As I’ve mentioned before, starting an exercise routine can be tough. What can be even tougher is knowing when to take a break. Most people have the logic that working out is good, so they assume that working out more is better. This is not “always” the case.
Many start strong on a new workout routine but then burn themselves out and stop after a little while. Also, without the proper knowledge many begin starving themselves, but that’s another topic altogether.
Why rest days are so important…
When working out, you are breaking down muscle fibers so they grow back stronger. If you don’t let them rest and heal they will take longer to grow stronger.
Muscles heal and strengthen when you let them rest.
I’ve had clients say, “awe man, I missed a couple days last week, now I’ve probably lost everything gained.”
This isn’t true at all. Their mental state may hold them back as a placebo, thinking they’re weaker. But I can almost guarantee they’d be stronger after a couple days off to heal.
What you can do on a rest day…
I’ve had clients say, “It was my rest day so I did cardio”.
What isn’t realized here is that even if it isn’t the same muscle group being strenuously worked, energy is still being used which could have been utilized by the body to heal.
So instead, do things like stretching.
I’ve also had clients say, “I ate bad one day this weekend, now I’m more tired and lost what I’ve been working on.”
Again, they would most definitely be stronger, so long as they didn’t just eat cake all day.
Finally, I would suggest, if you’re going to take a cheat day, do it on your rest day. By doing so, you restore depleted energy stores while resting and healing.
And that’s Fitness by Design...