Many people that start training at the gym, tend to go overboard with their training regimen. They hit the weights with a vengeance and train long hours. Some days, they visit the gym more than once a day; in the hope that all these efforts will help them build the muscle they want, much quicker.
Unfortunately, they are doing themselves more harm than good; and many gym trainers find it an almost uphill task to convince those they are training that doing this without proper rest isn’t going to help them in any way. In fact, the opposite is true and if you overwork your muscles, you will just end up losing muscle rather than building any.
The common misconception
It’s a common misconception with beginners; and if you tell them to cut back a bit on their workout and catch some regular rest, they will give you an incredulous look; many also feel that their trainer may be underestimating how determined and committed they are and that they are adopting a very a conservative approach.
As mentioned earlier, this ‘beginner’s logic’ is very common and there is a distinct reason for it. In almost all aspects of life, when you work hard and for long hours, you reap the rewards (be it when you are studying or working) – this is one aspect that doesn’t change. However, when it comes to bodybuilding, this logic doesn’t always hold water.
Sure you get rewarded to a certain extent, when you put in plenty of efforts and are regular and consistent with your regimen; however, you will get very noticeable and significant results when you put in effort and balance that out with plenty of relaxation as well.
The simple fact is that if you put in excessive effort at the gym, your body will only protest and you will be working against your objective of building muscle. So does that mean you are suddenly going to get amply rewarded just for flinging your feet up on the coffee table and watching your favourite TV show?
Are you going to suddenly be the one that’s building muscle much faster than so many of your friends that have managed to build muscle by hitting the gym regularly? Before you decide that this is what rest is all about, in a body building regimen, read on.
It’s crucial that you have at least one rest day in a week
To understand more about this concept, it’s important to understand the dangers of overtraining:
Overtraining Syndrome (OTS)
- This is a clinically-recognized condition that’s characterized by symptoms of fatigue and depression, increase in cortisol levels (stress hormone) and reduced blood-glutamine, testosterone & DHEA levels.
- This is essentially a progressive syndrome and if you continue training beyond the repair capacities of your body, it will transition into a higher state of OTS.
- The one sure shot way to prevent being affected by the overtraining syndrome is to get adequate rest.
How much rest do I need?
The next logical question that crops up in the mind is – ‘How much rest do I need?’ The actual rate at which your body would be able to repair & rebuild the muscle tissue differs from one individual to the next. There are a number of factors which influence what this rate will be, ranging from life stresses and nutrition to genetics etc.
Your trainer should be able to give you a proper evaluation of what will work for you and what won’t. If you have any questions about building arm muscle or want a workout routine that would help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Schembri PT. You can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading,
Schembri PT Team
02 9648 6405