Yes, You Need Rest and Recovery Days

Every person who walks through our doors is looking to improve their health. Why else would you come to a gym, right? But sometimes we see a few of our members pumping iron a bit too often. Occasionally, we have to have a tough conversation, reminding them that yes, you need rest and recovery days.

Muscle Building Basics

Let’s go back to the basics of gains, shall we? The point of taxing specific muscle groups is to break them down. During these sweat seshes, intense exertion creates microtears in the muscle fibers. By the end of a workout, your muscle tissue will have experienced some serious trauma. Afterwards, our bodies work to rebuild those fibers to make them stronger and build endurance… aka GAINS. And how do we rebuild, friends? With rest and recovery! (And proper nutrition and sleep, but we’ll save that lecture for another day.)

Going Ham Hurts

Any gym newbie quickly learns that trying to do #allthethings right away results in massive soreness. The kind of soreness that prevents you from picking up that heavy piece of paper on your desk. Our blog on easing into a workout program explains why this sets you back long term. Going ham in the gym daily without letting your body recover also prevents muscles from rebuilding. The Mayo Clinic backs up our nagging: you’re more likely to break form lifting w sore muscles and overload the wrong ones.

More Serious Side Effects

If you dramatically up the intensity of your workouts too quickly, you can stress muscles beyond normal breakdown. If muscle tissues degrade too much, they enter the blood stream and can overwhelm organs like the heart and kidney. This could result in the rare, but life-threatening, condition rhabdomyolysis (or rhabdo). Rhabdo entered gym lingo in recent years after some unscrupulous practices by uneducated trainers at a handful of CrossFit gyms. This article in Popular Science outlines differences between next-day soreness of healing muscles and the symptoms of potential rhabdo. Take these symptoms seriously, gym fam.

Sit Your Recovering Butt Down, Sir, Ma’am, or Non-Binary Person

Yes, we love to see your face! But we also want to see you get your gains in the safest ways possible. That means scheduling consistent rest days each week. Can’t manage to stay away from the gym? Come in and show us your gains on the rest and recovery days. We can chat it up and talk about your plan of attack for the next time you get after it. We can recommend ways to work smarter, not harder, with the time you spend breaking down those fibers.

Our trainers are walking encyclopedias on health and fitness. Want to pick their brains about workout sessions, proper rest and recovery day cadence, or any other topic (within reason)? Come down during staffed gym hours or get a hold of us by calling the gym at 724-691-2769 or completing our online form.