We cannot stop stressing on the importance of rest days. After all they are an essential part of the training regime! Muscles are broken in the gym, fed in the kitchen and built in bed. However, this does not mean that you can lie down at night hoping to transform into the Hulk by morning. You still got to put in the hard work.
Listen to your body and give it a break when it asks for it. Here are 4 signs that you need a rest day.
Feeling tired/ drop in performance
It’s easier to have more bad days in the gym than good ones. So listen to your body yelling at you as you give it a constant beating. Decreased performance is the most common sign of overtraining. When your warm up set feels like your main set that is when you got to take a break. A little down time will only do you good.
Excessive muscle soreness
Often muscle soreness is taken as a sign of the routine being effective and working well. It can be the complete opposite. When you take up a new routine your muscles are not used to it, hence the soreness. However, excessive soreness can be a desperate cry for help from your muscles. It can inhibit proper mobility and is a sign that your muscles are not ready to get stressed further.
Now first and foremost, don’t confuse pain for muscle soreness. If you’re experiencing constant pain in any of your muscles or joints it’s time to rack the weights. A nagging pain is an indication of excessive inflammation and that the muscle requires more time to recover.
You’re just not into it
Don’t let lack of enthusiasm or motivation bring you down. It happens even to the most dedicated. For some it might be hard to believe but exercise too has a marginal utility just like the other finer things in life. Take a step back and bounce back harder and stronger.
If you’re one of those people who get ants in their pants even at the thought of taking a rest day, here’s some good news. ACTIVE REST DAYS! It’s okay to do a few low intensity exercises on your rest days. Go for a walk or play a sport but don’t push yourself as that defeats the whole purpose of taking a day off!