First of all, skipping gym for 2 weeks doesn’t count as ‘rest from gym’ 🙂. That’s just procrastination (Here’s how to get rid of that tho).
So, let’s start by breaking down the myth: “More workouts can only be beneficial.”
Well, yes, generally speaking working out more has to be good news, but it isn’t.
Your favorite cricket team plays leagues all around the year, then comes the Asia Cup, and they end up traveling between Pakistan and Sri Lanka constantly.
Then, without any buffer, they embark for the World Cup to India.
Technically speaking, the amount of cricket they played this year, should’ve meant more practice and better performance, right?
But the result was opposite 🙃.
A big reason was just absence of rest days!
Fitness is all about balance, you may love the gym but it’s better if you take time outs and schedule rest days because when you work out like a maniac, your mind and your body doesn’t get time to recover.
Let’s crack down at this problem with a little science.
What happens when you work out?
You make two hormones: Adrenaline and Cortisol.
Normally, these are good hormones but when you start working out everyday without a break, at a high-level, your body ends up making too many of these hormones.
And as they say, too much of a good thing is bad.
Too much Adrenaline and Cortisol end up giving you stress, high blood-pressure and problems in sleeping. (source)
Secondly, we’ve told you how it works, bulking up, building and breaking muscles (Haven’t read it? Click here).
So, after the breakdown, your muscles need time to recover, and without rest days, this painful process is only going to become more painful.
Plus, when you work out repeatedly with too much intensity, it’s more likely that you will end up burning out and leaving the gym altogether (How’d you know I speak from experience? 😭).
So, this is a small step towards sustainable workouts.
How to know you need rest?
How will you know though? That you’re overdoing the fitness?
If you’re always exhausted, your muscles are sore, have too much stress, and you can’t sleep properly.
You, my friend, need rest.
How to schedule your rest from the gym?
Well, for starters, there’s not much science that goes into this. It largely depends on person to person.
And frankly, if you have a trainer, he/she might be able to help you out better here.
But that doesn’t mean we won’t guide you.
In most cases, what you can do is, 3 days of work out, and then take a rest day. Then 3 days workout, then 1 day rest and so on.
A sample schedule can be:
Monday: Squats & Lift Day
Tuesday: Light Jog and Bike Ride
Thursday: High-Intensity Intervals (HIIT) Session
Friday: Full Body Endurance Lifts
Sunday: Cross-Training Mix
But again, you do you, everyone is different, so is their schedule.
What to do on a rest day?
Now comes the good part: enjoyment!
Rest day is all about your recovery, so you can spend it however you want.
Watch Netflix, take a break, maybe do something productive like learn a skill or something, get creative with it!
Just remember rest day isn’t your diet cheat day 🙏.
Rest Day Workouts
Oh yes, these exist too.
I know it sounds like they destroy the whole purpose of this article but ruko zara, sabar kro 🙂.
If you’re a total gym addict, and you worry that rest days will come in the way of your intense workout plans.
You can make it an active rest day, move around. Walk, run, cycle, do cardio.
This way, you can keep it balanced, and have some recovery time.
In a nutshell, taking breaks from your workouts is not slacking off—it’s a smart move. Working out every day might seem like the way to go, but science says your body needs rest.
Watch out for signs like feeling tired all the time, sore muscles, stress, and sleep troubles. If you notice these, your body is asking for a break.
On your rest days, kick back and enjoy life 😉.
So, in the fitness game, it’s not just about going hard; it’s about finding the right balance. Pay attention to what your body needs, mix it up, and remember, slow and steady wins the race!