11/19/14

WWW: When Resting Becomes Destructive

You’re on vacation, it’s your honeymoon, you’re sick, etc. These are all valid reasons why one cannot workout for a couple of days at a time. These glorious and rare days are called rest days. Even God took one on the seventh day after creating, well, everything! And we think we are exhausted at the end of a day…

So the big question is, when does a good thing like rest, turn in to a bad thing. Great question class! The answer is, it depends on your fitness level. If you are like me and train pretty much every day and are dedicated to getting back on the gain train when you get back, a week won’t affect you much. In fact, if you’re considered extremely fit, a month of inactivity can still maintain your strength and mass to some degree. However, if you hit the gym once or twice a week, you will lose it pretty quickly because the less training you do normally, the faster you’ll lose it when you stop. Think about it, if you haven’t built up much, there’s less to lose and the loss will happen a lot quicker. Unfortunately, even if there isn’t a lot of noticeable muscle loss, there is bound to be some strength loss, so stay humble for a few days to a week before your strength returns like it was before the break.

What about how quick you get out of shape? Another great question! Lucky for us, it is said that it takes longer than a week to throw away all of our hard work. Aerobic power decreases after several weeks and it takes a couple months of being a total couch potato to completely lose everything you have gained. However, the more fit you are, you’ll see a rapid drop in fitness at first after a few weeks before it begins to taper off. The bad news for all you aerobic people, is that muscular strength and endurance lasts longer than aerobic fitness. The worst part about coming back will be the motivational part and getting back in to the grind and routine of your workout regimen.


A few pointers to help while you’re enjoying that rest time though: watch your calories, watch what kind they are, and do what you can with what you have. If you want to lose weight, eat a deficit of calories. If you want to gain, eat a surplus. If you want to keep feeding your muscles and keep burning fat, eat lots and lots of protein. Watch your carbohydrates, especially sugar. And if you’re on vacation or something, keep moving. Walk places, take the stairs, etc. If you are hurt or don’t have a place, work with what you have. Stay active, stay smart, and enjoy that rest… just not too much.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.