The most worthwhile and effective lifestyle-based fitness regimens will often include making “Rest & Recovery” a major tenet of the program. The significance of “rest & recovery” is often underestimated and most people immediately think it only relates to our nighttime sleep.
Rest & Recovery means a lot more than the rest we receive while we sleep - it includes all facets of rest, so that we fully allow the body to rejuvenate and reap the benefits of the work we put in.*Ultimately, we want to bring this level of diversity to our training routine, so that we keep the body guessing, which will lead to optimum training results.
For all intents and purposes, let’s define what I mean by “Rest & Recovery”
It includes, but is not limited to:
- Rest between sets of exercise
- Rest days between training major muscle groups
- Rest from total exercise
- Rest for increased training motivation
- Rest to avoid Overtraining
- Rest through enhanced methods like meditation and deep breathing
- Rest for striking a life-balance, producing ideal outcomes
Let’s summarize each, so that you fully understand the value of each…
Rest between sets of exercise– is a training variable and something I always include in any of my periodization fitness programming. In a nut-shell, we vary the rest time between sets of exercise, so we will effectively engage the various physiological energy systems of the body.
For example, less rest will often lead to forcing our body’s to more quickly adapt to the stress, leading to increased endurance and metabolic benefits such as fat loss. While rest time is shorter, our body’s ability to replenish energy for say heavier lifting, will be limited.
The extreme opposite would be taking more rest time between sets of exercise so that we give the body’s energy system the ability to more fully recover, in order to lift heavier weights with greater intensity.
Rest days between training major muscle groups– is vital for results. You must first come to terms that we do not achieve actual results during exercise, but while at rest. This means that while one muscle group is being primarily stimulated, another is at rest and recovering/responding to the work completed. You must also realize that during exercise, we never fully allow any of the body’s major muscle groups to fully rest, so we must employ other means for bringing on greater recovery.
Rest from total exercise – simply means that we will experience optimized training results and overall health when we make sure to include a day or two of total rest from structured training. By structured, I mean blocked out time for exercise – we rarely ever receive total rest, as most people are always “moving”.
Rest for increased training motivation – is essential if we are “lifers”. A lifer is someone who is in this for the long haul. One of the greatest reasons for fitness failure, is loss of motivation. People often quit exercise, because they are not feeling happy about doing it. We can help improve exercise motivation by bringing balance to the regimen. The premise here, is when we rest, we hope to get our body’s feeling more energized and our moods will often follow suit – after rest, we will look forward to getting back at it!
Rest to avoid Overtraining – Overtraining syndrome is a very real physiological response to too much exercise without adequate rest. This can often be avoided with rest (all aspects), proper nutrition and the right supplementation (refer to last week’s blog for more on that). When we allow Overtraining to set in, it can lead to a number of potential problems, including, injury, insomnia, depression, illness, etc., and a cease to continued exercise results.
Rest through enhanced methods like meditation and deep breathing – I have been writing about things like this for over 25-years now. When people think about things like meditation, we can easily mistake it for the esoteric or occult, but it’s not that, at all. It’s simply a means for allowing the “noise” to stop and will hopefully allow for more of an emotional break or rest. The intentional act of emotional rest, can have supernatural affects to our body’s ability to deal with stress (exercise) and allow for more thorough rest and recovery.
*If you are serious about wanting to experience a new level of harmony in your life, reach out to me and I’ll send you my best-selling Zone-Tone Meditation as my gift to you.
Rest for striking a life-balance, producing ideal outcomes – will be the ultimate result from your rest and recovery efforts. It’s so very easy to allow life to get in the way.
It’s easy for us to quickly dismiss the need for rest and making ourselves believe that we don’t really need it. We even trick ourselves into thinking that we’ll rest when we hit the proverbial “wall”; the point when our bodies are forced or driven to exhaustion – if you reach this point of exhaustion, it’s often too late and the damage is done. You’ll wish you had taken the time to rest and because of this, we must make rest & recovery an essential part of our lives.
My wish for each of you, is to get you to start looking at all of the significant aspects of rest and begin to take each, very seriously. Do this (along with following each tenet of the Five-Muscular Tiers), and your greatest life is yet to come!
*If you have questions or you’d like to learn more, please feel free to reach out to me for addiotnal support: james@RenewLifeRX.com
James Villepigue CSCS