Exercise! - More days off = better performance?

02-11-2013, 09:20 PM
I ended up taking Friday off from the gym due to a suddenly dip in energy and no motivation. I then took Saturday off because of the massive snowstorm, and Sunday was a storm/lazy day. Thursday was one of my normal days off.

I went back to the gym today expecting to be behind in my cardio and feel like junk. Instead I had no problem pushing myself and was running (!) on the treadmill instead of jogging. I also had no issues on the bike like I normally do, same for any other machines.

What do you think caused this? Could it be I just needed 4 rest days in a row? I usually go every second day and have been since mid January (a month).

02-11-2013, 10:02 PM
I'm interested in what others have to say on this topic. I personally am doing a walk/run program every other day and seem to have slowed down. I have worried about taking more time off in between thinking I would jeapordize the progress I have made so far.

02-11-2013, 10:06 PM
I have found that a few days off every once in awhile does give me a "push". I think it's two things. One, I eat a calorie deficit AND exercise. The body obviously doesn't like to do that, so it starts to feel drained. So, with a few days with less of a deficit than usually, it has a bit more energy to use for fuel.

Two, muscles do need time to heal and doing something every day is hard on the body. With a few days to heal, it's fresher and ready to take on more.

Now, if that were a regular thing (like you exercised only every 3-4 days always), you wouldn't get that same effect.

02-11-2013, 10:13 PM
Sometimes days off really do help our bodies recover and come back at 110%

I decided to take an impromptu drop week during Hurricane Sandy because, well, I had to. Nobody had power for like a week so nothing was open. The day both of my gyms opened back up, I practically flew to the gym expecting that I would be suffering my first day back...instead I went to one gym, had an epic 45 minute lifting session where I lifted heavier than I ever did and then went to my other gym for a 1 hour spin class. I felt like I had boundless energy! Haha!

Right now I find rest days important. I never lift heavy two days in row and I make sure I get at least one day a week where I don't exercise other than walking. I find I do the best this way and I don't get tired or too sore to move :)

I really felt the effects of not having a rest day this weekend! I decided to make Friday a lifting day in anticipation of the blizzard on Saturday. The gym was closed on Saturday, so I was glad to get my lifting in...but what I forgot about was that WE GOT A LOT OF SNOW AND I HAD TO SHOVEL IT. It was wet, heavy, snow, and after having a really heavy lifting session the day before, my arms were not up to shoveling all of that snow.

02-11-2013, 10:35 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies. I agree with every post here, maybe sometimes we don't realize how hard we push our bodies.
I am also at a very large deficit and I go to the gym for an hour and a half every second day (45 mins cardio, the rest is stretching and weights). I do take a multivitamin and extra calcium, so my energy is usually up there all day. But I think I hit that 'wall' after a month, and I just wanted to curl up in bed and sleep.

I think I will start doing this every month! I think it is a great thing if I get these results every time. If it happens the second time around I believe I will be onto something. We will see in March! :carrot:

02-12-2013, 09:47 AM
4-7 days off once every 3-4 months renews my interest in working out :yes:

02-12-2013, 10:27 AM
4-7 days off once every 3-4 months renews my interest in working out :yes:

The only thing that scares me is I will get to used to not exercising and won't go back to the gym. It's happened before lol

02-12-2013, 10:36 AM
The only thing that scares me is I will get to used to not exercising and won't go back to the gym. It's happened before lolFor me it works because after 30 years of working out if I don't workout I feel aweful and my muscles start getting sore and achy and this is my cue to get back at it... I think also if you tell yourself and visualise that you WILL go back and how good you feel when you do, this will help... I never workout when I go on vaca I just walk a lot...