In a world where physical appearance is vastly important to many, muscle training workouts are a craze in the fitness world. Whether you are an athlete or a fitness fanatic, you need to understand how long your body needs to rest between muscle training workouts. Knowing this will help you stay safe during your workout routine.
Two types of rest
In the fitness industry, there are two types of rest that you participate in.
- Rest between sets – this rest is done during the exercise schedule. You would need to rest between each set, and it is recommend that you take 30 seconds to five minutes rest before proceeding to the next set. The rest time allows your muscles to rejuvenate and relax. If you fail to rest, you can jeopardize your efforts and everything you worked so hard for will amount to nothing.
- Rest between workouts – this kind of rest is the most crucial rest that you need to take. Give your body at least 48 hours to heal from the strenuous workout. Some even need 72 hours to fully recover. If you will not take two to three days off from your regular training routine, you will not see improvement in your body. Rather, you can potentially harm yourself.
The tipping point of working out
One common mistake of fitness enthusiasts is to believe that of a short time of working out is good for the health, then it follows that longer and more frequent training sessions are better. That is actually very wrong. Your muscles need time to rest after a strenuous workout. You need to give at least two to three days’ rest before you can engage in high intensity exercises again. What you need to understand is there is a tipping point in your exercise schedule. There is a line that should never be crossed because you will gain harm instead of good when you push too far.
The tipping point is called overtraining syndrome or OTS, and it occurs in two scenarios:
- Too many hours and days working out without adequate time for recovery
- Chronic under fueling
You must know the signs of OTS in order to be aware of your own tipping point. Here are the signs that you are overdoing your exercises:
When you notice that your performance is not improving but rather dwindling, it is a telltale sign that you are reaching your tipping point. Reduced endurance, strength, and agility are signs that you need to rest your body.
Abnormal Heart Rate
Overtraining can cause your heart rate to beat abnormally. You will find that it is hard to perform a simple exercise that used to be so easy for you. You will easily get tired and your heart rate takes a long time to go back to normal.
Feeling tired is normal when you work out. However, if you are feeling excessive fatigue, that is a sign that you are on a tipping point. Too much fatigue can be caused by overworked muscles that have no room for rest.
When you train longer and harder without proper rest, your stress hormones are greatly affected especially the epinephrine and cortisol. This can lead to inability to focus, unexplained irritability, and mood swings.
The excessive production of stress hormones can lead to insomnia. You have trouble sleeping and cannot relax.
Exercises are supposed to improve your appetite, but too much exercise and physical exhaustion leads to the loss of your desire to eat properly. When you realized that you stop getting attracted to food, then that should cause an alarm to go off in your mind.
Muscles and joints that are pushed too hard to exercise can cause pain to your body. If you continue to work out even when you feel sore and tight muscles, this issue can lead to chronic pain. Overtaxed muscles and joints decrease the ability of your internal system to fight against infections. And so an upper-respiratory tract infections or URTIs are sure signs of OTS.
If your body goes on for days, even weeks with low energy due to too much exercise, your body can acquire metabolic imbalances. One sign of overtraining is deficiencies in nutrients, which is harmful to your health and overall performance.
Often, exercising too much leads to depression because of too much pressure that you put on yourself. Once you feel that you cannot seem to stop exercising and gets easily stressed or depressed when you cannot exercise in a day, you should consult a professional.
Tips for rest between workouts
If you are an avid exercise fan, taking even a day off from your addictive muscle training routine can bring havoc to your mind. However, you need to let your muscles rest and recover. Here are some tips for your rest days:
• Drink plenty of water to help your body recover.
• Eat only nutritious meals to fuel your body with positive energy.
• Sleep at least eight hours every night.
• Refrain from drinking alcohol or smoking, since you are living a healthy lifestyle.
• During your day offs, spend time with your family and friends.
• Plan your workout schedule and figure out if there are areas that you can improve.
• Set your mind to the fact that you need at least two days to refrain from doing high intensity exercises. Self-discipline must be imposed.
Resting is not a waste of time. In fact, if you engage in overtraining, you are actually wasting all your efforts since you will potentially end up getting sick or injured. Follow the 48 to 72 hours rest period because it is for your own good. No matter how superman you think you are, your muscles need rest and you must give that rest to your body. Find something else productive to do during your off days. Spend your time wisely with people who matters to you.