You may think it's silly for me to explain “what are rest days” but give me a minute or two.
As simple as this may seem, people don't seem to fully understand what it actually means.
It doesn't mean run 6 miles and call it an active recovery day.
It doesn't mean do a quick CrossFit metcon...and it certainly doesn't mean sit on your ass, on the couch and watch 8 hours of your favorite show.
If you can train 7 days per week, likely you are never training hard enough in order to create a positive training application to get stronger, get faster, or run further.
Further, we need to be able to turn the intensity significantly up for strength training sessions and significantly down for others.
What most people do is, they end up spending most of the train time in the 50% intensity range, never training hard enough in order to improve or resting well enough to recover.
Today we're going to talk about an overlooked and misunderstood concept, the rest day.
The work you do in the gym only translates to gains in the space between workouts.
There are ways that we can help that process along without falling prey to recovery Voodoo techniques. You have everything that you need to rest well. You don't have to buy thousands of dollars of stuff. A rest day isn't hard to do.
A good resting rate is made of a handful of habits that take just a little practice.
I'll give you an idea of what my ideal rest day looks like….
It starts off waking up from an amazing night sleep, going out for a walk, going in the sauna, doing some contrast therapy with ice baths, taking time aside for myself, and sitting down with a good book, eating great food for the day... mostly cooked from home.
Are all those things scientifically proven to reduce muscle soreness, accelerate gains….or prevent male pattern balding? Certainly not, there is some indirect evidence out there to suggest that these activities support recovery from exercise, but that's not really a point.
Recovery rituals are there for consistency, coming from experience it’s nearly impossible to maintain a consistent training routine with a consistent daily routine.
The takeaway here is, don't skip the part of your training plan that says… “take a rest day”, treat it like a skills we practiced diligently.
So the next time your friends say “rest days are for the weak” it's up to you to educate them, because friends don't let friends skip rest days!