Countless athletes, and gym goers alike love to workout. In fact they love it so much that you can find these same people in the gym on a daily basis. Although your determination is admirable, what if I told you that your obsession with working out isn’t doing you any favours.
Despite exercise coming with its own long list of benefits, hitting the gym 7 days a week comes with its own disturbing list of symptoms, and consequences.
Here is a small list of some of the consequences of neglecting rest days:
- General fatigue
- Prolonged aching (Not the good kind!)
- Decreased performance
- Significantly reduced progress
Wait. What was that last one again? Yes you read it right. Training too often and not getting sufficient rest can actually stunt your progress; possibly resulting in smaller muscles. Why? This is down to the fact that we need to allow enough time for the micros tears in our muscles to repair. Otherwise you’re simply tearing your muscles apart, without giving them time to recover.
‘But I train a different body part every day’. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter. Even if you’re hitting legs, small movements such as transferring the weights from and onto the bar can engage the fatigued areas. Especially if you’re performing compound lifts. That is why rest days are essential.
Don’t just take it from me, with referral to David Kingsbury’s own words (Hugh Jackman’s PT) “A lot of people seem to train for the sake of training, but spending seven days a week in the weights room won’t get you anywhere”.
So how long should we rest for?
Well according to over 140 major surveys on the question, you should never train the same body part within 48 hours. So no, you can’t hit arms and chest everyday. However, with this being said, it really depends. If you’re really sore the next day (DOMs) then be sensible, do not train that muscle again! (At least a couple of days)
My advice would be to take a couple of days off each week, (Not just Saturday and Sunday…) and vary your training. This way, your muscles have time to recover and you’re not damaging your progress by training too often.
If you’re really struggling to ‘rest’ on your rest days, then why not go on a bit of a walk? Or a light bike ride? Maybe even being active running some errands. Whatever it is, studies have found that low intensity exercise is perfect for relaxing your muscles, and promoting recovery.