Why rest days are important!
Rest day is an undervalued tool that should be a part of every persons workout programme. When used effectively, a rest day can increase performance in the gym and help to bring results. However, when undervalued can limit progress and hinder performance.
It’s easy to become addicted to training, the more you train, the more you want too, almost to the point you feel you don’t want or need to rest and if you do you’re missing out on progress.
This isn’t the case, the benefits when you are training regularly, at a high intensity, far outweigh the negatives. Rest days allow your body to recover and regenerate – coupled with proper nutrition and sleep. When proper recovery is allowed, the body will then fire on all cylinders and give you that extra 10% you need to nail each workout.
If you constantly train the body without allowing muscle groups to recover, you will run into several problems such as central nervous system and adrenal fatigue which, simply put, means you become more susceptible to illness, being run down and lack the energy and vigour you usually put into workouts.
Less is more…
So, by taking a step back and allowing rest to form part of your exercise programme, it will enable you to keep your body’s systems fired up and working at full capacity which will only help you to keep pushing those numbers (weights and reps) when you do train. Constantly training the same muscles, using the similar weights and rep ranges isn’t going to suffice for muscle growth and progress will be hindered as a result
Have a workout split and let your body regenerate for example – a push, pull, legs, rest and repeat would allow one full day of rest for your bodies systems to recover but also 3 full days between targeted muscles to rest e.g. chest exercise on push day, will be done every 4th day giving sufficient grow and recovery time.
Even if you are getting decent results, I can promise you, they will be even better as a result.
When else should you rest?
Listening to your body is absolutely KEY! You know those days where you just drained, shattered and can’t focus on any exercise, you feel weaker, less energetic – thats usually your body telling you it needs to rest. The human body is clever like that, if you listen it will tell you all you need to know.
When your poorly (and I’ve been guilty of this) feeling like utter s**t and doubling up on some pre workout to train. It’s not worth it and the more you put it off – and this is whether you are ill or not – the body will ALWAYS catch up on you and as a result, training and progress will be hindered.
It’s also worth noting, a lot of the time we choose not to rest because we love to train and thrive off being in there, getting a sweat on, getting pumped, chasing that feel good factor, but its a GOOD thing to step away and miss the gym. It will just help to fuel your ambition more.