Why You Need to Rest and Recover if You Want to Reap Results
According to the popular fitness mantra, you have to “train insane or remain the same.” Gym-goers and fitness fanatics live and die by this philosophy, making sure that they never miss a gym session and that resting isn’t in their vocabulary. However, this mentality could actually be preventing you from reaping the results you desire. Celebrity fitness trainer and model Joey Thurman says, “When I see the same guys plugging away at the weights day after day, I cringe a bit. Every day shouldn’t be an ‘arm day.’ Your muscles need time off in order to rebuild and create that definition you desire.”
Here are Thurman’s top tips for adding rest and recovery into your routine:
1. Don’t work the same muscles day after day. “Do legs one day, and arms another day,” he explains. “It gives you time to heal and allows you to spend time each week focusing on every aspect of your body.”
2. Cross train. “Don’t assume that you only need to find one exercise that works for you,” says Thurman. “If you love to run, you also need to do other exercises in order to work all the muscles of the body and increase your endurance. For example, runners can really benefit from squats and lower body work. Bikers might benefit from yoga or Pilates. Keep your body guessing…and your workouts interesting and engaging.”
3. Treat your body right. “Plenty of sleep and hydration are key to recovery, both mentally and physically,” says Thurman. “I see a lot of guys who think they can party all weekend just because they worked hard at the gym during the week. It doesn’t work like that, especially not as you age. Your body isn’t going to look its best if you are working hard and playing hard every week.”
4. Take it easy. “Some people think that every gym sessions needs to leave them gasping for air,” says the trainer, “But the reality is that light to moderate sessions can also be key. For example, a yoga class might not seem like hard work, but it can help you to de-stress, tone, lengthen, and improve your core strength. Don’t be afraid to have some “light days” like this on your monthly calendar.”
5. Don’t let perfect become the enemy of the good. “Some people are so hard on themselves that their perfection eventually causes them to burn out,” says Thurman. “They can’t keep up with the breakneck pace and the anxiety that sets in if they have to miss a gym day. My philosophy is that you do what you can. Some weeks you might not make the gym 5 times a week, and some mornings your body might need extra sleep. Listen to what your body is telling you. Set realistic goals. Enjoy your workouts, and don’t make them a grind.”
Robin Rodgers says
Thank you. Good information for folks. More isn’t better.
Robin Rodgers says
Well, here I am again, re-reading this and replying. I did heavy yardwork all week and paid for it yesterday! I didn’t drink enough water, until yesterday and didn’t eat enough. I felt ill at the end of the day. Today I rested and drank lots of water. Rest! Breaks! Water! Food! Whew! Hard lesson to keep trying to learn. I think I got it this time!