Posted On Thursday, September 06, 2012 at 08:20:43 AM
Pack those intimidating barbells and dumbbells and let your jogging shoes snooze for a day. Make a resolve for that just one day that you will kiss your workout goodbye and instead enjoy the luxury of not sweating it out like there’s no tomorrow.
Experts in every fitness centres largely agree that you hold your horses and take a day off from your regular workout and go in for a six-day exercising regimen instead. So, no matter what the fitness goal is — weight gain, muscle gain or fat loss — a day of complete rest is imperative for any exercising individual.
One day rest
Many of us often set a fitness goal and go all-out in achieving it. So, we are careful about calculated eating or clubbing weight-training and cardio in the week’s routine,and we leave no stone unturned and believe in giving our best.
Most people, regardless of their fitness goal, understand the need for training each body part only once a week in order to provide for sufficient time for the skeletal muscle cell microtrauma to be repaired and super compensated for with hypertrophy(is the increase in the volume of a muscle mass due to the enlargement of its component cells).
They therefore group body parts together and split the weight training over three-four days.
On the other days, they engage in some low intensity endurance type of activity or cardio. But even if the weight-training is restricted to three-four days, the body is put through other kinds of physical exertions on the other days even with low intensity activities. Hence, a day’s rest is necessary.
Why is it important?
Kaizzad F Capadia, director, K11 Fitness Academy explains, “It is extremely crucial to have a day off in the week from controlled and deliberate physical exertion that we term as a workout.
Workout and fitness enthusiasts need to understand that any physical action is the result of a combined involvement of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Musculoskeletal System (MSS). The action is ordered by the CNS and is executed by the MSS. In this regard, the CNS is the contractor and the MSS is the labour force.”
He further explains that continuous physical exertion seven days a week (even with regards to cross training done with a recovery based protocol) will hamper performance despite the muscles getting the requisite amount of recovery time for repair and supercompensation. This is due to the fact that the increased demands of physical exertion on the CNS do not stop unless you give a full day off.
Different muscle fibers may be called upon to exert on different days of the week, depending on the activity being done or the body part being trained. But the boss issuing orders to them (CNS) in this hyper mode of a workout is the same every single day of the week no matter which body part is being trained or what kind of workout is being done.
So the CNS starts to fatigue with the seven-day workout protocols, even if they are carefully planned. The fitness guru adds,“Normally a stalemate or a plateau arises due to any of the three legs of the tripod (progressive overload, nutrition and recovery) not being optimal.
The problem with a seven day workout is that they may be very carefully planned and the person may be spot-on with overload and nutrition. Despite being consistent and dedicated, if you find your progress halting or your strength dropping, then you must suspect CNS overload.”
Fit and Fine
Abhimanyu Sable, founder, ABS fitness shares a similar reasoning, “Your body actually grows or gets fitter only during the rest period. Your body goes through a rigorous wear and tear during a workout after which it requires adequate rest and nutrition for it to recover and grow. It requires time for the rebuilding of broken fibers during the workout phase and a rest period helps the muscles to relax, so that they can perform the next session with higher intensity.”
What to do
If the MSS is tired one can still perform very well with a well stimulated CNS. The prime example of this is when one is feeling very tired and has a shot of caffeine (a CNS stimulant), s/he’ll end up having great performance in their workouts.
On the contrary, a fully rested person is woken up at 3am and is made to do squat with a routine weights. It will be observed that the poundage drops. That’s because at that time of the night— immediately post waking up from your slumber— the CNS is depressed and hence incapable of issuing orders to its workforce. In performance, the CNS is always more crucial than the MSS.
In other words, if one has to achieve his fitness goal, a six-day workout routine and one day complete off are the key. This would also help you start the following week with abang.
► Fitness enthusiasts need to understand that any physical action is the result of a combined involvement of the Central Nervous System and the Musculoskeletal System
- Kaizzad Capadia, director, K11 Fitness Academy
► Your body actually grows or gets fitter only during the rest period. Your body goes through a rigorous wear and tear during a workout after which it requires adequate rest
- Abhimanyu Sable founder, ABS fitness