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Why you need a rest day – Coach Adam Earnshaw

By Scott Waugh | In Blog Articles | on April 21, 2017

With the open well and truly over it’s time to re focus and get your training on track for 2018. For a lot of people the open can be a great tool to measure your performance and see how far you’ve come since the year before.

However the open can also take a massive toll on your body. 5 workouts in 5 weeks. While it may not sound too bad the whole experienced can be both mentally and physically demanding!

I’m sure we all had some high and lows throughout the open and pushed ourselves past a point we never thought possible. The energy you used throughout the open can leave your body feeling beat up and in need of rest.

As a coach I tell clients to listen to their body and stress the importance of rest and how it’s an essential part of your recovery and performance. With their renewed focus after the open, I find a lot of people training more than they have before without taking their time out to rest and recover.  In this article I’m going to explain 4 reasons why everyone needs a rest day:


Overtraining can also be know as under recovering and that’s exactly what’s happening. If you start increasing your training load without adequate recovery time then it can have a number of negative effects on your body. If you continue to under recover they you may eventually experience decreased performance, constant muscle soreness and it can even effect the your mental state and decrease your motivation to come to the gym!

2. Performance

Rest and recovery are an essential part of your progress and improving your overall performance. After a hard workout your body can take up to 48-72 hours to fully recover. This recovery period is the time where your body can repair and grow in response to the stimulus in the gym. If your muscles don’t get time to recover then how can you continue to progress? Throughout not only your training week but also your training cycle the body needs phases of lower intensity exercise to allow it to adapt. Sometimes the biggest gains are made outside of the gym!

3.Injury Prevention

Rest is also important for injury prevention and we all know if you’re injured then you won’t be able to train at your full capacity! Overtraining can put more stress on your muscles than they are used to and can lead to increase risk of injury. Overuse injuries are also common when people overload their bodies too quickly instead of gradually increasing their workload over time. For example, imagine if you jump from squatting 3 times per week from 1 times per week. This can result in a massive increase in your total volume and without a gradual build up and adequate recovery it can lead to injury and time away from the gym!

4.Get out of the gym

Everyone needs time out of the gym. There are too many times where I have heard people say ‘I’ve trained 14 days straight’ or ‘I haven’t had a rest day in a month.’ While this may not only lead to the problems I’ve discussed earlier it may also mean it’s time to get outside the gym and use your fitness.  For those of you who still wants to exercise on a rest day then try low impact options such as swimming, yoga, hiking which won’t place too much stress on your body. At end of the day what’s the point of having all this fitness if we can’t use it?

Remember every individual is different and some people respond better to high volume training and others to lower volume training. As you become more experienced you begin to learn how to listen to your body and know when it needs to recover and take a full rest day.

No matter who you are everyone can benefit from including a rest day into their training schedule. Take some time out to allow your body to rebuild, refuel and be ready to perform in your next session!

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