Rest Day

Resting is Important

Written by: Chris Walls

(Article posted in: Fit to Be Healthy )

Despite what you might think, you don’t get stronger at the gym. You don’t get faster on the track. These are the places where you put stress on your body to force it to either adapt or die.

Your body gets faster and stronger as it repairs the damage you did to it in your workout. If you never rest, if you workout every day, or you don’t sleep enough, when is you body supposed to repair the damage?

Short answer is never.

Now this doesn’t mean you make the majority of your days a rest day, or use it as an excuse to sleep 12+ a day. You need only enough rest to allow recovery before the next workout. You can push it to the limit 3 days in a row and then take 1 day off, considering you are getting enough sleep, and are eating enough food (clean healthy food!).

Now that is more or less what we’ve found to be the limit a body can take and still perform at it’s maximum, the highest output with the least rest. Now for you it might be different, you need to learn to listen to your body and rest when needed, but only when needed.

How do I know when rest is needed? Well that’s easy. If you are so sore that you can’t function fully, and your warm-up doesn’t get rid of it, odds are you need some extra rest or at least a few half intensity workouts. Another situation might be a drop in performance, you’re showing all sorts of improvements and then out of nowhere it just starts to drop right off. Take a few days off, get rested up, and come back stronger then ever.

If you don’t take the necessary rest days, nature has a way of forcing you to do so, and trust me, when nature takes rest days into her hands it’s never convenient nor comfortable. Listen to your body and keep the progress going.

Chris Walls is a Personal Trainer at the Crossfit Kelowna training centre.