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24 May, 2012Too Little Or Too Much Rest Between WorkoutsTiming of your rest is truly the key for getting results. As mentioned above
People often think it is the actual exercise that is important and hence the time that they exercise, such as going for a run for 45 mins.
However all we are doing during exercise is breaking down muscle tissue so it repairs itself and has a positive adaptive respond (you get stronger, faster etc). However you have to allow your body to have that positive adaptive response. This is what should happen post working out
Firstly – lets talk about the case scenario that is all too common today – having too much rest. In the above example the horizontal line represents current strength. The best time to train again is as soon as you hit the “super compensation phase”. Note with the above example the “super compensation phase” does wear off eventually and you are back to the same baseline as when you started. The obvious question now is – how do I know when I am at that stage. Well the answer is good record keeping.
You can see by the above record keeping that after just 2 days, the session done on the 14/06 did not improve from the previous session. If I was training someone and they lifted the above on the 14th then I would conclude that they had not super compensated. However when 5 days was given as the rest (19/06) the best improvement was seen, even better than the 4 day rest given. You should expect (if the programme is written well and the person is well balanced and healthy) for improvements at every session. The above record keeping is also my indication on when to change the programme. If you see a plateau occur then the programme needs to change. For some people it may be as little as 3 weeks, others I have seen still make improvements after 7 weeks. If improvements are being made then do not change the programme.
The other factor that needs to be considered is not allowing enough rest. I have several clients who struggle to understand this concept. Once
If the above is the case you will simply not see an improvement in your weight training. in fact you can actually see the results get worse. It is also important to note that a rest day should be just that – a rest day. If you have a Wednesday off because you have a stressful 14 hour working day – then this is not rest. Or taking a Sunday off and spending the day building a fence at home which sees you carrying heavy objects all day is also not a rest. Remember rest is when the magic happens – so allow yourself to relax.
Time this right and you can utilise all the good hard work you are doing in the gym. Time it wrong and it is all for nothing. So remember to keep those records and if you are not making progress, try changing your rest between workouts (i.e chest workout to chest workout) and learn what works best for you.