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Function and Fitness Blog
Function and Fitness Blog
Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Where Is This “Rest Muscle” And How Do I Train It?

It’s not uncommon for people just starting to work out to want to go hard - like 7 days a week hard. And here’s a little confession from me (when I'm not pregnant) - it’s not uncommon for me to want to go 7 days a week (maybe even 8 or 9 times a week) hard when it comes to exercise.

We’ve been programmed to think “more is more,” but that’s not actually the case when it comes to exercise.

Here are just some reasons for why we need some R-E-S-T:

REBUILD. Your body rebuilds when it rests. During the course of your workout, we’re asking your body to do a lot of work. We’re essentially ripping up the muscles. During your rest days (and while you’re sleeping - more on that “sleep thing” in a later blog) your body rebuilds those rips and rebuilds them to be stronger. No rest = no rebuilding.

DECREASE RISK OF INJURY. While injuries can’t always be prevented, we CAN do some things to decrease injury potential. When you’re body is fatigued, it finds ways of compensating - and quite often those “ways” aren’t the best ones. It’s kind of like when you’re so tired your feet are literally dragging. Sure, you’re still walking, technically, but we want that “pep in your step” - especially when you’re doing step ups.

OVERTRAINING CAN MESS UP YOUR ZZZZ. It can get in the way of your sleep. You’d think that more exercise would mean your body wants to sleep more. But more exercise can also get in the way of your sleeping ability. As explained by Muscle for Life “your sympathetic nervous system can remain excited at all times and you’ll feel restless and unable to focus, and your sleep will be disturbed and broken.”

NOT RESTING CAN GET IN THE WAY OF WEIGHT LOSS. Okay, so this might be number one. Not resting can get in the way of weight loss. Yup! Read that again! If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re not resting, all that work you’re doing could be for not. WHY? It kind of goes along with #4. With that increased feeling of energy, the adrenal system kicks up in order to deal with the extra demands being placed on it. This can cause spikes in insulin. When insulin increases, fat burning decreases and your body starts to store exactly what you’re trying to get rid of with all that exercise.


So how do you train that “rest muscle”? By actually resting it.

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Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Do You Need to Workout Every Single Day?

Someone recently asked me if they needed to workout every day to see results.

Honestly, it’s a hard question to answer, and here’s why:
You need days off - especially if you are weight training. You actually don’t build muscle while you are lifting - you build it when you are recovering. As The American Council on Exercise explains, “The workout is the stimulus, while recovery and improvement is the physical response.” Basically, you work the body and your muscles hard during your training, and the body rebuilds and responds to that work during your rest.

But does that mean you shouldn’t do anything (a.k.a. be a complete couch potato) on your “rest days”? Again, I’ll throw it to The American Council on Exercise: “A rest day is really any non-training day—a day where you remove the challenge of hard exercise.” “Hard” being the key word here. A rest day does not mean you get to just be a lazy-sweat-pant-wearing-couch-laying-sloth (sorry!) Sure, you shouldn’t be going all out on your rest day, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move. Use your rest day (and the hour not spent in the gym) to go on a walk, golf, play hide and seek with the kids, or even engage in a lighter type of workout, like a light yoga class or light stretching - essentially anything where you aren’t lifting weights or going to your all out max. All of these things will help you feel less sore, and also keep your body moving - which is something you should always do.

So do you need to workout every day? No, but you should definitely get off those old bones and move every day!

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Coach Jess
6:19 PM

Where Is This “Rest Muscle” And How Do I Train It?

It’s not uncommon for people just starting to work out to want to go hard - like 7 days a week hard. And here’s a little confession from me - it’s not uncommon for me to want to go 7 days a week (maybe even 8 or 9 times a week) hard when it comes to exercise.


We’ve been programmed to think “more is more,” but that’s not actually the case when it comes to exercise.


Here are just some reasons for why we need some R-E-S-T:


REBUILD. Your body rebuilds when it rests. During the course of your workout, we’re asking your body to do a lot of work. We’re essentially ripping up the muscles. During your rest days (and while you’re sleeping - more on that “sleep thing” in a later blog) your body rebuilds those rips and rebuilds them to be stronger. No rest = no rebuilding.

DECREASE RISK OF INJURY. While injuries can’t always be prevented, we CAN do some things to decrease injury potential. When you’re body is fatigued, it finds ways of compensating - and quite often those “ways” aren’t the best ones. It’s kind of like when you’re so tired your feet are literally dragging. Sure, you’re still walking, technically, but we want that “pep in your step” - especially when you’re doing step ups.

OVERTRAINING CAN MESS UP YOUR ZZZZ. It can get in the way of your sleep. You’d think that more exercise would mean your body wants to sleep more. But more exercise can also get in the way of your sleeping ability. As explained by Muscle for Life (https://www.muscleforlife.com/8-signs-of-overtraining/) “your sympathetic nervous system can remain excited at all times and you’ll feel restless and unable to focus, and your sleep will be disturbed and broken.”

NOT RESTING CAN GET IN THE WAY OF WEIGHT LOSS. Okay, so this might be number one. Not resting can get in the way of weight loss. Yup! Read that again! If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re not resting, all that work you’re doing could be for not. WHY? It kind of goes along with #4. With that increased feeling of energy, the adrenal system kicks up in order to deal with the extra demands being placed on it. This can cause spikes in insulin. When insulin increases, fat burning decreases and your body starts to store exactly what you’re trying to get rid of with all that exercise.


So how do you train that “rest muscle”? By actually resting it.




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