Hello everyone. Today’s article is a guest post from Carlene Jayden who writes for FitSpace Gyms.
It’s hard not to feel guilty whenever you take a day off from the gym or your regular fitness routine. Whether you are lifting heavy weights, participating in hours of aerobics or circuit training your way around the gym, there will always be times that life’s other priorities get in the way.
What most people fail to realise however, is that that unless you take sufficient rest between workouts, all the training you do could well be in vain. Your body needs to be allowed sufficient time to repair and rest itself and if you train continuously, you actually run the risk of becoming weaker or burning yourself out.
Common signs of over-training include headaches, loss of appetite, disturbed sleep patterns and an inability to perform the way you once did. If you are training hard on a regular basis and notice any of these symptoms, it’s your body’s way of telling you that you are failing to take enough time off between workouts.
If your ultimate goal is muscle growth, what you do in the time between workouts is just as important as what you get up to during the workout itself. Training your muscles with heavy weights actually causes the proteins within them to degrade and break down. When you rest, additional proteins are used to rebuild the muscle fibres and make them bigger.
Although many people feel as though their muscles are growing during the workout itself, this is only a temporary effect and is simply due to additional blood flow. In reality, muscles don’t grow during the exercise phase but rather do so during the recovery phase which is why it is so important. If the repair process of the muscle is interrupted by another high intensity workout, it will not be able to achieve its maximum growth potential.
This is the reason many workout and bodybuilding routines focus on separate body parts on different days of the week. Utilizing this technique allows you to stick with a regular workout routine – important to help you keep on track with your goals – without straining any particular muscle group through overuse.
It’s not just weight lifters who need to watch out for over training. Rest is just as important for sports that involve running, jumping or any intense form of exercise. Time off allows your body to replenish its reserves of glycogen – the substance your muscles use as fuel.
If you are doing high intensity workouts during your time at the gym but feel unable to stay away during you days off, simply focus on lighter, cardiovascular workouts. This will help you to burn fat and keep your body flexible without putting any excessive strain on your muscles.