Rest between Workouts
The period between workouts is when your body goes though the process of growth and repair. This means that training every day is not generally recommended. Even if you perform different exercises on different days, your central nervous system and endocrine (hormonal) systems are involved in each and every workout. Unless you are an elite athlete, you should make sure you have one or two days per week where you do no demanding exercise and most of us would actually benefit from only working out three to four days per week. If you feel you need to work out more often for weight management purposes, you might actually find that it is your diet that is the problem and not your exercise routine.
Rests between Periods of Training
While you should strive to work harder week to week and month to month to improve your fitness, there usually comes a point where you stop making progress. This is called a plateau and is often caused by sticking with the same exercise routine past it’s “sell by date”. While it is important that you try and work harder from one workout to the next, to keep making progress it is important that every peak of effort is followed by a period of stability and recovery. This, in sports terms, is called periodization.
Periodization simply means building up in intensity and duration of exercise to reach a high point and then backing off slightly before building up again – a kind of three steps forwards, one step back approach.
Following a periodised approach to exercise should ensure you continue making forward progress for years on end while other exercisers either fall by the wayside or fail to make meaningful fitness improvements.
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If you are serious about your training, it’s important to understand how to manipulate all of the concepts of rest to ensure you make progress week after week, month after month and year after year. Combined with great exercises, good programming and excellent nutritional advice, implementing the correct rest strategies means that we can all but guarantee you fitness success!