When it comes to Coaching and Personal Training, our jobs are made a great deal easier by self motivated individuals who are keen to go the extra mile and get everything they possibly can from their sessions. Sometimes however, we do come across some people who actually train too much!
There have been several occasions in which we have had someone come to us and say:
“I am training for 2 hours, twice a day, 7 days per week, yet I feel like I have hit a brick wall with my results…How much harder do I have to push?”
We are often given strange looks when we suggest that they reduce both the duration and number of training sessions per week in order to improve their results…but it’s the truth!
The Course Coordinator of my Masters Degree in Strength and Conditioning (at Edith Cowan University), drilled into the cohort, “More is not better! More is more, better is better!”
There are not many truer words spoken when it comes to training. You could be annihilating yourself in the gym day in and day out, however if you do not have any rest days your muscle fibres are never going to have the time to repair the micro-tears that you cause when you are training.
Resting gives you the opportunity to rebuild those fibres, replenish energy stores, de-load your immune system and even freshen you up mentally. If you do not adequately rest, you increase your risk of injury, increase your risk of immune system suppression, slowdown your results due to hormonal imbalances and expose yourself to a greater chance of overall burnout.
So how much time should I actually rest?
Unfortunately at the end of the day there is no magic number, as each individual reacts differently to different training as rest periods. Ideally we would suggest at least two rest days per week (this means nothing that gets the heart rate up. A slow to medium paced walk is fine).
Personally I am involved in local football and will rest on the day before and after the game. On the other 4 days of the week I will complete a mixture of Strength, Conditioning and Sport Specific Training.
So if you have read this article and thought to yourself… “Maybe I am doing too much!” give yourself an extra day or two of rest each week for the next 4 weeks and let’s see if you can feel the difference!
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