How Important Is A Rest Day In A Workout Regime?

So you just started a new workout program and are super jazzed for the upcoming workouts, you just don't want to stop.  Sounds about right?  

Well, as you go about your workout program, one thing that you must always be making sure you’re paying attention to is the amount of rest you’re taking.  And I'm not talking about the rest in between sets or exercies.  I'm talking about an actual rest day, day off from the rigourous nature of the workout you are doing.  Some people have a very strong tendency to think ‘more is better’ and begin overloading their weekly schedule with as many workouts as they can possible fit in.

They’re anxious to get to their end goal and figure the more often they hit the gym, the faster the process is going to go.

SOUND THE HORNS!  This is unfortunately not the case.  There are many instances where more exercise will actually move you further away from your goals rather than closer to them.

Let’s take a little looksie at some of the main reasons why taking at least one day off for complete rest is so critical to your workout success.

Rest Prevents Central Nervous System (CNS) Overtraining 

One of the first reasons why a day of complete rest is essential to success, is because having this in there is going to go a very long way towards preventing CNS overtraining.

If you’re going into the gym day after day after day or doing P90X 7 days of the week, you’re not only going to be stressing out the muscles, but you’ll also be burning out the CNS as well.

Remember, your CNS is stressed each and every time you lift a weight or do a HIIT workout. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing dumbbell curls or power squats, you’re still causing a stress reaction to take place in the body.

Rest Refreshes The Mind 

Another reason why one full day of rest is critical to success is because it’s going to help to refresh the mind as well.

When you’re hitting the gym day after day after day, it’s easy to get burnt out really quickly.  One full and complete day off will re-energize the mind so that you feel much more ready to forge onwards.

Your motivation will be far higher to get back into the gym the following week, putting for the most effort possible to reach your end goal.

Rest Allows For Muscle Glycogen Replenishment 

 

As odd as it sounds, a day of rest actually allows your muscles and body to effectively recover and repair.  This time allows for full muscle glycogen replenishment.

Basically, each time you go hit a hard workout, you’re reducing some of your muscle glycogen stores.  Workout after workout after workout, they’re going to get depleted.  This is especially the case if you happen to be on a reduced calorie, reduced carb diet plan.

One full day off, assuming you do consume carbs on that day, will help restore muscle glycogen, which will have a huge influence on your ability to generate strength in your workout.

Rest Reduces Injuries 

 

Finally, last but not least, making sure that you take one full day off your training is going to help prevent the development of injuries. With so many workouts all in a row you’ll really be stressing your ligaments and tendons, so over time this can lead to overuse injuries.

Having one day off will help repair and heal these tissues so that you are not setting yourself up for a major injury down the road.

So take a moment to reflect on your current workout regime.  Do you allow yourself that one full rest day out of the 7 days in the week?  Whether it's after 5 days of your workouts or 3 days on and 1 day off, it's critical it's factored into your workout regime.

Don’t let yourself believe that taking a day off means you’re ‘lazy’. All it means is that you’re being smart about your training and are going to guarantee that you continue to see results long into the future.

Take a moment and share below when your current "rest day" is?

Your partner in health & fitness, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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