To Rest or not To Rest
One of the keys to obtaining results is to have rest days. Research time and again shows that by having a week off training you will have an improvement in your strength, muscle hypertrophy and cardiovascular fitness. However for this week off to be beneficial you must have been training hard for a period of time greater then 6 weeks beforehand.
Another side effect of having a week off training is that it will also improve your mental fitness. By improving your mental fitness you are able to overcome boredom and staleness which will lead to an improvement in your effort levels in the training environment in your next session,
There are a number of key indicators that you need time off from training. These include:
1. Being sore for more then 72 hours post training
2. Feeling sick
3. Feeling fatigued and lethargic
4. Progress has stopped or is going backwards
5. You are losing weight when that is not part of your plan
This week off does not mean that you sit on the longue and watch TV 24 hours a day and eat whatever does not move. It may be that you do an alternative activity to what you normally do like maybe if you weight train you go and do yoga or if you do yoga you may want to go walking. Whatever it is make it something different to what you are currently doing to give your body a break and allow it to recharge, replenish and recuperate.
Rest is not a four-letter word that should be avoided.