Reaping the Rewards of Rest Days

As studious, learned disciples of the Iron, most of us know that what we do or don’t do in the gym has great & tremendous impact on our psyches & physiques. It’s those pesky Rest Days that trip us, er, uh, them up . . .  those other people, you know, never us.

The pump, grind, grunt, curl, squat & press are all noble acts, and places you on the good guy or girl side of physical culture. Then, on your day off, the chilly winds howl hard & horizontal, and you get called in to cull the culprit from a criminal catwalk. Life goes the way of scariness & uncertainness. Rest Days & Cheat Days start looking like the twins they aren’t.

There is a belief making its rounds that what you do on your Rest Day is more important than what you do on your Work Day. Once the necessary dedication & motivation have been acquired, going to the gym, or hitting all your workouts is relatively easy. Eating clean makes more sense on Work Days. You’re still fresh from your workout . . . let’s not crush all that work with oodles of sugary junk . . . this borders on the intuitive. It’s on those criminally delinquent Rest Days that everything starts looking like a Cheat Day and our problems swing into action.

Any good workout has Rest Days built in. There is a reason for this, a very simple one: Despite the nomenclature, body building, sculpting, or any variation of transformation does not actually happen under the weights. The process begins under the weights . . . think of gym time as Body Conditioning, or Discipline Preparedness Training. That’s really what we’re doing in the gym, conditioning ourselves to prepare for the onslaught of muscle growth or fat loss, probably both. The real magic happens when we leave and go about our other business, our daily toils, our lives.

Think of Rest Days as Recuperation Days . . . our torn muscles recuperate, heal, and make the slow but certain trek towards size & definition. Confusing Rest Day with Cheat Day diminishes our returns, nullifies our efforts, obliterates our gains. Retaining our diligence for clean, intelligent eating on our Rest, er, uh, Recuperation Daysmaximizes our returns, exemplifies our efforts, sculpts our gains.

Every day is an invitation to be strong, to move, to live. Depending on your fitness level, most properly worked and fed muscle groups need at most 24 hours to rest. The math takes care of itself.

Stay focused, tame discipline, and breathe success.

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