So, you have goals huh? And you’re willing to do what ever it takes to reach those goals huh? What if I said sometimes you must slow down to reach your goals faster?
What the hell is this guy talking about?
A lot of people are under the impression that as long as they’re not working the same muscle group too hard too often then they can get away with training every day but this is not the case, especially when your goal is to get as strong as possible. Your muscular system isn’t the only thing that needs rest, but your nervous system does as well. If your nervous system gets too fried, then a lot of negative things can happen. It may just be as simple as your progress stalling but it’s possible for you to actually LOSE strength. Not only that but the likelihood of you suffering an injury increases dramatically.
It’s not how hard you train but how well you recover from your training.
Think of your time in the gym the same way you do digging a hole. We’ll also say that at any given point you have an 8-foot ladder to get out of the hole you’ve dug. This ladder represents your bodies ability to overcome fatigue.
Let’s say every day you train you dig the hole deeper 2 feet and when you sleep at night someone comes along and fills the hole in with 1 foot of dirt. After about a week of training without rest and you’re barely getting out of that hole. After two weeks you’re not escaping at all. You’re stuck there.
Now let’s say that taking an entire day off fills in that hole with 3 feet of dirt. Now if you train for two days in a row (assuming you’re sleeping at night) your hole is 2 feet deep. Taking a rest day after that second day and now you’re standing on a 1-foot mound of dirt. Train 2 more days and take another rest day and now your mound is 2 feet tall. This is how we improve.
The biggest take away from this should be that if you rest then you can train HARDER and MORE OFTEN!!!
So how often should you train?
This is not a question I can answer for you because there are simply too many variables. How often you can train is going to depend on how hard your sessions are, how long they last, how well you’re sleeping at night, your diet, your life stress and many other factors. Personally, I do best training 4-5 days a week. I’ll usually train for two days, rest a day and then train for two more. Sometimes I’ll rest for two days after that and other times I’ll work events. It really depends on how beat up I feel and if I have a competition coming up.
So, does this mean you have to be a sloth on your NON training days?
If you’re the type of person that always needs to do something physical, then you can still do a lot of things to stay active. Personally, this is when I’ll do my steady state cardio. This doesn’t drain you the same way a heavy squat day will.
Lately what I’ve been doing personally is working with a local circus group on some partner acrobatics. This is easy enough on my body that it doesn’t drain me but is still something new and exciting to keep my body busy.
How will I know if I need to rest?
The two main indicators that I look for are; how fast my warmup sets are moving and how well I’m sleeping at night. If my warmup sets are moving slower than they should be then I know I’ve bitten off more than I can chew for that week and that session becomes more active recovery. The same can be said If I suddenly find I’m not sleeping well. That’s usually when I’ll take a deload week, but we’ll talk about that in another article.
So, there you have it. Those are my thoughts on the importance of rest days in your training. If you have any questions then by all means email me at email@example.com. Also don’t forget to like our Facebook page here and follow our Instagram here. Also check out the YouTube channel here. We drop a new video every Wednesday!!!
Release the Titan in You,