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The important of rest for building muscle and strength

By David Rowe

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When dealing with clients in the gym the general consensus seems to be train, train, train, without any thought to recovery. Sure you need to train hard on a consistent basis to get results but the work in the gym is just a stimulus for your results, you actually benefit from your training when you rest your body.

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The best way to recover from the hard work you put in is to sleep. So it is important to have a good sleep pattern. Improving your quality sleep should be a priority to achieving the physique you dream of. Get in to a routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time on a daily basis, this will become habit and your body will know when to start switching off and when to wake you naturally. 8 hours is what people deem adequate but this a very individual thing so find a pattern that works for you and makes you feel refreshed. It is also important to get a well designed program tailored to you, this will ensure you are getting adequate rest in between workouts.

Ok, so you now have your training plan which suits your needs, this maybe a strength protocol, fat loss regime or a lean muscle guide, which ever it is how you recover to each is all slightly different and individual to that person but I am going to keep it simple for you – It is all about becoming in tune with and listening to your body.

These are the 3 main things to look out for when your body is telling you to rest:

1. Interrupted Sleep; if you are struggling to get to sleep or waking up multiple times then this is a sign ease the accelerator.

2. Irritable or restless; when trying to relax and you just can’t seem to get comfortable, constantly moving and adjusting yourself or just getting easily annoyed by the smallest things – this can be another way your body is telling you to back off.

3. Lack of energy/strength; if you are losing energy throughout the day, you are drained when you wake up or losing strength and/or endurance in your workouts, this can be another thing to look out for if you want to keep your training on track.

By following these simple signs you can enhance your training, results and avoid needless injuries which will halt your training. When any of these present themselves take note of them and introduce what is called a de-load period. This can usually be anywhere between 5 and 14 days depending on how long you have been pushing through and the type of training you do. I tend to get my clients to implement a 7 day period where they do 50% of everything, for example If they are weight training 5 days a week (18 set sessions, 8 to 12RM per set) with 1-2 cardio sessions I will get them to do 3 weight sessions (9 set sessions at 50% of their 10RM for 10 reps per set – nowhere near failure in this week) and maybe 1 low intensity cardio session dependant on that person. This will keep the body moving but giving it time to rest (Active Recovery).

The take home note is to listen to your body, know the signs and apply the appropriate action before you get started again. Recovery is as important as training itself.Happy Training.By David Rowe (Personal trainer)

By David Rowe (Personal trainer)

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