Have you ever wondered what rest and recovery have to do with your fitness and wellness journey? How on earth can the time that you’re not working out be as important as the workout itself?
Although you aren’t doing physical work during that period, your body is repairing itself and getting ready for the next time you exercise. The repair process is the strengthening process.
It helps to know a little bit about that fantastic system our body has called the Muscular System. There are 3 types of muscle in the body. Cardiac (heart); Smooth (walls of internal organs); and Skeletal, which are the muscles that move the body, arms and legs. This last is the one we’ll be discussing.
When you lift weights, your muscles contract. The muscles can both shorten and lengthen. So when you are doing your sets of pushups, squats, etc., your muscles are working to meet the demands you are placing on them. You’re depleting your glycogen stores (muscle energy) and the muscles become fatigued. The muscle, while you’re lifting weights, is getting small tears. These tears simulate the body’s repair response.
The recovery process (repair response) starts when you are done working out. Your glycogen stores get replaced and the tears are repaired. Time is necessary for the repair process as your body is rebuilding the muscle STRONGER than it was previously. Rest is essential to these improvements.
So what happens if I don’t rest?
Best case scenario is that your performance decreases. Have you ever had the experience of working out a ton, and just not getting anywhere? A lack of rest could be the cause. You’ll also feel more fatigued when working out. The exercise will be, and feel, more difficult. Worst case is that you will get injured. If the body doesn’t have time to repair, then the tears just get worse and worse.
This is the reason that Booty Camp is set up to have you work out different muscle groups on each day; to give the muscles time to rest. Break Weeks are a great time to rest (and get stronger) as well.
So enjoy your time off, and know that it’s making you stronger and healthier!!