REST DAYS MEAN MUSCLE GROWTH AND STRENGTH GAINS!
When you’re really ‘on a roll’ in the gym and find yourself smashing PRs left, right and centre, the last thing you might want to do is take a rest day - or even worse - take a week or more off training.
As tempting as it may be to go all-out, rest isn’t just an optional treat for the weak-hearted and undedicated. It’s an essential part of your training, and if you neglect it, you’ll pay the toll sooner or later. So why in particular when it comes to reaching your goals are rest days important? Here's why...
REST DAYS ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY PREVENT INJURY AND CNS FATIGUE
Every time you hit the gym for an intense workout – whether it’s a HIIT session on the treadmill or a powerlifting routine in the weights area – you will be creating microscopic tears in your muscles. This essentially enables your body to adapt and become more stronger and more resilient to training stimulus. As a rule, small microscopic tears isn’t a problem. It’s actually the whole point of working out. But when you overdo your training or cut back on your much-needed rest, those intentional “micro-injuries” can easily become real injuries that prevent you from training indefinitely, or worse.
This damage isn’t just limited to an increased risk of spraining your ankle, tearing a tendon, or suffering a rotator cuff impingement, either. There’s an actual condition known as Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) which refers primarily to the stress done to your body’s central nervous system by training too hard without sufficient rest.
If OTS gets too severe, not only will your strength and conditioning gains wither away to nothing, but your immune system will suffer, your mood will plummet, and your body will let you know, loudly and in a variety of ways, that something’s wrong. Instead of taking a rest day, you may find that you have to skip the gym for weeks, if not months, dependent on how severely you've over-trained.
To avoid this situation and to get the most out of the time you put in the gym, make sure that you get enough rest to allow your body to catch up and strengthen. It’s a proven way of reducing your injury risk.
REST DAYS ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY BOOST MORALE AND KEEP YOU MOVING FORWARD
One of the most important parts of any fitness routine – and one of the most often overlooked – is consistency. It’s all well and good to hit the gym like a wild animal fighting for its life, but that intensity won’t be worth anything unless you’re able to maintain it over a significant period of time.
Progress in the fitness world is made by moving in the right direction in a controlled way, one step at a time. Not by going wild for a little while, then burning out and taking a month off training, particularly if you're looking to have fitness as part of your lifestyle.
One of the easiest ways to go off the rails in your training is to lose morale and end up giving in to feelings of irritation, hopelessness, and despondence. And one of the easiest ways to end up there is by overtraining to the point where you dread and despise each workout, all while not giving yourself enough time to recover. This is a mistake, more often beginners make.
If you overtrain to the point of breakdown, not only will you be physically unable to train for a while, but your mood and motivation will take a serious battering, too. Whilst it's great to be keen on going to the gym, sometimes, your eagerness may not end up in your favor, when it comes to training.
If you're new to the gym, we suggest to ease your way in by going 2 or 3 times a week, and gradually building this up, so your body can get acclimated to training.
REST DAYS ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE MUSCLE & STRENGTH IS BUILT WHILE RESTING, NOT WHILE TRAINING
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