Rest is a topic which is majorly looked over in the fitness industry and every day life as well. Rest is the only way your body is going to grow; you don’t grow when you train, you actually do the complete opposite and breakdown muscle tissue, and induce microscopic tears to your muscles. You do most of your growing when you sleep, as when you sleep, certain hormones are released which makes your body soak up all of the food that your body has eaten throughout the day and uses it to repair muscles and replace energy stores. Therefor if you do not rest enough you will not grow and you will not achieve your results as you will be stuck in the same cycle and plateau of training.
There are so many ways which you need to rest! One of which is actually to incorporate rest days into your training, this means that you are not training every day and resting when your bodies needs to. If you haven’t planned for a rest day and your body can barely move then you need to listen to your body and take a day off of training. Sometimes you won’t feel that your body is fatigued as you can have something called neuromuscular fatigue, this is where your central nervous system is over used and needs to recover. Neuromuscular fatigue is a lot harder to feel and generally it’s not a muscle ache but if your central nervous system (CNS) is fatigued, a good way of telling this is lack of strength, and your bones and joints hurting. Your muscles may be fine but the ability for your muscles to contract may not be. The amount of rest days you need relates to something called accumulative load, this Is the amount of volume (time, reps and sets) spent training over a period of time. This means that different types of training, the frequency that you train, and the intensity of your training will tell you how many rest days you need. For example strength training needs more rest days as it is a lot more taxing on your CNS; however steady state cardiovascular training will require a lot less rest periods as it does not damage the CNS as much.
Types of Rest?
Rest can also be determined in other ways as well, such as amount of sleep you are getting. Sleep is vital for recovery and if you are not getting enough sleep that your body needs then you are not giving your body enough time to recover from training and every day activities. Also, rest could be determined by the amount of rest intervals during your session; depended on the type of training, rest period after sets and exercises are vital, this is because you need to allow your body and muscles to recover so that you can exert as much energy in the coming sets and reps. Again this relates to the types of training you are doing so if you are doing high intensity training then your rest periods are very low as that is the key, to keep intensity up. But if you are training for performance then you need to rest between each set to allow your body to recover so it can perform at the highest level during training.
Remember people, rest to grow!