Get Fitter, Healthier & Sexier by having a Rest…?

You do not improve while you are exercising, but rather when you recover from the exercise you are performing.

At our boot camp program we have implemented a regime of 3 weeks of metabolic resistance training and then a 1-week rest from metabolic resistance training. We repeat this cycle throughout the year with a few exceptions where we workout for 4 weeks at a time. And our planned end of year break is normally 2-3 weeks rather than 1 week.

Why do we do this…? And, more importantly, do we see better results because of this…? Continue reading to find out…

Planned breaks you take from exercise give your entire body (muscles, nervous system, joints, etc.) and mind (training gets mentally draining on everyone after a while) an extra large dose of rest/recovery to allow for super-compensation to occur (which is basically when all of your body’s improvements occur). This then puts you in a fresh and ideal state for the upcoming boot camp and ensures you can maximise the next phase of boot camp workouts.

Many people worry that they will “lose” all the benefits that they have gained from the preceding 3 weeks of boot camp if they have a week off. Now, that all depends on what type of week off you have:

1). A week of absolutely no exercise and eating whatever you want

  • This will probably lead to you losing a little bit of ground especially if your main goal is weight loss and body fat loss
  • It will probably also result in you getting rather “sore” muscles after your return to exercise as you will experience some DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
  • I recommend a complete break from exercise about every 3 months (depending on your age, results, training and injury history) and during this time, you do need to be very mindful of what you are eating
  • So, if you are taking a complete rest then make sure you are a little stricter with your food choices

2). A week of active rest

  • By active rest I mean a break from metabolic resistance training, but one in which you are still active and perform some exercise
  • This is what your “week off” from boot camp should be most of the time
  • Some cardio exercise (run, walk, swim, cycle, etc.) would be a great way to give your body the “rest/recovery” it needs while still maintaining your fitness and results
  • Performing foam rolling (myofascial release), stretching and stability exercises can also be a great way to facilitate recovery during this week

You definitely do need some “time-off” from metabolic resistance training (boot camp workouts) and I find that boot campers get much better results when they are getting the rest and recovery they need. It also drastically reduces your chances of injury!!

Let me know your thoughts and experiences on rest and recovery by leaving your comments below…


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