Rest Days: It’s Part Of The Program. What Happens To Your Body When You Take A Day Off To Rest

Rest Days: It’s Part Of The Program. What Happens To Your Body When You Take A Day Off To Rest

Photo: BJJ Pix

Overtraining is a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual’s exercise exceeds their recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness. Overtraining is a common problem in weight training, but it can also be experienced by runners and other athletes. Split training can help with overtraining.

Like pharmacological drugs, physical exercise may be chemically addictive. One theory is that this addiction is due to natural endorphins and dopamine generated and regulated by the exercise. Whether strictly due to this chemical by-product or not, some people can be said to become addicted to or fixated on psychological/physical effects of physical exercise and fitness. This may lead to overexercise, resulting in the “overtraining” syndrome.

There are really simple ways to know if you are overtraining. Here are the symptoms:

– Lack of enjoyment during class
– Slight fevers
– Series of injuries
– Delayed reaction times
– Depression
– Constant soreness and tiredness
– Lack of motivation to go to training

During our workouts and BJJ training, we create tiny tears in our muscles. When we allow the muscles to rest, the tissue is able to repair itself using proteins and their amino acids. This creates stronger muscles over time.

Continuous workouts without rest will actually make us weaker- not stronger. This is why you should not hesitate to take at least 1 rest day (minimum) during your training week.


What Happens During Recovery?


According to sportsmedicine.about.com:

“Recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen) as well as fluid loss.
Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. Symptoms of overtraining often occur from a lack of recovery time. Signs of overtraining include a feeling of general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and increased risk of injury, among others.”



Force yourself to take a day or two off. You will come back back fresher and stronger. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.

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