I didn't always train like this. 6-7 days a week, sometimes twice a day, the more the better right?
To some, rest days are a welcome relief. To others those two simple words can cause many emotions - anxiety, guilt, turmoil. “I can’t take a rest day. I’ll gain weight”. “I don’t want to miss my favorite WOD.” “I don’t feel awake if I don’t work out.” “If I work out more, I’ll get better, stronger.”
This isn’t actually the case with working out: results happen while we rest. During our workouts, we create tiny tears in our muscles. When we allow the muscles to rest, the tissue is able to repair itself using proteins and their amino acids. This creates stronger muscles over time, which appear leaner, especially combined with the fat-burning process. Continuous workouts without rest will actually make us weaker- not stronger.
What Happens During Recovery?
Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) as well as fluid loss.
Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. Symptoms of overtraining often occur from a lack of recovery time. Signs of overtraining include a feeling of general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and increased risk of injury, among others.
Rest days should be scheduled into a workout regime, to make sure that you’re getting at least 1-2 days of rest each week to prevent overtraining and allow the body to recovery and repair
Just yesterday, Ryan hit a PR Clean and Jerk of 265#. Ryan is pretty spot on with his rest days, making sure he always gets 2 a week, on Thursday and Sunday. The has helped him perform better over a longer period of time.
One part of fitness we forget about is Longevity. The purpose of training is to make us more fit over a lifetime, not just a few short months or years. If you ignore your rest days or complete too many two a day workout days for too long, you are not recovering properly and that will surely become a detriment to your fitness.