The Importance of Rest Days, by Matt Jones

You've probably heard some of the coaches here at InnerFight talk about rest days. When I tell my clients that we usually take 2 days rest each week, the look I get is often a look of surprise. People often think that you have to train 7 days a week to get results??! This is what I see when people go for that option, thinking that 'More is Better'. Sometimes people start to get sick, typically because they are staying up late, way over stressed, dehydrated, and start eating like crap more often than they should. Then, if they feel like crap, they try to train through it which can make things worse. There is a time when training can be a 'good stress' and it can be a 'bad stress'. At times it's obvious when the body starts to feel beaten up from all the intense training. Your quality of movement starts to diminish, strength drops which has a direct effect on performance in the gym. In other words, when you're simply run down, beat up, mentally stressed to the max and on the verge of getting sick, training isn't going to be the best thing for you to do. That's when you need to rest and recharge. That way, you come back stronger VS training at only 75-80%. You don't want to start training on an empty tank because that's when you can really start to mess things up, i.e. injuries etc. Your 'Central Nervous System' (CNS) starts to suffer. Look at it this way, if you get extra body fat that just won't go away or your having a hard time sleeping, need more caffeine during the day, or you find yourself having some extra cravings for sweets and carbs, you're more than likely busted up CNS wise. So if you train intense day after day without adding strategic "active rest" sessions or actual de load type weeks, that's when you will run into some issues. There are times where "more is never better".... "Better is Better". Most of the time, there's no need for extra this and extra that. If you're not a professional highly competitive athlete or training for an actual sport, there's no need to be training for 90+ mins a day. Unless your lifestyle really aids in allowing for these long as sessions. That means you have extra time to sleep, you eat right, and don't have extra stress in your life. But for most people, shorter efficient sessions are more suitable for producing noticeable results. So, if one of the coaches suggests taking a rest day, please don't take it as a negative thing. We only want to see the best from you. Don't stress if you miss a cool workout. There will be plenty more as the days/weeks/years go on.   By: Matt Jones, InnerFight Performance Coach