Please, if this topic has been beat to death, point me in the right direction but my searching didn't really bring up anything.
I've read constantly that rest days are important, however I'm not entirely clear about what a rest day ought to entail. I keep hearing different opinions, but I'm more curious about what is needed because I want my body to perform well and not just look good.
Does it mean NO workout? Or does it mean I can still do 100 push ups/dips/crunches/pull ups? Or like ZERO weight training, and just some cardio? or it it serious rest. No physical exertion beyond the normal routine of human existence?
And do I still eat like a monster? Or ought I rest on that too?
These are the questions that I would like answered. I know people that lift five-six days a week, but I read that much is too much.
I think that people take to this idea of rest differently, and I have a hard time sitting still anyway so if I can lift and be active seven days a week, that would be good too. What's the answer? (or what's YOUR answer)
Can there be too much of a good thing?
The fact is, the body needs to recover (before it can even grow) from one workout to the next, but psychologically, most seem to think rest days are just wasted time (or like many stimulus addicts...they just need the daily "fix"), however, time off is not wasted time, its a critical part of the growth process.
The Growth process chain is STIMULATE - RECOVER - GROW - STIMULATE - RECOVER - GROW...though for some reason many have the idea its stimulate, stimulate, stimulate then think a bunch of recovery supplements will produce the goods!
So a logical question arises - How much rest between workouts?
As cappy pointed out, the are many independent variables in individuals, though what has been noted by the worlds most highly experienced HIT trainers, is that beginners can get away with 2-3 workouts per week, and as the individual becomes stronger and more neromuscularly efficient, the average client requires 4-7 rest days between workouts (and in some cases 10-14 days, though these are individuals with a poor tolerance to intense physical stress or those who have reached the upper limits of their genetic potential).
Now, i don't discount the fact that there are natural trainees who have done well using higher volume and frequency workouts than stated above, however, that is not evidence that they would have done better had they had train more intensely, briefly, and infrequently.