn’t a huge ask for most people. That’s going to give them an ample amount of time to rest and recover between sessions. Especially if they’re doing Monday and Tuesday training, Wednesday rest, Thursday and Friday on, then the weekend off.
As people become more comfortable and start advancing, then you might be able to introduce another day – like a Saturday morning. I can have really advanced clients training six days a week, with just a Sunday off to recover. But at that level, we’re talking about people who are competing at bodybuilding shows.
Metabolically, people who are training at that level are a lot more efficient. Also, when they train more days we tend to spread their programs out. Instead of doing four long sessions, we get them doing six shorter ones. That way, I can have them training more body parts, more frequently.
One thing I’ve noticed is that people like to do things in extremes. People decide that they want to get lean, so they start starving themselves and try to train six times a week. The reality is that your body adapts very quickly, so if you want to make changes you need to approach it intelligently. You want to be doing something planned out over a long period of time that will enable you to keep growing.
– Ty Phillips, senior trainer and nutrition coach at Fitness First