When speaking to exercise enthusiasts or those who like to smash themselves every day, often the mentality is more is better. People start to trade off volume for intensity, doing more and more training. Unfortunately this is usually at the cost of intensity, and does not always equal an increase in performance.
Unless you are Rich Froning, more often then not rest will benefit you in many ways. Some of these are included before:
- Allows your muscles to recover
- Avoids mental burnout
The result of these two allow you to train harder in the days you do train. Remember intensity is King and the goal should be more quality sessions not just more sessions.
Current Fittest man on Earth, Mat Fraser, shared in a podcast that he takes almost 2 months completely off after the games to lets his mind and body recuperate. Kara Webb or now known as Kara Saunders, shared that she was not improving as much as she thought she would training every day. Adding rests saw a dramatic spike in performance.
It is often hard for people to come to terms with the fact that they need to do nothing sometimes to get better. If you are one of these people, maybe a day where you do some ‘active recovery’ may allow you to recover and keep mentally at ease, knowing you are still doing a little something. Light sessions may include a very slow jog, swim, yoga, brisk walk or something of that nature.
The Crossfitters mentioned above are at the top of their games in terms of performance and recovery. If they’re taking days off, we all probably should too.