That's always a hand grenade waiting to be tossed into any highly important gathering of internet professional strength trainers. Just like everyone has grime under their fingernails, everyone has an opinion about how often you must train and how many days you have to rest. After all, this is all very serious shit and there is no room for disagreement amongst internet experts.
I have pretty respectful and easy-going readers though, I must say. I recently got a message that provoked the topic at hand: how often should you train?
Hi. i'm reading all your blog when i have free time, since 2007. Even if is too mutch "no pain no gain" for me. (training everyday etc)I really appreciate the content and what you write... one thing that I did not understand is why you went from "no tools" to use the kettlebelsl (sic) and other "strongman stuff".continues to write please, it's good for my knowledge and motivation bye and greetings from Italy!
Just like pretty much everything else in training, I believe in variation based personal preferences and capabilities. I do keep up a pretty high volume, high frequency training schedule because that's what I'm capable of doing. I view rest days much in the same light as I do rest in between sets (discussed here): take as many as you need and no more than that.
There's a reason why train so often and don't really plan rest days: I don't need them nearly as much as the next guy does. I can handle a high workload. If you can't handle that kind of regular training, then take the rest you need to recuperate. Don't let anyone tell you how much or how little you need. They don't walk around in your bag of bones after all.
That's not to say that I don't take days off either. In between my workouts, life happens. I'm married, have a kid, a house, and a job that keeps me traveling somewhat regularly. I would love to train every day if I could. I just don't get the opportunity. So, life often provides me with rest days, whether I like them or not.
Also, take into consideration how you live your life in the other 22+ hours you're not training. Compare that to the other internet lifting gods who are about to execute you with an excessively dull butter knife for lifting so often. Are they eating and sleeping properly, or at least doing both well enough relative to their training? If they're doing it worse than you then it's a small wonder you can outwork them.
The dreaded and indecisive-sounding, "it depends", answer to how often we should all be training has to be used. In my non-expert opinion, it's far too relative to each person to answer with a boiler-plate number of sessions. Answer it for yourself.