Taking a Week off: 4 Reasons to Put the Weights Down
You’ve been hitting the gym nearly every day for months. You’ve been stringently following your program. Your body is letting you know that it’s working because you’re sore but you’re seeing results. So why would you ever want to stop? You’ve come this far, won’t another 6 weeks of constant training only get you that much closer?
Staying consistent is important when it comes to your fitness goals. With that said, one thing you never want to skip on is giving your body a chance to recover. Let’s take a look at the top 4 reasons why taking a week off is a good idea.
- Catch Up
There isn’t a person in your local gym that isn’t behind on something. Whether its e-mails, chores, errands, or personal self-improvement, everyone needs some time to catch up on something. Taking a week off from the gym after several weeks of consistent, high intensity workouts will benefit your body but it will also help get you back on track with things you’ve been putting off. So go ahead and have that dinner date, paint the garage, or take that workshop. You’ve earned it.
- Mentally Recharge
While exercise is great for the brain, you may be doing some damage that you never even realize. Have you ever gotten frustrated and angry when something made you late for the gym? How did you react when you missed a workout completely?
There are plenty of men and women that stress themselves into the ground when they aren’t meeting their fitness schedule. While it’s admirable, it’s also a toxic behavior if it’s left unchecked. Taking a week off lets you recharge your mind. You’ll feel less stressed and you’ll feel MORE motivated to get back into the gym.
- Avoid Overtraining
Many gym goers don’t take this seriously enough until it’s too late. Overtraining is just that: working your body past its ability to recover before battering it again with another workout. The symptoms of overtraining are no picnic. If you’re overtraining, you may notice the following:
- Mood swings
- Extreme fatigue
- Loss of lean muscle tissue
- Gaining of fat mass
- Trouble sleeping
It’s important to allow yourself a week off, especially after a few months of serious and dedicated weight training. This brings us to our number one reason to take a week off: healing.
- Allow Proper Time to Heal
Do you know how long it actually takes for muscle tissue to heal? More importantly, do you know how long your joints and connective tissue need to heal? Connective tissue takes a much longer time to fully repair and heal when compared to muscle tissue. You’re looking at MONTHS for connective tissue to fully regenerate when compared to WEEKS for muscle tissue. If you’re not giving your body a break, it WILL break. Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet, supplement with recovery agents such as fish oil, and sleep 7 to 9 hours each night.
Tell Us What You Think!
Do you have a “rest week”?
What are the benefits you’ve noticed from taking time off?
Let us know in the comments below!