So you have a wedding to get ready for, a vacation to get prepared for or you just want to look your best for the summer.. regardless of what your reasoning it is vital to NOT overtrain and to take rest days. But why?
We all hear that its important to rest but its also important to train hard. We are going to bring in another importance..diet. If you are training too much, not eating properly or enough and not resting you will loose your muscle definition and cause more harm to your body then good.
Resting makes you stronger, allows your muscles to rebuild and repair (ladies this is important for you too, especially if you are wanting to build those lean muscles). When you train you are breaking down your muscles glycogen storage and it needs to be replenished via good nutrition, if you are weight training you are causing tiny tears in your muscles which need time to repair. Again, overtraining will cause you too loose progress, lift less weight, deplete muscle energy stores, loose muscle definition and can sometimes cause either unhealthy weight loss or weight gain.
I personally hate taking rest days but I force myself too, even if I feel 100% ready to train again. I aim for taking 2-3 days off/week. I used to train 6 days/week but wasn’t seeing any real changes. It wasn’t until I started incorporated the rest days that I saw huge differences in my muscle definition and increases in my strength.
On your rest days what should you be doing? Eat properly!! This is not the day to binge eat or eat unhealthy greasing pointless foods that will add no health benefits to you. You need to stay consciously aware of intaking enough fruits, vegetables, lean protein and good fats. Carbs should be reduced on these days, so no eating 4 slices of bread in one sitting.
Treat your body well and it will reward you, use and abuse your body and it will come back with a revenge and it may take time. If you are willing to make the time and effort to train hard then you better put that same time and effort in your nutrition because exercising will only do so much, its the diet that will speed up your progress and turn you into the machine you were meant to be!