Rest periods are an important factor in a good fitness plan. Rest periods are often overlooked because people don’t realize how resting your muscles can help with weight loss and improving overall fitness.
So how exactly do rest periods help you with your fitness goals? Let’s find out!
Muscles need rest periods.
Why your body needs rest periods:
There are a couple of reasons why your body requires rest periods.
First, when you are working your muscles hard, you build up lactic acid and hydrogen ions. These substances won’t harm your body in small doses, but during a workout these substances can build up to large amounts.
These substances actually prevent you from using your muscles to their full potential and will cause fatigue quicker. Simply put: these substances tire you out without you actually making progress with your workout. Another downfall is that lactic acid and hydrogen ions will prevent proteins from being delivered to your muscles. So your muscles aren’t getting the building blocks needing to build stronger muscles.
The final reason that rest periods are crucial is that rest periods are actually the way muscle building works. When you work out, you are causing tiny rips and injuries to your tissues. Once your body is resting, it begins to repair these injuries and makes your muscles stronger than they were before. If you never rest your body, you will continuously injure your tissues without allowing your body to properly rebuild and gain stronger muscles.
How long is a proper rest period?
Your muscles needs approximately 48 hours for proper rest. A person can rarely work the same muscle group 3 days a week. Realistically, your rest period is around 2-4 days per muscle group. Planning accordingly will help you recover.
While you are resting muscle groups it doesn’t mean that you can’t work out. It means that you should be working out different muscle groups. Your fitness plan should be alternating between legs, upper body, rest days, etc.
It is also best to avoid working out 3 days in a row. A couple days in a row is fine, but keep in mind that even if you do switch up your muscle groups, it will still take a lot of energy for your body to repair tissues daily. If you are working out everyday without rest, even if you are alternating muscle groups, the tissue injuries and lactic acid will build up and your body won’t have the energy needed to repair itself.
Rest periods are a necessary element when it comes to strong muscle growth. Your muscles need time to recover before putting them through the stress of another workout. When looking at your workouts for the week, make sure you space them out and alternate muscle groups. Sometimes a day or two of rest is just what your body, and your routine, needs.
Looking for more information on building muscles? Check these out:
- Three Tips for Building Muscle
- Best Foods for Building Muscle
- Muscle Building Myths
- Building Muscle with Compound Exercises