Here’s something you never thought you’d hear your trainer say: Sometimes less is more! Don’t get me wrong, nothing pays off in the gym more than hard work, but every now and then, your body needs a break.
Have you ever been sore the day after a good workout? Who hasn’t? The fact is, during a bout of strenuous exercise, you are actually causing damage to your muscles at a microscopic level. The small amount of damage caused by exercise requires your muscles to adapt, grow, and get stronger… but they can only do that if you let them fully recover.
In fact, sometimes too much exercise can have a negative impact on the body – increased soreness, injury risk, fatigue, and other undesirable effects. So take this trainer’s advice: Take a break! Work hard, recover fully, and get the most out of your workouts!
Try taking days off in between strength training sessions. For more advanced gym-goers, try staggering workouts by using a split body routine. And for all DHAC members, take advantage of our free personal training with an exercise physiologist. We help build the program that’s best for you.
Here are some simple strategies that you can use to give your muscles the recovery they need:
Beginners may benefit from performing a full body strength circuit using compound, multi-joint movements. Perform this workout on three, nonconsecutive days each week (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Try exercises like pulldowns, rows, chest presses, and leg presses.
People who have trained consistently for over two months may benefit from a little more volume. Try splitting your workouts up amongst muscle groups. You may want to try working your upper body muscle groups on Monday and Thursday. Allow those upper body muscles to recover while you work your lower body muscles on Tuesday and Friday. As for beginners, start your workouts with compound, multijoint exercises. Add a little more volume by adding some single joint exercises towards the end of each workout. Try adding exercises like bicep curls, tricep presses, hamstring curls, or hip adduction/abduction.
We hope these tips help you get the most out of your workout. Have some more tips? Share them below!