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Making the Most of Recovery Week

I explained a little about what recovery week is in a previous post. As promised, I am going give you some tips to help you make the most of your recovery week.

Just to recap briefly, recovery week is taking time off from your workouts to allow your body, both physically and mentally to replenish. There are several methods to choose from to incorporate into your routine. What’s best for you can be determined by your personal schedule and experiences.

How Often is Best for Recovery Week?

This can be a broad range of time between different people. It really depends on what your goals are, intensity of the workouts, your body, and your schedule.

There are some 60 and 90 day programs that incorporate recovery time into their schedule every 4 weeks. Hard core weight lifters often only have 1-2 recovery weeks per year. And then there are others who like to schedule their recovery week every 12 weeks. As you can see, the range between one’s recovery week can vary quite a bit.

Best advice is to listen to your body to judge properly when a recovery week may be needed.

What To Do or Not Do During Recovery Week

Recovery week activity level can be different for everyone also. I have some programs that have less intensive workouts for the recovery week and others with no activity.

For intense workouts – such as Insanity, it is recommended you train 6 days a week, reduce level of intensity every 4 weeks, taking a full week off after 8 weeks. In the reduced intensity week, think about reducing your exertion by about 50%.

You won’t always be doing workouts as difficult as Insanity, so during those training weeks perhaps you won’t want to take a full week off. Having a day off a week may be enough for 6 months.

Listening to your body during your workout weeks is key. When you begin to feel exhausted all of the time instead of the usual bounce of energy working out should be giving you, that could definitely be an indication of your body needing some time off.

Recovery week will mean different things to different people. Often my recovery weeks or days will be a complete rest due to other things going on such as family visits or vacations.

Recovery Week


This week, as mentioned in a previous post, my son, daughter-in-law and 2 grandchildren were visiting for a few days. Yesterday, we went for a hike at Kanarra Falls. Although it was cut short due to not being as young child friendly as we had hoped, it was still refreshing to be outside in the fresh air while taking in beautiful views in Zion National Park.

So, for my recovery week this time I will have taken off 3 full days, 1 day of light cardio mix, 1 short hike, 1 day of horseback riding and probably some type of activity on Saturday. You can see it is a much lighter week than the Insanity Workouts, however, it won’t be complete abstinent of exercise.

Other essential elements of recovery week would be to:

  1. Make sure to get plenty of sleep
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Do some stretching such as yoga or pilates
  4. Keep a healthy diet

Week 1 After Recovery Week

Hopefully, after a few days off you are an anxious to get back to the workouts as I am! I have 30 days left in this Insanity program and am so excited to get going again on Monday.

What has been your experience with past recovery weeks?

Have additional questions about your recovery week? Ask below and I will reply!



33 thoughts on “Making the Most of Recovery Week”

  1. I must be in one looooong recovery week! lol But really, my hubby takes recovery weeks on occasion. I don’t think he has a set amount of time between. Now I’m curious – I’ll ask him!

    • Shann,
      True, if you aren’t working out hard regularly, a recovery break isn’t as important. When you are really sore, try some yoga or pilates to help work the soreness out of your legs. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Recovery week is usually recovery day for me. I have a stepper at home which I use and schedule myself to sometimes watch TV while I exercise and I think that works

    • Moving in some form is beneficial for sure even in recovery periods. I am going to be posting an article soon providing 100 activities to do that aren’t “workouts”. They would be great for recovery weeks!

  3. I’ve been hitting the workouts hard the past few months and this week I just have not been motivated or made the time to work out – I am now going to tell myself that it was a recovery week ๐Ÿ˜€ haha #perspective

  4. If you are in stress then there is need to recover things by getting whole week off! But it also can make you out of track.. So It’s better to heel yourself without taking a week off from your routine work!

  5. If I took a week off, my body would suffer and honestly, that is all it would take for me to stop working out completely.

  6. I’ve actually found that high levels of stress actually increase my need for extra recovery – sometimes up to two weeks! (Recovery for me means no hard core exercises just light movement like walking or leisurely biking). In times of busy lives and high stress, recovery time is more important than ever!

  7. I dislike recovery weeks. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything. However, as you mention, they are an essential part of any routine. Great reminder. Thanks!


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