In case you don’t know, getting enough rest is just as important in muscle building as having a proper diet and following a well thought out workout program.
You see, muscles grow when they are given the chance to recover from the stress they were subjected to during a workout. Allow me to elaborate on that a little bit more. What happens is basically like this…
When you workout you are actually inflicting injury to your muscles. In other words, your muscles get damaged. Now, this damage gets repaired only when you are taking a rest (or when the suspect muscle group gets rested). Yes, that’s when you start to feel sore.
To cut a long story short, the repair process causes your muscles to inflame or swell up and it is this inflammation that contributes to muscle development and strength. If you don’t get enough rest, your muscles will not have enough time to recover, thus they will not be able to grow.
So you see, getting enough rest is crucial when you’re trying to build muscle. Here are six rest and recovery tips to maximize your body’s muscle building potential.
Get at least eight hours of sleep every night
Any less is no good. So get your life organized, manage your time, get things over with as soon as you can, and get those minimum eight hours of sleep. Yes, it may not be easy, especially if you have a tight daily schedule. But if you really want to grow your muscles, you’ve got to make some sacrifices.
Avoid things that boost your adrenaline
Simple reason… when your body is pumping adrenaline, you are energized. And when you’re energized, it’s hard to fall asleep. Try to relax a few hours before bed time and avoid any activities that could make it hard for you to fall asleep. Which leads us to our next tip…
Avoid intense physical activities close to your bed time
Doing any activity that increases your heart rate close to your bed time is not a good idea if you’re trying to fall asleep fast. Going to bed with an elevated heart rate can (and most probably will) make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
Limit the amount of food you take in at dinner and avoid carbs
Having a very full stomach will make your digestive system working hard while you sleep. This could hinder your body from getting into the state of deep sleep that your muscles need to repair themselves. If you really have to eat something before going to bed, just eat something small, preferably something that’s high in protein (which your body can digest easily).
Keep a consistent sleep schedule
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Having a consistent sleep schedule will improve the quality of your sleep. So, again, manage your time properly.
Do not weight train on consecutive days
It would be best if you give your body a whole day’s rest after a workout. Yes, even if you’re working out different muscle groups each time you go to the gym. There’s no point in rushing it. Keep in mind that you’ll be doing less by doing more. So, always remember to take a break.