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When to Train, When to Rest

The tough part about working out is getting up the gumption. It’s waking up an hour earlier before work, or eschewing home for an extra hour on your evening commute, or recording your favoriteprime-time show instead of watching it live after dinner. Luckily, the easy but often over-looked facet of regular exercise is allowing time for proper rest and recovery between workouts. Without adequate recovery time, you’ll be more likely to injure yourself. You’ll be more likely to burn yourself out, leading to a long lay-off that’s sure to negate any gains you think you’ve made by pushing yourself too hard.

Take your Time

Strength training breaks down muscle fiber, and when this muscle fiber regenerates, it comes back stronger. Muscles must be given adequate rest time, because without proper rest, your muscles will actually grow weaker over time, not stronger! A good rule of thumb is to space at least 48 hours between training sessions. For some people, depending on your level of fitness you might want to opt for closer to 72 hours between sessions. Listen to your body, but when in doubt opt for more. Also, be sure to get plenty of sleep during periods where you’re engaged in strength training regularly. This is because growth hormone production levels are at their highest during sleep. To a degree, the work you do during the day pays off while you sleep!

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