Rest is your body's best shot at recovering after exercise. The quicker the recovery, the quicker strength and muscle tone will come.
While rest days might seem a little counterproductive, neglecting to listen to your body's warning signs of possible over-training could result in muscle pain, a compromised immune system, unbalanced sleep patterns, a decrease in strength and an increased risk of injury.
When you , you’re essentially breaking down muscle fibers which cause microscopic tears in the muscle tissue. This might sound a little scary but it’s nothing to be afraid of. As your body builds itself back up your muscles become stronger than before.
But in order for the repair process to take place, your muscles need approximately 48 hours of recovery time after an intense workout. These rest days will give your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild.
Without proper the time off to rest and for your immune system to repair and grow the muscle, you’re not going to benefit from your training. This is also why you need to vary the muscle groups you work on by staggering your workout days.
We often don’t talk about why rest days are important and why our bodies need it. But taking a few days off to rest is vital in the muscle repair process after weight training.
To recover, your muscles need more blood. That's how your body sends nutrients to the damaged tissue. This process is also known as inflammation. While it can be painful and is often perceived as a bad thing, inflammation is necessary for recovery after a workout.
Around 24 to 48 hours after a workout, your muscles reach the peak of their inflammation, after which your body goes into repair mode. It then starts to create protein from amino acids in your bloodstream. These amino acids are molded into new muscle tissue, which your body lays down to replace older, more damaged muscle. When this process of regeneration occurs naturally it’s usually very slow, but when it’s given a boost by weight training it starts to speed up rapidly. This is why your body needs sufficient rest in order to recover and rebuild just as rapidly.
While all this muscle repair stuff might sound super complicated (and a maybe little daunting too)don’t forget that weight training has loads of benefits.
During rest periods muscles have time to recover, repair, strengthen and grow. However, there isn’t a specific one-size-fits-all timeline for rest. If you feel tired adding an extra day or two of rest is more beneficial to your overall health and fitness than an extra day of training sessions. Finding the right balance is the key to achieving your goals. A mandatory break will also help you stay motivated to get back into your fitness schedule.