You have to let your body heal from the work you’ve been doing all week. Your muscles need a chance to desensitise and get used to the progression you’ve already made. If you push your brain too hard at work, you will burnout. It’s the same with your body.
Why should you have rest days?
Rest days will allow your body to recover from the sessions you have been to throughout the week. Recovery is super important for both your progress and strength. Allowing a day or 2 of rest a week from strenuous strength training will enhance your performance in the upcoming weeks’ programme and also will allow your muscles to repair itself fully. When we work our muscles to fatigue, we create micro-tears in our muscle fibres (this is where we should be utilising our protein to help build muscle). These micro-tears do not repair themselves overnight. MYTH: Just because you do not have DOMS, this does not mean that you have not worked your muscles.
Will I lose what I have gained by resting?
This is a very overused MYTH. You would need to rest weeks on end to lose what you have gained in the gym and even then if you do have a few weeks out of the gym, our muscles will be able to get themselves back to similar strength in a matter of weeks/months.
How would you recommend spending a rest day?
I would recommend using your rest day to keep your body moving. I do not mean high intense cardio, but light strolls or swims to loosen up your muscles and keep them relaxed. Although we should all be stretching before and after sessions (even when they’re not programmed), a rest day should be spent targeting those stiff spots in your body with a full-body stretch session. 15 mins is all it takes.
Will adding rest days to my schedule, help me with my PB’s?
Rest days are the most important days of the week. If you run a marathon in 4 hours one day, do you reckon that you would beat your score if you did it the next day? However tempting it may be to try and hit a PB after a heavy week; you need to listen to your body. If you utilise your rest days and give yourself time to recover, you will be hitting PB’s like there is no tomorrow.
Written by Coach Colbs here at 360.
If you have any questions about rest days or need any advice, speak to a member of our team.