When it comes to physical training, many people assume that the harder they work in the gym, the better their results will be. Although that’s partially true, it’s not the whole story. Pushing yourself in the gym is, as we all know, necessary to elicit noticeable results in your strength and muscle mass. But the quality and consistency of your recovery are just as important as your training.
Ready to learn how to rest and recover to maximize the results of your hard work in the gym? The personal trainers at Envision Fitness share a few helpful tips below.
Rest and Recovery: Why Is It Critical for Great Results?
We live in a society that, for the most part, believes more is always better. But when it comes to working out, that’s not necessarily true. Practicing a well-designed, progressive training program is the best way to build muscle mass, strength, and agility. But your training is just one facet of a well-designed, comprehensive program.
Recovery, something many gym-goers often neglect, also plays a central role in the development of muscle tissue and strength. And if you neglect to give your body what it needs to thrive — which, for many trainees, is more rest — chances are you won’t see the results you’re looking for. Why not?
Because your body needs time to repair the muscle damage that training induces. Don’t panic — we’re not talking about significant damage here. What we’re referring to are the microtears that weightlifting and high-intensity exercise create in your muscle tissue. This process is natural, it’s supposed to occur, and it’s what makes your muscles stronger, larger, and able to handle more volume and load over time.
You break down your muscles in the gym, and your body builds them back up while you rest. Adequate rest is also important for maintaining a healthy mental state, so you don’t overdo it and eventually burn out. Below, our personal trainers discuss a few things everyone should do to get the most out of their time outside of the gym.
Take Enough Rest Days
Although you might love training and could spend every day in the gym, your body needs time to rest. Even if you feel like you could complete a solid workout after back-to-back training days, it’s often best to take a rest day to allow your system to recover.
Rest days help reduce the risk of common overuse injuries like muscle strains, stress fractures, and joint pain. They also help prevent the development of many undesirable side effects of overtraining, including:
● Downregulation of immune system function
● Persistent fatigue
● Seemingly inexplicable mood swings
● Undesirable hormonal fluctuations
● Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
● Diminished physical performance
Not sure how many rest days your unique body needs to thrive? Work with a personal trainer who can help you figure it out! At Envision Fitness, we tailor our personal training programs to your individual needs, fitness level, and limitations. We take the time to design a program specific to you because we truly care about your results.
Ready to discover how an individually tailored training program can help you achieve the transformation you’re looking for? Schedule a free consultation with our team!
Get Enough Sleep
It’s unfortunate, but one in three adults doesn’t get nearly enough sleep. Are you one of them? If so, your physical performance isn’t the only thing that can suffer; lack of sleep can take a toll on your mental health, too.
When you don’t get enough sleep consistently, your body becomes more vulnerable to training-related injuries. Your rate of perceived exertion — the amount of effort you put into your workouts — can also increase, making certain exercises seem much harder than usual.
Lack of sleep also triggers the release of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone. And unfortunately, cortisol is catabolic, which means it breaks down lean tissue — exactly the opposite of what you’re going for. High cortisol levels also downregulate the function of your immune system. Since that system plays a role in triggering post-workout inflammation that induces muscle recovery, keeping your immune system healthy is critical for your overall results.
Ideally, you should aim for seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to maximize both your training results and your overall well-being. If you’re training harder than usual, you may need more sleep than that.
Practice Good Nutrition
You are what you eat — literally. So if you want to get the most out of your training, you must eat a healthy, balanced diet that gives your body the nutrients it needs to thrive. Whether you’re just getting started on your healthy lifestyle journey or you’re not quite sure how to design a nutrition plan that supports your training, at Envision Fitness, we’re here to help.
When you join our community, we offer free nutrition coaching to help you learn how to fuel your body according to your unique needs and activity level. When it comes to nutrition, no two people are alike, which is why we customize our nutrition programs based on your personal needs, preferences, and goals.
We’ll then monitor your progress as you move through your program and provide ongoing adjustments to ensure you’re fueling your body properly. You can train hard all day, but if you don’t have your nutrition locked down, you won’t get the results you’re working so hard to achieve.
Last but definitely not least, don’t forget to stretch! We get it: making time for a stretch session at the end of a tough workout can be difficult. But know this: If you fail to stretch, you’re essentially asking for an injury that could sideline your progress indefinitely.
If you don’t know which stretches to perform for each body part, that’s where a personal trainer comes in! We’ll teach you how to perform an effective warmup and cool down to improve your flexibility and overall mobility. Lengthening tight muscles will help you perform each exercise with proper form and increase blood flow to those tissues, so they can recover optimally.
Ready to Start Your Transformation? Let Envision Fitness Be Your Guide!
At Envision Fitness, we strive to provide more than just personal training; we aim to create a transformative experience that will change your life. At our Hopkins, MN gym, we’re building a tight-knit, supportive community of like-minded individuals, all of whom are striving to become to best versions of themselves. We’d love to have you join us!
To learn more or schedule your free consultation, give us a call today at 952-444-2791 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch!