In order to get results from exercise, you need to workout everyday, right?
Mmm, not so much. Working out for only 5 days per week could actually be more effective.
Taking rest days in your training program will allow your muscle to grow and recover from the bouts of intense exercise you completed during the week.
Giving your body a strategic break from exercise can improve your results.
If you are looking to lose body fat and change your body composition, I recommend completing 2 days of high intensity interval cardio workouts and 3 days of strength training. Bouts of cardio will help lower your body fat mass and the lifting days will increase your metabolism by increasing your muscle mass.
A key component of a proper strength training program is to put rest or cardio days in between your lifting days. As in, you should not be lifting weights on consecutive days. An example workout plan would be lifting on Monday, cardio on Tuesday, lifting on Wednesday, rest on Thursday, lifting on Friday, cardio on Saturday and rest on Sunday.
If you want to complete strength training on consecutive days, this is when you can consider split days. A split lifting day could be either lower body/upper body exercises or push/pull exercises. An example workout plan would be lower body lifting on Monday, upper body lifting on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, cardio on Thursday, full body lifting on Friday, cardio on Saturday and rest on Sunday.
Push/pull exercises are a mix of upper and lower body movements but programmed as either pulling resistance into your body or pushing resistance away from your body. Squats and chest press are considered push exercises while deadlifts and bent over rows are considered pull exercises.
If you never give your body a break, your muscles may break down. And that's exactly what we don't want from exercise!
You can also get overtraining injuries. If your joints or muscles have been hurting or feeling sore for longer than 3 days, you could be overtraining.
Another symptom of overtraining is intense and constant fatigue. Let's say that you get on the treadmill for your cardio workout. But after your warm-up, it feels like you can barely get your legs moving. It's a struggle to maintain a pace that you used to find comfortable. This type of fatigue could be a warning sign of overtraining.
Use your cardio and rest days to space out your lifting sessions. This will help you grow and build muscle tissue without causing harm to your body.
Thanks for reading!