Rest days are vital to your exercise program. If you don’t rest, you don’t recover and you never change your muscle structure. Well you will change it but they’ll never grow or tone up. I was talking yesterday with a 19 year old kid at the gym and he said he goes 7 days a week and has for the past 4 months. I suggested that he was nuts for doing that. You have to give your body recovery time. Now that doesn’t mean sitting on a couch and eating a bag of chips, it does mean just not working out that day. Your diet stays the same but you cannot workout every day of the week. That’s why with my program there’s 3 days of exercise then 3 days of cardio training and one day of complete rest.
Back when I was younger, I worked out all the time and my sessions were 3 or 4 hours in some cases. I never took a day off, or rarely did if I had to work. I ended up overtraining and plateau’d both physically and mentally in my workouts. I started dreaded them because I couldn’t seem to get any bigger or any more toned. I was pretty ripped as a 176 lb 19 year old. But I could not seem to grow my muscle.
Now I understand and accept the importance of NOT working out every day. Now my body seems to respond much better because I’m not overtraining it. When you workout, especially with weights, you are literally tearing muscle fiber. IF you never allow that muscle fiber to repair itself then you’re just tearing more fiber on top of the already torn stuff. Eventually you don’t have any left to tear and plateau. In resting your body rebuilds the fiber, (making your muscle bigger or more toned). So resting one or two days per week is vital.
As we get older, we start accepting this more and more. I wouldn’t have listened when I was young. I thought that the more I worked out the better. I paid for it dearly though because by the time I hit University I had started to lose interest in working out completely. I felt like I was never going to be able to change my body so why bother. That’s a slippery slope though. It led to years of never working out and some serious weight gain.
Oh well lesson learned, but simply put, make sure you rest and allow your body a day or two per week to recover. You will thank me for that!