This is a question that not many beginners to fitness understand. How important are rest days when working out? Very important. So important, that most people don’t really understand why.
In this article, I am going to explain to you the various aspects of muscle recovery and why you absolutely need to take rest days.
If you are just starting out your workout journey, you will find a lot of helpful tips in this article, so pay attention.
Before we get started, I highly recommend downloading our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). Our FREE workout plans will ensure that you stay on track and get in enough rest days.
The number one reason that rest days are so important when working out is the fact that your muscles need to recover.
When you exercise, your muscles are torn. Relax, it’s not what you think. There are a bunch of micro tears that happen in your muscles when you put strain on them. This is by design.
And as you can imagine, those micro tears need to be repaired. When you have a rest day, that gives your muscles time to recover.
When I first started working out, I thought that I could workout every single day, and find success. My muscles never grew and I found myself frustrated.
You cannot workout enough to make your goals come faster, so make sure you set realistic fitness goals for beginners. Your goals are going to take time to achieve.
If you are still worrying about rushing to achieve your results, then you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Do not be fooled by these ideas that you can get the best body in 3 months.
Yes, getting into decent shape in 3 months is possible, but the best version of you is going to take longer than 3 months. Don’t be the person that goes hard for 3 months and then gives up when you get within reach of your goals.
So, how important are rest days when working out? More important than you think. Your muscles need recovery. That is why I recommend to beginners to only workout 3-5 days per week.
Let your rest days determine your muscle growth rate.
Muscle recovery is obviously paramount when it comes to a good workout routine. But what happens if you workout too much? There is the risk of overtraining.
Overtraining is when you workout your muscles so much that your body cannot repair them in ample time, and your progress reverses.
This happens a lot with professional athletes preparing for an event. And it’s also something that you see when people try to lose weight rapidly or build muscle rapidly.
There is only so much working out that your body can handle. And while your body can be pushed very hard, you are going to struggle with the threat of overtraining if you push it too far.
As we talked about in the previous section, your muscles create micro tears every time they are worked out. When you overtrain, those micro tears cannot be repaired fast enough. Your body ends up essentially giving up on those muscles and continues to repair vital organs.
While the short term effects of overtraining are obvious, it can also cause some bad long term effects as well.
Don’t fall victim to overtraining. Simply set a schedule with built in rest days and let your body do the rest.
Consistency does not mean that you need to workout everyday. If you have come this far, you already know how important rest days are when working out.
Consistency is so much more than just showing up to the gym your set amount of days per week.
What consistency really means is making good choices, eating right, and not doing anything that will hinder your progress.
You would be shocked to find out what people do on a daily basis to sabotage their results. Things like eating terribly, drinking alcohol, not sleeping much. These are all things that you should focus on.
Good choices are truly common sense. Don’t let society or your social circle dictate what is healthy and is going to determine your future.
In order of importance, I recommend prioritizing nutrition, exercise, then sleep. Everything else should be weighed out as a good or bad choice. A bunch of little good choices add up. The same way that a bunch of little bad choices add up.
You will not get fat overnight. It takes years of eating at a caloric surplus and being neglectful of your health to get to that point. The same can be said about getting in shape. All it takes is a bunch of little good decisions, and you will eventually get in shape.
Main Point: How important are rest days when working out?
If you have made it this far, you know the answer to our question. How important are rest days when working out? Significantly important. So important that if you do not take a rest day when you are working out, it could reverse any positive progress.
Why is this? Everything that is worth doing takes time. Building your body is going to take plenty of time, and you just need to be ok with that.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that prioritizes instant gratification. And when that doesn’t happen, people get discouraged.
There is a common myth that too many beginners believe. That the more you workout, the quicker you will see results. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and it is a dangerous myth to share with others.
Getting in shape is all about balance. And when your body and your actions are aligned with your goals, everything will fall into place.
Rember, nutrition is going to be your most important way of getting your body to where you want. Do you want to lose weight? Eat at a caloric deficit. Do you want to build muscle? Eat at a caloric surplus.
Combine these directions with working out consistently 3-5 days per week, and you will have no problem getting your body to where you want it to be.