The Art of Rest

July 26, 2010 at 1:46 am Leave a comment

I am sure you never thought this blog would every come, but there is a true art to resting. Allowing rest time during your training program allows your body to repair the tissues that are torn down during your workout. Lifting weights actually tears muscle fibers, the growth of your muscles actually occur after your workout when you are sleeping. The muscles tissue that is broken down during the exercise resulting in a depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) and a loss of fluid (sweat), which if not replenished can result in dehydration and muscle injury.

There are two types of recovery:

1. Short term recovery or Active recovery should be incorporated after each workout. For example, if your train your legs with an intense weight workout on Monday you may need 3 to 6 days of rest before training your leg muscles again. Active recovery can also be a walk in the park or a ride on your bike on a day you don’t already have a planned workout of intense cardio or weight training.

2. Long term recovery refers to days, weeks, or months built into a yearly training program. This allows for cross training. You may choose to run during the summer months, and swim during the winter months. The break in routine of your training allows rest for your body: muscles, joints. It also helps prevent plateaus that may occur from your body becoming adapted to repetition of the same exercise routine.

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