Already dreaming of a day off or is rest day out of the question? Either way, your body needs a break from intense, regimented training. Rest days are essential, especially if you’re looking to avoid injuries.
Highly motivated, dedicated and determined to gain results? Committing serious hours to the gym isn’t always necessary – your body requires rest, nutrition and recovery in order to heal, grow and maximize lean muscle mass.
So, what happens on a rest day? Why is it so beneficial?
Rest & Recovery
Lifting heavy weights, running long distance or spinning for hours on end results in breaks, tears and strains on your muscles. Training without a rest day can result in injury, preventing you from entering the gym for an amount of time – not the result you’ve been wishing for. By having a rest day, your muscles are fully recovered, prepared for training and better than ever before.
By rest, we mean sit back, relax and have a good nights sleep – that’s when your growth hormones are highest. If you’re a bodybuilder of weightlifter seeking gains and mass, the growth you’ve been striving for will appear during your rest period.
If you’re a newbie or getting back into the swing of things, we recommend training two days and rest on the third – avoid injury at all costs. On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned weightlifter, ensure your find a place for a full rest day per week. Additionally, every 2 months, full-time bodybuilders should schedule a full week in which you lower the amount of weight you lift for each exercise. Rest days don’t need to be a hindrance – use them tactically.
Avoiding carbs on rest days is not necessarily correct – your body still requires them for recovery, along with vitamins and minerals. By now you should be aware that protein is the building blocks of lean mass – ensure you consume a high protein diet in order to heal, rebuild and optimize your training regime. Why not follow our quick, simple and protein packed recipes here!
Don’t worry about feeling lazy on your rest day – that’s what it’s there for! You won’t lose progress, nor will you lose tone – if anything, your rest day will benefit your training. A day or two per week from lifting will not negatively affect you, motivate yourself on a rest day and plan your next training/nutrition plan, we have plenty of ideas on The Zone.
Rest days are perfect for stress management. Had a heavy week at work? Chill out, eat protein packed food and manage your stress levels appropriately. A solid sleep pattern has been proven to enhance performance alongside a change of scenery – time away from the gym will help you return a new with the drive that you need to get back to it – optimize, maximize and gain results.