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Oct 25 / Jeremy & Kim

Rest Days – Part 1

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We’re actually quite surprised at how little information we can find online about rest days. We suppose since everyone is trying to sell you their latest and greatest workout it makes little since to talk too much about the days that have very little to do with their invention.  You can’t really make a new and improved way to rest and days of rest are not nearly as sexy as ‘full body blasting, maniacal muscle workouts!’  Apparently, the mainstream way of thinking is that days of rest don’t get you bigger muscles.  Days of rest don’t make you stronger.  Days of rest won’t give you six pack abs. Days of rest are the opposite of what healthy people should be doing, right?  We couldn’t disagree more.

Rest Days[Believe it or not, this guy’s mucles are currently getting bigger and he is burning fat like crazy!]

Days of rest are the most important aspect of any workout routine.

Surprised?  You really shouldn’t be.  The easiest way to prove it is by simply pointing out that every single workout routine on the market incorporates rest days into the mix.  It is the only consistent aspect of all workouts.  It is one of the few concepts accepted industry-wide.  If you are working out properly (read intensely with the intention of gaining size and/or strength), then you need to let your body rest once or twice per week.

How to get the most out of your rest day.

To get the most out of your rest days you need a solid 8 hours of sleep, proper nutrition (that means eating your veggies, meat, and healthy fats), and only very relaxed movements.  Taking a walk is a great idea on rest days as we will eventually discuss in a future post.  Low intensity yoga is a great way to stretch your muscles and keep loose, but you do not want to do any activity that is too intense or taxing on your muscles while they are trying to rebuild.

How many days of rest do I need?

There are a lot of factors that will influence the amount of rest you need.  The type and intensity of the exercises you do, your diet and nutrition, and the quality of rest you achieve on off days will all affect the amount of rest required to fully recover.  Okay, we recognize that as true as that statement is, it may not be very helpful.  We’ll try to break it down into some more useful information in part 2 of our posts on Rest Days.

Let us know your thoughts on rest days in the comments below.  What low intensity activities do you enjoy on your days off?

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  1. Raymond - ZenMyFitness / Oct 31 2010

    For sure its hard to accept that the easiest part of the workout is resting and that is definitely when we start to grow.
    When I go on holidays I usually come back leaner and stronger cause I tend to train sp much during normal times I don’t allow enough recovery time until my holidays!
    As an indicator for me that I am not resting enough is when I go to the gym and can’t lift heavier or more intensely than the previous workout, then I know I need to get more rest not less.

  2. Rest days are definitely critical. I think too many people want results too quickly and push themselves too hard. Sleep is highly underrated as well.

  3. 2 days off is my sweet spot, Wednesday (Mid week relax and go to sleep early) and Sundays I think having a full weekend day off to relax and recharge is as important as my 5 workout days. not only is it when muscle grows but its important for your mental health to not have to rush to the gym or track, you can just take it slow.

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