Do you know what one of the most important components to building lean muscle is?
That’s right!…Rest leads to post workout recovery, and post workout recovery leads to GrOwTh!!!
Without getting too sciency, it is during periods of rest, following intense training sessions, that tired, torn, damaged muscles are repaired by specialized cells known as “satellite cells”. And, THIS is what leads to gains in both strength and size.
Of course, other factors do play a key role, such as:
• The types of workouts, themselves – You have to make sure you’re overloading your muscles enough to do the necessary “damage” required for growth. In other words, you gotta tear ‘em down to build ‘em up
• Nutrition – Adequate nutrition is key! In order for muscles to grow, they have to be fed. Don’t be afraid of Calories. Having a higher % of lean body mass automatically ups your burn, so if your goal is to build, you have to give those muscles a little extra, so they don’t break themselves down. Also, don’t be afraid of macros. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are ALL important, and they ALL have their place in a successful nutrition plan.
• Supplementation- Supplements can be helpful when gaps need to be filled. Sometimes, it’s hard to get everything from diet alone. Vitamins, protein shakes, branch chain amino acids (BCAAs), creatine, and many others can all be very beneficial to muscle repair and growth.
• Hydration – Drink your H2O, kiddies! Muscles are made up of 75% water, sooo…I mean, I just feel like this one goes without saying, don’t you?
While ALL of the above points are valid, the best thing you can do for yourself, and for your muscles, is allow for adequate amounts of REST both during and after workouts.
I see posts all the time where people talk about feeling “guilty” for taking a rest day, then they go on to wonder why they aren’t seeing the results they want…
TruthBomb: Rest is part of the process!…a VERY important part of the process!
Whether you engage in active rest or take 1-2 full on rest days, like me, you’ve got to give your muscles time to heal, so that they can recover and grow.
If the idea of a full on rest day isn’t for you, that’s OK. Take 1-2 days a week and only engage in light activities, like walking, light jogging, stretching, yoga, biking, hiking, etc. Do something you enjoy with friends or family.
Your muscles will appreciate it, and they’ll reward you…