Rest is a crucial component to any well balanced weightlifting program. Some personal trainers will argue that it’s more important than the workouts themselves!
To understand the importance of rest when weightlifting you must first understand what’s happening when you’re pounding out those reps in the gym! When you’re working out in the gym, regardless of the muscle group or exercise, you’re actually tearing your muscle fibers. The added stress from the weightlifting that is being placed on the muscle is causing the neurons to be ripped apart into what is referred to as micro tears. After any weightlifting workout, it’s important to allow the body an adequate amount of time to repair this “damage” that has been done.
Your muscles do not grow from training or weightlifting. Your muscles grow from recovering from the weightlifting that you are doing! Therefore if you were to return to the gym the next day and train the same muscles again, your workout would be relatively ineffective, and could mean you are defeating the purpose of working out in the first place, because you’re breaking down these muscles again before they’ve had a change to repair themselves.
The harder you train your body or muscle group, the more rest that they will need to recover and grow. This is why many professional bodybuilders will not do whole body workouts, but rather focus on specific muscle groups each day.. to allow for proper recovery from each workout.
Some hardcore bodybuilders even take entire weeks off at a time evyer couple of months just to “shock” their bodies and break any plateaus they may have come to.
Getting restful and regular sleep cannot be overlooked when discussing the importance of rest when weightlifting. This is your body’s most “anabolic”state of being. In fact one of the main purposes of sleep is for the body to heal and recover from the day’s events and stress. During sleep your body produces large amounts of growth hormones which obviously can help your body burn fat, build muscle, and heal wounds. It goes without saying, that restful sleep also gives you more energy to work with the next day. More energy means more effort in the gym!
Don’t think of rest as slacking off from your weightlifting routine, but rather an important part of your overall bodybuilding or body composition goals. If your looking for the best weightlifting tips or fastest way to lose weight, you should also be looking for the best tips for getting a good night’s sleep.. because that’s when the body is adapting to the lifestyle changes you’re putting it through!