Slow down! Breaks are essential during training.
Your body is a high-performance machine that can do incredible things. But it also needs its fuel – and you can only gain that through perfectly timed breaks.
Sore muscles – when the body is crying out for rest
Everyone knows him and nobody likes him – we’re talking about sore muscles, of course. After every hard workout, you can be sure that the next morning you will wake up exhausted. You should already be aware of this: Today I’ll take it slow. However, many do not listen to the signs of their body and life according to the mottos: the more, the better and no pain, no gain! You can’t be more wrong. Because overuse has exactly the opposite effect: muscle growth stagnates and your body breaks down. Intensive training – and it doesn’t matter whether it is endurance or weight training – brings your organism to its limits. Sore muscles are a way your body tells you that it needs a break. When you lift the weights, microscopic cracks – so-called microtraumas – form in your muscle tissue. As with any wound is here too, time is the best cure .
So don’t jump straight back on the weight bench, but give your muscles a break. How long this should be depends on the person and level of training. However, there should be two to four days between sessions. In order not to waste valuable training time, it is best to only train individual muscle groups every day . For example, devote yourself to your upper body on Mondays. You can train your legs on Tuesdays and your back and stomach on Wednesdays. If you also plan endurance exercises in between, then you can in principle train throughout the week. But we advise against it, because every now and then you should come to rest completely.
P.S: Specific exercises can help with severe and regular back pain issues.
Super compensation: slim thanks to a break
With every sit-up, every squat and every kilometer run, the energy reserves in your body approach zero. That doesn’t happen overnight and the signs of an empty battery also show up slowly. Many don’t notice them until much too late, so it’s extremely important that you always remember to take breaks. They recharge your battery and make your training even more effective. Experts call this effect supercompensation – and it occurs not only with longer, but also with short breaks. For example, there is a study that indicates that interruptions of 20 minutes during a training session can boost fat burning. Check out here a killer training plan from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But let’s talk about the longer breaks. We estimated two to four days for muscle building. We suggest one to two days between endurance training sessions. If you want to know exactly, you can also use a heart rate monitor to help. Gadgets like fitness trackers and smartwatches that save all of your training data are of great help here. Pay attention to your resting heart rate . If the current value is around ten percent above your normal pulse, then you should continue to rest. As soon as your pulse has normalized, you can go back to the slopes. You will notice: The break makes you even more productive.
From extreme training to overtraining – when the body is limp
Now the question remains: What actually happens if I don’t take a break? The short answer is: Your organism switches to the back burner. The long one is a bit more detailed. Overtraining shows up in many symptoms. A common symptom is headache. So if you have used ibuprofen a lot lately, you should hang up your sneakers for a short time. If there are also sleep disturbances, an increased pulse and thus inner restlessness, it is high time for a break. Overtraining can even lead to depression and make you more susceptible to illness. All of this will only set you back further when you reach your goal. So why risk everything when a day or two off will help.
Small breaks for big success
Now we come to the very small pauses – the pauses in sentences. You have probably asked yourself: How long should I wait between the individual sentences? Is a minute too long or too little? The answer is – as you probably expected – not that simple. Opinions differ widely. Nevertheless, we would like to give you a guideline value on the way. If you want to improve your maximum strength, then a three to seven minute break is appropriate. They are absolutely necessary, because after lifting the extremely heavy weights your muscles need a little more time to recover.
If you just want to expand the girth of your arms, shorter breaks are sufficient. In hypertrophy- i.e. the muscle enlargement – we recommend one to three minutes. We don’t need to mention that you have to increase the number of repetitions (it should be eight to twelve). Strength endurance is
faster . Here you lift your weights 15 to 25 times and then take a 30 to 90 second break. Always remember to listen to yourself and control yourself: Are my muscles too tired? Can I no longer perform the exercises correctly and without errors? Does it hurt anywhere? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should reduce the repetitions and lengthen the breaks. Does that still not help? Then switch to lighter weights.
A break does not mean a standstill
Training-free days are not an invitation to laze around on the couch with a bag of chips – even if that is not a problem from time to time and can do you good. In this case, a break means that you put the weights aside and the jogging shoes as well. Extreme sports are taboo – but long walks, a visit to the swimming pool or a moderate bike ride are okay. We also recommend meditation as the ultimate relaxation method – and no, we are not talking about singing bowls, mantras and incense candles here, but simply going into oneself. Relax and relieve stress for 15 minutes a day. Just give it a try – we look forward to your feedback!