By Courtney Black.
Recovery and rest is extremely important when it comes to fitness and lifting. Rest allows the muscle that you have damaged/ worked during exercise to recover and be ready to work again. If your muscles do not recover fully, you will not be able to progress… lift heavier/increase sets/reps etc. Rest and recovery not only includes the obvious, stretching, foam rolling, but also getting proper nutrition and supplements, during, before and intra training.
In the simplest terms possible, without a full recovery time, your body will hit plateau, and will be at a greater risk of injury. Your performance will also most probably worsen, for example, you will lack in energy, strength and most probably motivation.
It is important that you get enough sleep, have a good diet and that you follow a healthy lifestyle. Rest days are vital in order to progress in your training. I take 1 or 2 rest days per week, normally on days when I feel tired/ demotivated or on a day when I have a super busy schedule. This way I do not feel exhausted and I don’t feel like training is taking over my social life.
Over training can occur when someone over trains one muscle group back to back/ too often, not giving the muscle enough time to recover. You will often find that this will be your ‘weak’ body part. Trust me. Over training in general, can make you feel run down, tired, depressed, and irritable and de motivated. It is simply not necessary to train every day! Make your workouts count and you will have better results.
So how can we prevent over training?
Get your rest. Make sure you get enough sleep and enough social time.
Take up yoga or have regular massages to de stress
Reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet. I am a culprit for over consuming coffee and often feeling really wired and light headed. Not only does caffeine leave you with a horrible after effect, it also will reduce the amount of hour’s sleep you get. I try to stop drinking caffeinated drinks after 3:30pm.
Take a minimum of 1 rest day per week.
Keep a well balanced, high protein diet
Drink BCAA’s while you train/ post training. They are branch chain amino acids, and work wonders in helping your muscles recover.
Make sure you leave enough time after a workout to stretch and cool down, and begin a workout with a warm up.