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Recovery Week

Is the recovery week necessary?  I get asked that a lot.  And I totally get it.  I remember when I was on my first round, and I was so fired up to get maximum results in a 90 day period that I wanted to push and push and push myself to the limit.  The idea of taking a “recovery week” did not appeal to me.  Why not just keep lifting hard?  Wouldn’t that give me better results?

Well, I trusted in what the smart folks at Beachbody designed, so I took the recovery week, and I learned a couple things:

#1 — The recovery week is actually a tough week!  It’s not a bunch of sitting around and stretching.  Core Synergistics is an hour long, and it’s tough!  The cardio is a little easier without Plyo on the schedule, but it still gets the heart rate up and the sweat flowing.

#2 – Giving the major muscle groups a week off actually gets them stronger, fully rejuvinated, and ready to take it up a notch as you start the next phase.  I was shocked with how much stronger I was coming out of the recovery week.

I will always take my recovery weeks.  While I love pushing myself, I must remember that muscles grow while resting, not while working.  If I never give the muscles the extra rest they need after 3 weeks of hard lifting, my results will actually suffer!  I know it sounds backwards, but it’s true.

The same goes with the “48 hour rule”.  Since muscles grow while resting, you have to give the major muscle groups 48 hours of rest between heavy resistance days.  That’s why alternating lift days and cardio days is such a good idea.  I know we want to get ripped as fast as possible, but if we go at it foolishly, overtraining and wearing our bodies out, we will end up with inferior results.

It’s not just about the lifting.  It’s about timing the workouts, timing the nutrition, and timing the supplements.  So much goes into a successful physical transformation.  And since the folks at Beachbody have put it into a complete plan for us, my advice is to follow their plan!  Take the recovery week!  Alternate lift and cardio days to rest the muscles. And supplement properly to refuel yourself and bounce back faster (with a post-workout supplement like Results/Recovery or something similar).

Don’t get me wrong, you can substitute, do more intense cardio (like Insanity, etc.), and create hybrids, but no matter what you develop as your training schedule, give your body those recovery weeks it needs and you’ll see better results in the end!

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45 comments
GabrielJones
GabrielJones

Hi, I'm in my first phase of p90x, about to start the recovery week (though I did an additional week in that phase). I know it's time for my body to hit the next phase because it seems my growth is minimal and my soreness almost non-existent (except for after legs workout) and I have bumped up my weight and/or reps throughout the weeks.

So, here's my question. Will the remainder of the program focus on muscle gains or is it still predominantly cutting? I'm 6'1", 160 lbs and don't really have much fat to lose. This is especially true considering I did a 30 day fast in March, re-calibrated my eating and body for two weeks following, then did Jillian Michael's 30 day shred (for 21 days) to prep for p90x.

Should I continue with p90x or is there a program that would be better for me? I don't want to be a body builder or put on tons of mass, but I do want to get bigger and ripped. I love to run and will continue to, so I'm probably going to eventually allow that to serve as my predominant cardio.

Thanks so much for any help you are able to provide!

Blessings,

Gabe

shawndaniells
shawndaniells

I do my P90X Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I have to do it this way because of my work schedule, I am an Aircraft Technician and tavel out of town every weekend and work 6 pm to 7 am. So my question is since I take 3 days off weekly should I still do the recovery phase. I did the first recovery phase and now approaching the second, I have lost 25lbs and tying to push about 15 more. I just want to make sure I do this right to get the results I am fighting for.

Sam
Sam

I did not take a recovery week after each phase of p90x but I never trained the same muscle group two days in a row. I did the p90x strength workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a chest shoulders and triceps on saturdays. Is it necessary for me to take a recovery week before I start another round or can I start immediately on my next round?

Mike
Mike

Thanks, I was afraid that was going to be your answer.

Mike
Mike

I've been following you for a while now and love all of the articles you write. I may have missed it but did you substitute something for Yoga X during your recovery week? I'm starting my first recovery week tomorrow and I have been substituting Cardio X for Yoga the first 3 weeks. Thanks for all you do.

Mario Sanchez
Mario Sanchez

Coach, What is something similar to the results and recovery drink?

cici
cici

so...i have a question about the recovery week. i'm not trying to skip it, but i'm wondering if i really should do it. i'm finishing up the two month mark according to the workouts, but i don't do them every single day. i have chemo three days a week, and i don't work out on those days. (btw, my doc says it's okay for me to do p90x...as long as i take chemo days off) so...it'll take me a week and a half or two weeks to complete the 7 days of workouts. so...does my body really need more of a rest? what do you think!?

Dylan
Dylan

Has anyone kept up the ab ripper x workout? in the recovery week? is it ok to keep doing it? im in my 1st recovery week and I have replaced yoga x with plyo (as i still want to push it hard) and want to keep ab ripper x in there or is core synergistics enough?

willie dynamite
willie dynamite

Hello Coach Wayne.If I want to maximize my fatloss during recovery week how many calories should I take in? I was taking in 2000-2500 before recovery week doing 2 a days.I will still go to the local gym at night only to sit in the sauna and stretch for 15-20 Mins to add the extra stretch to my muscles. Thx

willie dynamite
willie dynamite

Coach Wayne on my Insanity Workout calendar it says I can replacecore cardio and balance with max interval sports.Im thinking why would they give you an option to replace your recovery days with a high intesity workout if the recovery week was unchangeable?Plus I really want to alternate between core recovery and balance with max interval sports for the entire recovery week.Please give me your much needed and respected input.Thx...

donald
donald

i have the work outs but the nutrition book and dvd were stolen so is there any specpic order you go in for the P90X routine and how do i get the nutrition book and dvd again some of the work outs i can not finish all of them will that hurt me or do i need to work up too that level

Robbie
Robbie

Thanks for the quick response...Just curious, do you have a forum regarding nutrition?...I'm one of the many trying to get that six pack and I follow a strict diet...but not perfectly in-line with the P90X diet plan...anyway, just trying to tweak the diet and workout for optimal results

Robbie
Robbie

This is my first round of P90X and I'm entering into Recovery Week...While I plan to do recovery week, would there be any harm in doing a little cardio at the gym every day or every other day? I'm currently suffering from tendonitis in my left hand so a break from lifting will be apprecaited...even though yoga strains the wrist as well

Bruce
Bruce

Great read Coach! Sometimes people tend to forget about the body needing to recover from the xtreme we put it through.

Erik
Erik

I just did Core Synergistics again tonight - and I pushed HARD!! I thought I was going to throw up. That workout can be just as hard as Plyo. Here's my take: if you're not feeling any intensity, then find a way to push yourself harder!!! Even during recovery week! If the people on DVD are huffing and puffing and sweating like crazy, then I better be too. If I can't get to the point where my mind says "stop," then I haven't pushed myself that day. 90 days of no excuses.. no compromises. Period. E

christian
christian

I have to say i hate the recovery week workouts, they aren't hard enough on my muscles, and not intense enough cardio since im used to Insanity Workout . That said, after i take a few days off i can do like 3 pullups more than usual, and increase my weights on lift days

Joey
Joey

Awesome insight coach! Thanks so much for the post.

Couch Double
Couch Double

This came up for me when I started my 2nd round of P90X. My body didn't feel like it needed a recovery week and I wasn't sure I should take one. I like your take on it and think I'll take your advice. As always thanks coach!

Sean
Sean

Great Post Wayne. A lot of people don't realize how important recovery is to your overall progress. Muscles need a chance go grow. Great info in here.

John Barlow
John Barlow

alright thanks! you have no idea how much this has helped!

John Barlow
John Barlow

awesome thanks coach, should i stay on my 1,800 cal diet since i'll have no cardio for a while or should i drop the calories. I still got about 15 pounds of fat i want to drop.

Jack
Jack

Recovery week is where i fail P90x too much. I am ashamed to say i havent actually got past recovery week before! Everytime i get to it, it seems to coincide with an event such as a birthday where i will take a day of, which then turns into a month off! Quite annoying really. I was thinking this time around i would skip the recovery week but i do realize how important it is!

John Barlow
John Barlow

Hey Coach! interesting enough monday was the start of my recovery week. I workout late at night. That evening i severely pulled my calf muscle. I couldn't move my leg period. I was trying to think of what i could do to mimick my recovery week.. nothing, i can't do cardio, i can now move my leg good enough to do ab ripper, and of course my upper body is in workin condition to do chest/back/arms ect. Just looking for some input on what to do workout/die-wise. Its looking like i'll be out for 2-3 weeks, still have to go to the Dr., but would appreciate any input thanks

Erik
Erik

Great post, Coach. I realize the importance of the recovery week, but this just reinforces it for me - I've got my recovery week right now, and I'm sticking to the schedule. E

Paul Mason
Paul Mason

coach, very well put and describes what that recovery week really is - rest from the craziness of P90X or Insanity Workout - it really helps to not lift super heavy on your rest week (I cant believe im gonna say this but do YOGA)- I know is long and hard but do it - you will feel so so much better starting your next phase after your fully stretched out and rested to crush your next phase !! "DO WORK"

Coach Josh
Coach Josh

Great topic Wayne. I think it is a huge mistake if people don't take their recovery weeks. You need to stretch, and you need to give your muscles time to recover. If you overwork yourself, you set yourself up for injury, or at minimum, no gains. The workout systems were designed the way they are for a reason...you need to let your body recover.

breakpoint
breakpoint

great point coach! recovery is crucial and even more the boys at beachbody know what they are doing so just trust the layout of the programs.

GabrielJones
GabrielJones

Oh, and I failed to mention that I'm going on vacation for my 8 yr anniversary next week so I'm not quite sure the best way to keep working out while there. I considered doing my recovery week then, but I don't know what I'd do this week. Another week of phase one p90x? Go right to phase 2 now and break next week? I don't really want to start a new phase that I'm completely unfamiliar with while on vacation (especially considering I'd be at the mercy of their workout facility...which I think is really good...but I'd look pretty silly with my laptop in there watching the dvds hahaha). I also don't want to do some random workouts in the gym. Should I just take advantage of the beach and do a lot of running? Man, I have no clue.

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @shawndaniells That would be up to you. You can really have training blocks anywhere from 3-8 weeks without needing a recovery week. If you are feeling good, run an extra week of phase 2 and then go right into 3. I would still end with a recovery week. 

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Sam, I would take a week before another round. You want to give your body time to fully recover. You will see better gains if you do.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Mike, on recovery weeks I did the yoga since core syn is also in the lineup for recovery week. :-(

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Mario, there are several recovery drinks on the market. You want one with fast absorbing carbs, protein, electrolytes, glutamine, and creatine.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Cici! You are in an unusual situation, so the standard rules don't apply. I'd say don't do the recovery week since you are spreading out the workouts. And on a more important note -- YOU ROCK!!!! What an inspiration to hear that nothing is standing in your way! CONGRATS!!!

Coach W
Coach W

I personally have kept going with the ARX during recovery week. Some might argue this topic as to stop and let the muscle confusion take effect but remember you are doing 2 core workouts during the recovery week so the abs are never really getting a rest. I do my ARX every other day regardless of where I am on the program even during the recovery week as the Core Synergistics just doesnt cut it for me after 6 months. Coach Ant

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Willie, I never shift calories down during recovery because I want to make sure my body gets the chance to really recover. I would encourage you to continue the same nutrition through the recovery week, and you'll find that your body will be ready to rev up into another gear next week.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Willie, if you want the extra intensity and variety, go for it!!! If you are feeling wiped out, go with the lower intensity workouts.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Donald. No worries! As long as you bought them from BB, they will gladly take care of it for you. Just call their customer service department and let them know what happened. Sorry someone stole your books! At least they left the DVD's!

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Yeah, there are a lot of articles I've posted dealing directly with nutrition, as well as a whole section in the teamRIPPED "FORUM" that you can participate in. Just click the button on the right menu bar that says "THE FORUM" in big red letters!

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Robbie, some extra light cardio is fine, but don't push it too hard. Your body will really respond if you let it get some recuperation time.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

You could drop it just a tad (don't go lower than 1600 though).

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Sorry to hear that John! Definitely stay super clean on the diet. Don't let the fact that you can't workout cause you to lose motivation on the diet or it can snowball in a hurry! Do the workouts that you can, but it's looking like you will be out for all cardio, plyo, and Legs/Back. You might try Core Synergistics (but skip the exercises you can't do), and otherwise rest from the major lift days since it's recovery week anyways. Then hit the Back/Bi and Chest/Shoulders/Tri hard the following week. You could even do them back to back since you can't do the cardio and plyo (for example, do Back/Bi on day 1 and day 4, do C/S/T on day 2 and day 5). So even though you are getting less leg work, you can get a little more upper body lifting.

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @GabrielJones I think you could really go either way. Keep going on an extra week of the phase 1 workouts or go on to the recovery week. You could then roll right into phase 2 when you get home. I would stick with P90X though. It's the best overall program to improve body composition, add muscle, and increase performance. 

GabrielJones
GabrielJones

 @CoachWayne Thanks so much for help! I'm gonna hit one more week of phase one and just bump my weight and/or reps up. I'll enjoy my recovery week next week in Mexico :) Thanks again!