We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The most intense forms of exercise - heavy weight sessions, sprinting (HIIT sessions of any form), or God forbid, distance running - benefit from 48-72 hours of "recovery." This is age-dependent because youthful bodies can handle almost anything.
Recovery means getting protein you need, good sleep (reparative growth hormone operates during sleep), and maybe making sure to roll out your muscles.
"Recovery" does not mean taking a day off from physical activity. How it is done depends on age and level of fitness. For example, fit 35-75 year-olds can use an hour of calisthenics with hand weights as a day of "active recovery" from weight-lifting, but unfit people might just benefit from a long-slow hour of non-cardio "cardio" as recovery. People have to listen to what their body is telling them, but not to their "lazy voice." It can be difficult to tell the difference.
We usually think of 45 minutes of calisthenics as active recovery for fit people under age 75 or so. Calisthenics sessions do not require more than 24 hours of recovery. Indeed, in my gym there is a cohort of around 40 men and women of all ages who do nothing more than 6-7 calisthenics 6 am classes each week. It clearly works well for their fitness, but lacks the bone and muscle strength components of strength training.
Recovery is one reason for the design of the Maggie's fitness program. Weights, Calis, Cardio, rinse and repeat and take one day for sports or hiking to enjoy your improving condition.
What about days off entirely from activity other than walking around? Such days hardly need to be planned, because life interferes regularly enough with our virtuous routines.
I keep reading on how important 'resting muscles' is and that's all well and good, I don't dispute it, but what about someone who does heavy labour for say eight hours, do they call their boss and say, Sorry boss, can't come in for two days, have to rest.
He'd be out of a job fast but anyway it wouldn't even occur to him that he needed to. And it doesn't have any deleterious effect.
Just for the record I'm way past normal retirement age and still work on renovations.
That's because if the worker has been at his job for any length of time, he's adapted to the physical stress of the job and there's no recovery needed. His work is not applying a new stress to which he needs to adapt. He just needs to eat and sleep enough.
I work out regularly, and most people would consider me very fit for a 62 year old. However, if i ever do 2 hours of what my grandfather would have called "honest labor"; I'm a basket case for several days.......
That's the proverbial $64K question - what do you mean by "fit". Fitness is different than health (or what might be termed "wellness").
IMHO, "fit" means you are fit to do some particular activity, i.e. you have trained to do X and now you are fit (to a degree) to perform that activity. That might not necessarily mean that you are at the elite level, but at least you can perform the training sessions without your technique falling apart and you have some degree of proficiency in terms of your sex and age group.
I'm never sure what "general fitness" means unless the narrator defines the parameters. Several well known authors have proposed their own guidelines - although not all have included multiple categories of "fitness, e.g. strength, speed, endurance, etc. - and I'm ok with that as long as we all are comparing apples to apples.
Health (or wellness) is a different matter. It implies (for me) not only the absence of disease, but something more optimal. At least, I think that's what we should strive for - if for no other reason than to have some reserve in the tank as we age and for periods or illness or injury.
In terms of what is discussed in your thread, I think we would call it GPP or work capacity. I think we both recognize that when someone starts working out (barbell training for strength), most are not "fit" enough to endure a "typical" (allow me some license with that term) workout, i.e. they have to get in shape (GPP) to get in shape (strength training).
I think that's one thing that often gets lost when people talk about strength training or "serious" strength trainees in general - the GPP or work capacity required to engage in regular strength training necessarily implies a certain degree of "fitness" aside form pure strength. Likewise, serious strength athletes with some mileage under their belts understand that work capacity is needed for optimal results.
I fully agree with everything you wrote. It is good advice. It is perfect advice for a sedentary society where exercise is a hobby. It would generally not be true or good advice for hunter/gatherer or aboriginal societies where from the day they can walk they work/exercise most of their waking hours.
I have found over the years, and as I age, that doing heavy work once per/week per muscle group works best for me. Eddie Hall, a powerlifter, suggests that it takes 7 days to recover fully from heavy workloads. A few years ago I also started doing a de-load week. I lift heavy for 3 weeks and then do a lighter week, still getting some work in but giving my muscles a chance to recover fully. I feel really good after the de-load week.