I LOVE training. I truly look forward to it every day. Of course, motivation goes down sometimes, as I am only human. BUT it’s honestly very rare for me. I always make sure to take at LEAST one rest day a week, if not more. I make sure to listen to my body, when I need the rest, I rest. I’ve come up with 8 signs you may need a rest day, as these are some things I have experienced, or have seen others experience.
1. Your strength has gone down.
This one I always seem to notice first. It happened to me this morning in the gym, actually. I split my strength training sessions into body parts. Today I was working chest and triceps, and while I usually chest press 30 lb dumbbells, I was struggling with 25’s and had to drop down after a set or two. Strength can go down when you aren’t fueling enough as well, but most of the time it is because you just need a break.
2. You’re exhausted/feel sluggish.
For this one, I mean all. the. time. You have trouble waking up, you’re exhausted all day, you feel like it’s a huge task just to walk from the house to the mailbox, take a rest! Your body obviously is screaming for a break.
3. Your whole body is sore.
This one is a little obvious. But have you ever thought you wanted to go to the gym but realized there is not one part of your body that was NOT sore? Most of the time, I can tell when I wake up. If everything is sore, it’s time for a rest.
4. You’ve hit a plateau.
This can be about weight loss, muscle gain, strength gains, how fast you’re running, etc. If you feel like you are at a plateau and can progress forward, taking a day or two off may help push things in the right direction. I promise.
5. You’re dreading your workout.
Now, you have to distinguish between just being lazy, and actually dreading it. Sometimes I feel lazy, but when I think about working out I know I’ll feel so much better afterwards. If you’re STILL dreading it, or if you start working out and just can’t get into it, you may just want a break.
6. You’re not sleeping well.
You can’t fall asleep, you can’t stay asleep, you are tossing and turning, you keep waking up, etc. Putting stress on your body tends to disrupt your sleeping patterns.
7. You’re sick or injured.
Training too much can actually weaken your immune system, or worsen an injury. You can usually make the call if you are too sick or injured to train, but listen to your body. It’s not worth pushing through sometimes.
8. Decreased appetite.
If your body is run down, it will release certain hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine which inhibit appetite. Of course your appetite is always different each day, but you know yourself best and when things just seem off.
How do you know when you need a rest day?
Do you experience anything I’ve listed?