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Muscle Recovery Time

Posted by: Corey

Anyone know the exact healing time of different muscle groups?

Re: Muscle Recovery Time

Posted by: Dobs

Recovery or muscle-healing time has a suprisingly difficult nature. First of all, recovery is inversely proportional to your training. But, that's probably the easy part.

Recovery can be seen in two different ways, kinda like micro and macro-economics. Every muscle has a different composition of Type I and Type II fibers. The more Type II fibers you have, the more recovery you will need.

In this perspective, you would also take notice of exercises that overlap, such as doing bicep curls after pulldowns, tricep exercises after bench presses. HIT folks say that it takes 48-72 hours for a muscle to heal, but if you look at HIT full-body routines, each bodypart gets stimulated with varying amounts. Chest may be pre-exhausted; calves may be hit only once. Your lower back may only get deadlifted; but, your upper back is deadlifted, pulldowned, and pullovered. In other words, the recovery guidelines may be rendered irrevelant even by a typical routine that goes without those "advanced" techniques. Overtraining, in this sense, is when your muscles are being worked before they are fully recovered.

Another way to look at recovery, a recent one too, is through stress physiology. In other words, how your whole body recovers from exercise. I wonder how they got those 48-72 hour guidelines. If you just did bench presses and incline flyes, your chest would recover from that than if you added in a leg routine. The more bodyparts you include, the harder your body has to work to feed and repair all those muscles. Also, if you eat poorly, lose sleep, do aerobics, are under high pressure, your recovery will suffer. This is where the Dr. Seyle's GAS stress theory comes in. The important thing is that all the previous examples are forms of stress, which will all make your recover ability suffer. If you've ever grossly overtrained, your whole body, mind as well, feels like crap. You are more prone to fatigue, mood swings, and illness.

Finally, remember that growth comes after full-recovery. If a bodypart takes 3 days to recover, working it out every 3 days guarantees that your muscle will neither grow nor shrink. Put all these three factors together, and you can understand why many people do not get satisfactory results with 3x a week full-body HIT routines. That's why you see some HIT folks recommend working out a bodypart directly once a week, or recommend the 3-way split.

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