Can less actually be more? Well, when it comes to our workouts, it could very well be.
Overtraining our bodies could have an adverse effect on what we are trying to achieve with our overall workout goals.
In a world where it is easy to get caught up in the hype of “more is better,” it is understandable how we can condition our minds that more cardio, more squats, and more lifting are the way to go.
Though we always encourage a healthy lifestyle, we also want to stress the importance of balancing your workout schedule with built-in rest days.
Here are three reasons, according to Shape, why you should actually chill-out and skip a gym day or two.
Your muscles actually do grow when you take the time to rest.
When it comes to lifting weights with the same muscle groups, the rest time is equally as important as the workouts. For example, if you train legs on Monday and arms on Tuesday, you do not need a rest day in between those two muscle groups. However, you do not want to train legs on both Monday and Tuesday.
Lifting weights creates tiny tears in the muscles. Training the same muscle groups on back-to-back days leaves them overworked -- they need time to recover. That process happens during the downtime of rest days.
Weight-loss plateau can happen when overtraining occurs.
You’re doing all the right things. You’re eating healthier, working out regularly and doing all of the things you think are right to reach your ideal weight. Then all of a sudden, no matter what you do, the scale reaches a point where it does not move. Your body has now reached a state of plateau.
“Thanks to your body's built-in protective mechanisms, overtraining can cause a plateau in your weight loss or even weight gain (unrelated to increased muscle mass).”
Overtraining causes burnout.
You’ve finally decided to take your workout goals seriously and the gym has now become life. You’re in the gym 5-7 days a week and excited about your progress so far. As quickly as the excitement began, however, it starts to fade and you’ve lost the motivation to hit the gym. Eventually, you start making excuse after excuse about why you can’t go to the gym. You now find yourself in a workout slump and dealing with what is called “workout burnout”.
“In the end, life is about balance. We all have limited resources-time, energy, money, physical reserves-and spending too much of them on exercise can lead to burnout.”
Though working out is essentially great for the mind, body, and soul, resting enough between days gives us enough time to recoup what we put out.