When Is Rest, Best?

Posted on 02 July 2015

Congratulations on trying your first TRX session!  Wasn’t that great!  Didn’t you feel fantastic afterwards… and probably really, really sore today?  Before you admit defeat and spend the rest of the day cowering on the heating pad in bed, there are some very important things you should know about resting your body to help you decide how much and how you should rest it!

A common myth is that resting the body will cause you to immediately lose muscle mass, lung capacity, essentially “un-doing” everything you did during your high-intensity workout.  Great news:  this is completely false!  First, the process of “detraining” requires more than 24 hour periods.  In a two week period of complete immobility, you may experience the muscle loss you fear.  Additionally, the first to go is lung capacity and oxygen use.  Your muscle strength and power is actually the last to go, and can be easily maintained with just a little resistance training.  Furthermore, muscles are trained by exposing them to new, difficult work.  That soreness you feel is due to micro-tears throughout the used muscle,  and as they heal, muscle is strengthened and rebuilt.

Most people feel the peak of post-workout soreness around the 48 hour mark.  Age and diet can impact this recovery period as well, so don’t feel lazy if you’re still very sore up to 72 hours after an intense workout- especially if it was a new workout for your body. 

At the same time, note that “rest and recovery” is not synonymous with “Netflix and cookies.”  Rest from an intense TRX session could still be a chance for walking, light jogging, swimming, or a nice, slow, stretchy yoga session.  Being somewhat active is better than totally immobile, especially in encouraging muscle development, oxygen use, and metabolic processes.  You’ll also want to make sure your protein intake is adequate, and that you’re sleeping well.  To alleviate total discomfort, practice some foam rolling, icing, stretching, and massage to keep the blood flowing and muscle ache under control.  If your ache continues into pain, be sure to check with your doctor to avoid any underlying major issues!

To reap the most benefits from your exercise, it’s actually important to take time off to ensure proper repair to your muscle structure.  Make sure you keep moving, but let yourself relax to keep your body in proper form.  It turns out that Rest really is Best!  (but just for a few days!)

Have fun and stay active!

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