I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Your muscle aren’t actually made in the gym, they’re made when you rest. When you lift heavy weight you create microscopic tears in your muscles, which your body needs to repair. This is how your muscle get bigger. Your body repairs these muscles while you’re resting. This is your recovery period.
What you need to know:
Take at least one full day off per week. You should do at least three weight training sessions per week. Depending on how much fat you’re trying to lose, you can do about three sessions of cardio. If you do it this way, that’s six days of training, and one full day of rest. Take advantage of this day off. You shouldn’t even go biking or hiking, because these sort of activities doesn’t allow your muscles to rest and recover properly. This is crucial.
Don’t do similar muscle groups back to back. You’ll recall from previous lessons that some muscle groups are worked when you do exercises targeted at other muscle groups. For example, your shoulders get worked when you do certain back exercises. And your triceps get worked when you do chest exercises. Make sense?
The thing is: You shouldnât create routines that require you to use these muscles on back-to-back days. For instance you donât want to do shoulders on Wednesday and then do your back on Thursday. Make sure to space these sessions apart at least one full day to achieve max results.
Take a week off from time to time. Every few months you should take a full rest to let your body completely recover. That means taking about one week off from weight training. You may do a couple light cardio sessions during this week, however.
Get enough sleep each night. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep. However, most people need from eight to ten hours – especially when you’re weight training. If you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, you’re probably not getting enough sleep. Or if you find yourself wanting to take a nap during the day (which is ok if you do it), here again you’re probably not getting enough sleep.
Try to get to bed earlier and/or get up later and see if you don’t feel better and enjoy better results.
If you’re a night owl who has trouble getting to sleep, try one or more of these tricks to fall asleep faster:
Create a bedtime routine. This means doing the same thing every night, such as brushing your teeth, putting on your PJs, etc. If you create a routine, your body will prepare to sleep even as you’re still going through your routine. My bedtime routine involves a shower, teeth brushing, double-checking that all my doors are locked up, some flexing in the mirror and taking a final piss to cap the day off proper.
No work in the bedroom. For instance, don’t lie in bed with your laptop. You’ll probably also want to avoid exciting movies and video games, all of which may excite you too much to sleep.
Don’t consume caffeine in the afternoons.Â When you should cut off your caffeine depends on how sensitive you are to it. Start by cutting it off four hours before bed. If that doesn’t work, then try five and so on.
Don’t exercise within a few hours before bed. At the very least, you should finish your workout two hours before bed. But the more hours you can put between your workout and bedtime, the better. I used to do this all the time and i couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t sleeping even though I was training hard.
Take a warm bath right before bed.Â Not only does a warm bath feel good on the muscles, it also helps you relax.
That will do it for this one. Feel free to drop a line in the comments section below. I look forward to seeing you around the site.
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