For Replenished Strength In My Vacation
Here’s How Much Rest You Actually Need in Between Strength Workouts
When you scroll through Instagram, it's easy to believe that the truly dedicated never—ever—take a day off from strength training.
But don't let those super-styled, pristine photos keep you from giving your body the time it needs to heal.
Rest is more important than you might realize, and if you're not giving your muscles enough downtime, you could end up slowing your progress (or worse).
“Recovery is one of the most important aspects of a successful training regimen, but for some reason, it's commonly overlooked,” John Gallucci, Jr., D.P.T., president of JAG Physical Therapy, tells SELF.
“Especially after intense or prolonged training, your body needs time to repair tissues that have broken down.” That's how your muscles change, adapt, and ultimately, get stronger.
Simply put, when you ask your body to jump right back into performance mode too soon, it interrupts its natural rebuilding process, and can prevent you from reaching your goals.
We've all heard some rumors, though, that suggest the contrary—so before we go any further, we'd to bust a few rest and recovery myths.
Myth #1: You'll lose progress if you take a rest day
Anyone who has ever worked out really hard and seen some true progress (A new muscle! A visible one!) can relate to this, but it's just fear talking.
“If you think taking one day off a week will make you lose all the progress you've made, remember that the results you’ve achieved so far have been a result of consistent efforts made over weeks, months…
even years,” certified personal trainer Jen Jewell tells SELF. “Do you really think all of your hard work will be negated by taking one day off from the gym? You didn’t achieve those results overnight, and you won’t lose them overnight.
It’s what we do on a consistent basis that adds up to big-time results.”
Myth #2: Rest is a waste of time
Nope. When your body rests, it's actually being super productive. “During recovery periods, your body isn't really at rest,” Michele Olson, Ph.D., a professor of sports science at Huntingdon College, tells SELF. “It's working to recover.
So pushing another workout onto your body when it's trying to reload its glucose stores and lay down more muscle can cause overtraining, difficulty sleeping, or even lead to injury,” she says.
“If you rob your body of the energy it needs for recovery by doing extra workouts, all of your efforts backfire.” If you're someone who gets fidgety during downtime because you feel you should be doing something, remember that your body is doing something—recovering.
How long to rest between workouts depends on how much time your body needs to recover, which depends on many factors (more on that later).
Myth #3: Off days should be for totally chilling out
“Sometimes we equate 'rest days' with hanging out on the couch all day, binging on Netflix, and eating unhealthy foods,” Jewell says. (Um, is she reading our minds?) But the truth is, while down time can be good for us and you should absolutely take time to lie on the couch and just relax when you need it, a completely sedentary day isn't usually necessary.
“We can be active without hitting the gym, and this is something I’m always reminding my clients of,” Jewell says. “Do something fun! Get involved in some sort of activity your schedule doesn’t normally allow.
” She suggests options that provide some low-intensity cardio, hiking, going for a casual bike ride, grabbing a friend for a power walk around the neighborhood, easy kayaking, or trying stand-up paddleboard.
A change of scenery can help mix things up, too—and keep you from getting bored.
And if you do want a low-key day off, stretching out is still always a good idea. “Yoga sessions or mobility work such as foam rolling are great for rest days,” Jewell says. “Flexibility and mobility are all part of the fitness process, too, and help make us stronger for when we’re in the gym lifting.”
There are physiological reasons that your body requires rest after workouts. For one, your muscles need rest so they can repair themselves and get stronger
You've probably heard before that when we exercise, we actually actually weaken our bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in order to make them stronger. But how does this work, exactly?
During a training session, your muscle tissues break down, your muscles' energy stores get depleted, and you lose fluids. “[During strength training] your muscles experience micro-tears,” Olson says.
Those micro-tears have to heal and require more protein so that they can come back stronger, she adds.When muscles experience these tiny tears, they send a signal that they are injured and in response, special cells that are involved in growing and regenerating muscle cells come to the rescue. This process ultimately increases the muscles' size and strength.
Rest (in conjunction with proper nutrition, of course) is required to rebuild the broken-down tissue properly. As Gallucci says, “During the recovery process, blood carries the nutrients needed to repair these muscles, and rest allows the fibers to heal stronger than they were before the physical activity.”
How how long to rest between strength workouts depends on your specific routine
“Recovery time will vary depending on how your workouts are split up,” Jewell explains.
“So if you're someone who s to split their training days to really hone in on one to two muscle groups per session, you can get away with training five or six days in a row, and then take one day to rest.
” That's because you're giving some muscle groups a break throughout the week, even though you're still hitting the gym.
However, this advice works only if you’re really rotating through weight training very specific muscle groups in your upper and lower body throughout the week— if you do shoulders on Monday, chest on Tuesday, etc.
If you're someone who simply divides your training into upper and lower body, Jewell says you can do those days back to back, then have a rest day before starting the process over again.
This should give your muscle groups sufficient recovery time between workouts.
When it comes to cardio workouts and high-intensity interval training, how long to rest between workouts depends a lot on intensity
If you opt for those totally draining, full-body high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, you should limit yourself to performing them every other day, since you're really challenging the major muscle groups in your body.
This doesn't necessarily apply to a slow run or other lighter intensity cardiovascular activity.
Olson confirms that doing light-to-moderate cardio every day of the week is usually fine—your cardiovascular system doesn't need extended recovery time your muscles do—so those types of activities are great for your days “off” from weight training.
But in some cardio workouts, there's a bit of a crossover. For example, a cycling class does do some damage to the muscles in your legs, so depending on how intense your workout was, you might not want to do a leg workout the next day. You'll ly need a little more recovery time than if you had just gone for a light jog.
Since your required rest can really vary, Jewell's basic rule of thumb is to give yourself 24 to 48 hours of rest between training the same muscle groups. So if you train your lower body on Monday morning before work (say, with an intense Spinning session), you can strength train your upper body on Tuesday, then strength train your lower body on Wednesday.
And if your body tells you it needs a break, listen to it
The amount of time your body needs varies on your workouts and their intensity. But typically, if you're overtraining, you'll feel it. According to Olson, the signs that you might be overdoing it include profound soreness (, every step causes you pain), trouble sleeping, feeling winded when you're doing normal activities, and that “rubbery” feeling in your muscles.
“You have to remember to listen to your body,” Jewell says. “If your calendar says it’s time to train lower body again and you’re still having a hard time walking up and down a flight of stairs, wait an extra day before working your lower body again.” You'll come back refreshed and feeling even stronger the next day, so you can really get the most your workout.
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Post-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat After a Workout
You put a lot of effort into your workouts, always looking to perform better and reach your goals.
Chances are you've given more thought to your pre-workout meal than your post-workout meal.
But consuming the right nutrients after you exercise is just as important as what you eat before.
Here is a detailed guide to optimal nutrition after workouts.
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To understand how the right foods can help you after exercise, it's important to understand how your body is affected by physical activity.
When you're working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in your muscles being partially depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down and damaged (1, 2).
After your workout, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle proteins.Eating the right nutrients soon after you exercise can help your body get this done faster. It is particularly important to eat carbs and protein after your workout.
Doing this helps your body:
- Decrease muscle protein breakdown.
- Increase muscle protein synthesis (growth).
- Restore glycogen stores.
- Enhance recovery.
Bottom Line: Getting in the right nutrients after exercise can help you rebuild your muscle proteins and glycogen stores. It also helps stimulate growth of new muscle.
This section discusses how each macronutrient — protein, carbs and fat — is involved in your body's post-workout recovery process.
Protein Helps Repair and Build Muscle
As explained above, exercise triggers the breakdown of muscle protein (1, 2).
The rate at which this happens depends on the exercise and your level of training, but even well-trained athletes experience muscle protein breakdown (3, 4, 5).
Consuming an adequate amount of protein after a workout gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins. It also gives you the building blocks required to build new muscle tissue (1, 6, 7, 8).
It's recommended that you consume 0.14–0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight (0.3–0.5 grams/kg) very soon after a workout (1).
Studies have shown that ingesting 20–40 grams of protein seems to maximize the body's ability to recover after exercise (6, 8, 9).
Carbs Help With Recovery
Your body's glycogen stores are used as fuel during exercise, and consuming carbs after your workout helps replenish them.
The rate at which your glycogen stores are used depends on the activity. For example, endurance sports cause your body to use more glycogen than resistance training.
For this reason, if you participate in endurance sports (running, swimming, etc.), you might need to consume more carbs than a bodybuilder.Consuming 0.5–0.7 grams of carbs per pound (1.1–1.5 grams/kg) of body weight within 30 minutes after training results in proper glycogen resynthesis (1).
Furthermore, insulin secretion, which promotes glycogen synthesis, is better stimulated when carbs and protein are consumed at the same time (10, 11, 12, 13).
Therefore, consuming both carbs and protein after exercise can maximize protein and glycogen synthesis (13, 14).
Try consuming the two in a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein). For example, 40 grams of protein and 120 grams of carbs (15, 16).
Eating plenty of carbs to rebuild glycogen stores is most important for people who exercise often, such as twice in the same day. If you have 1 or 2 days to rest between workouts then this becomes less important.
Fat Is Not That Bad
Many people think that eating fat after a workout slows down digestion and inhibits the absorption of nutrients.
While fat might slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal, it will not reduce its benefits.
For example, a study showed that whole milk was more effective at promoting muscle growth after a workout than skim milk (17).Moreover, another study showed that even when ingesting a high-fat meal (45% energy from fat) after working out, muscle glycogen synthesis was not affected (18).
It might be a good idea to limit the amount of fat you eat after exercise, but having some fat in your post-workout meal will not affect your recovery.
Bottom Line: A post-workout meal with both protein and carbs will enhance glycogen storage and muscle protein synthesis. Consuming a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein) is a practical way to achieve this.
Your body's ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after you exercise (9).
For this reason, it's recommended that you consume a combination of carbs and protein as soon as possible after exercising.
Although the timing does not need to be exact, many experts recommend eating your post-workout meal within 45 minutes.
In fact, it's believed that the delay of carb consumption by as little as two hours after a workout may lead to as much as 50% lower rates of glycogen synthesis (9, 10).
However, if you consumed a meal before exercising, it's ly that the benefits from that meal still apply after training (9, 19, 20).
Bottom Line: Eat your post-workout meal within 45 minutes of exercising. However, you can extend this period a little longer, depending on the timing of your pre-workout meal.
The primary goal of your post-workout meal is to supply your body with the right nutrients for adequate recovery and to maximize the benefits of your workout.
Choosing easily digested foods will promote faster nutrient absorption.
The following lists contain examples of simple and easily digested foods:
- Sweet potatoes
- Chocolate milk
- Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
- Rice cakes
- Dark, leafy green vegetables
- Animal- or plant-based protein powder
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Protein bar
- Nut butters
- Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)
Combinations of the foods listed above can create great meals that provide you with all the nutrients you need after exercise.
Here are a few examples of quick and easy meals to eat after your workout:
- Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables.
- Egg omelet with avocado spread on toast.
- Salmon with sweet potato.
- Tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread.
- Tuna and crackers.
- Oatmeal, whey protein, banana and almonds.
- Cottage cheese and fruits.
- Pita and hummus.
- Rice crackers and peanut butter.
- Whole grain toast and almond butter.
- Cereal and skim milk.
- Greek yogurt, berries and granola.
- Protein shake and banana.
- Quinoa bowl with berries and pecans.
- Multi-grain bread and raw peanuts.
It is important to drink plenty of water before and after your workout.
When you are properly hydrated, this ensures the optimal internal environment for your body to maximize results.
During exercise, you lose water and electrolytes through sweat. Replenishing these after a workout can help with recovery and performance (21).
It's especially important to replenish fluids if your next exercise session is within 12 hours.Depending on the intensity of your workout, water or an electrolyte drink are recommended to replenish fluid losses.
Bottom Line: It is important to get water and electrolytes after exercise to replace what was lost during your workout.
Consuming a proper amount of carbs and protein after exercise is essential.
It will stimulate muscle protein synthesis, improve recovery and enhance performance during your next workout.
If you're not able to eat within 45 minutes of working out, it's important to not go much longer than 2 hours before eating a meal.
Finally, replenishing lost water and electrolytes can complete the picture and help you maximize the benefits of your workout.
List of Strengths and Weaknesses
This list of strengths and weaknesses helps you to recognize those that apply to you. Know how to present these employee strengths and weaknesses in the best way when answering interview questions.
Identify your top transferable competencies from your previous work and life experience and provide the right answer to the frequently asked interview question “What are your strengths?”
What are the skills and behaviors that you need to work on and improve?
Everyone has a fair number of these! Employers want to know how you manage the weakness and recognizing the weakness is the first essential step to managing it properly.
This complete list of strengths and weaknesses and how they present in the workplace will help you do this.
List of Strengths and Weaknesses – 17 Good Examples of Strengths
|Communication||Written communication skill evident in reports, correspondence. Verbal communication skills evident in presentations, managing conflict, selling, dealing with customers, active listening, meeting participation and negotiation.|
|Strong work ethic/diligent||Hard working, works extra hours, completes projects before time, takes on more than others, does more than required, maintains a high quality of work, imposes own standards of excellence, works without supervision, follows up on own.|
|Organizational and planning skills||Evident in time management, prioritizing, using resources effectively, meeting deadlines, multi-tasking, dealing with competing demands, achieving objectives and goals, setting targets, maintaining schedules and calendars, optimal use of available resources, coordination of resources to complete projects.|
|Flexible and adaptable||Able to change activities and priorities to meet new demands, willing to learn new skills and knowledge, make a positive effort to accept changes, able to work and communicate effectively with diverse people, willing to work in different environments, willing to attempt new tasks.|
|Decision-making/judgment||Gather the necessary information to make a sound decision, come up with viable alternatives, consider pros and cons for each, fully commit to the best action, follow through on decision.|
|Problem solving||Able to identify and define problems, analyze problems to find causes, find possible solutions, consider the possible outcomes of each solution, decide on the best solution and implement it.|
|Gathering, analyzing and managing information||Collect required information efficiently from different sources, integrate information and put it together in a logical format, process information, identify trends and patterns, distribute and communicate information correctly, store and maintain information efficiently.|
|Coaching/mentoring||Willing and able to coach others, enable and facilitate learning, impart knowledge, help people to identify and achieve what they are capable of, assess training and learning needs, develop appropriate learning interventions, adapt teaching/coaching style to meet employee's needs.|
|Team work||Work effectively in a team, contribute to team objectives, communicate effectively with team members, respect, listen to and encourage team members, pitch in, put success of team ahead of individual success.|
|Reliable/dependable||Consistent work performance, complete projects accurately and within deadlines, arriving on time, fulfilling obligations, following through on commitments, checks own work, corrects own work, complies with workplace policies and procedures, takes responsibility for own actions.|
|Self reliant/ self management||Uses own resources, skills and abilities fully, accountable for own activity, progress and success, manages self towards goals, completes projects and activities independently, obtains own help and assistance, internally motivated and does not seek external rewards for good performance.|
|Self discipline||Controls own behavior, self-motivated, prepared to work hard to achieve goals, sets own targets, avoids distractions, perseveres with difficult tasks and activities, does not procrastinate, continues with projects in the face of obstacles and challenges.|
|Persistent/resilient||Handle disappointment, deal effectively with rejection, stay enthusiastic after a set back, maintain work performance despite difficulties, accept criticism, bounce back quickly, overcome obstacles to achieve, keep trying until task is completed.|
|Persuasive||Evident in selling, customer management, negotiating, dealing with objections, getting agreement/commitment from co-workers/management, presenting ideas, motivating people, gaining the confidence of others.|
|Integrity||Maintain confidentiality, provide complete and accurate information, observe company policies and procedures, comply with regulations, maintain values and ethics in the face of opposition and pressure.|
|Energetic||Works long hours, maintains fast work pace, tackles challenging tasks, stays positive, takes on extra tasks, maintains high productivity levels, tenacious in achieving goals.|
|Initiative||Proactive attempts to sort out problems and issues, provide ideas for improvement, make full use of opportunities, identify needs and come up with solutions, take steps to make your job and the company better.|
How do you answer “What is your greatest strength?”
- Identify the strengths that will contribute to successful job performance
- Using the list of strengths and weaknesses describe your strength
- Support your answer with examples of how this strength is evident in your work performance
Understand your own strengths using the strengths finder at What are your Strengths?
What are your weaknesses examples
Complete List of Weaknesses
How to successfully answer the weakness interview question – excellent examples at Interview Questions Weaknesses
Top sample interview answers to “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
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By Julia Penny,© Copyright 2019 Best-Job-Interview.com