How much emphasis do you place on rest and recovery?
You may feel compelled to kill it every single day with brutal workouts that leave you completely spent and drained, but you’ll eventually start to notice some pretty significant diminishing returns on those time and energy investments at the gym. Despite how popular the ‘no days off’ mindset is with most people, we need to rest. And when implemented correctly, a ‘less is more’ approach to resistance training can make a massive difference in your progress.
Whether you’re diligently adhering to a higher frequency exercise program or your lifting routine is a little more sporadic and improvised, recovery is a critical component to your long term success and should be a priority within your schedule.
Taking the time to step away from the gym and rest will allow your body to recover (CNS fatigue/muscle damage/mental and emotional burnout), give you the opportunity to improve in other areas of fitness (flexibility/aerobic and anaerobic capabilities/coordination and balance), and learn new things (take new classes/meet new people/explore new exercise communities).
So, how should you spend your off days?
Go take a yoga class. Become more familiar with the Pilates reformer. Take your dog for a longer walk at a neat local park. Go to a climbing gym. Relax at the pool. Spend an hour with that foam roller you never use. Sit on the couch and binge Netflix. Aim for exercise and activity, but spend that time however you like. ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and time away from lifting heavy and running fast can make your muscles, hormone profile, and nervous system just as happy.
Be ‘active’ during your recovery days, just stay out of the gym – you’ll see more growth that way. Probably common sense advice for many of you, but something worth saying.
Check out any of the Fitstra programs for examples of how to implement recovery days into your own routine.
Need help with recovery and rest? Shoot me a message. I’d love to help.
Hi, I’m Sam – a personal trainer, exercise consultant, and the founder of Fitstra. My training emphasis is placed on helping my clients increase strength, build muscle, lose fat, and improve cardiovascular conditioning through research based training practices. When I’m not programming a new workout or at the gym, I’m usually either out shooting with my camera, playing PC games, or wasting time on Reddit. Follow me on Instagram and let’s talk photography!
Whatever your exercise goals or preferences are, I’d love to work with you as your online personal trainer.