Training and Rest Days - Erin Stern

February 9, 2015

Is it better to schedule a rest day, train every day, or rest when needed? I think there are benefits to each strategy, but it will depend on the individual. Let's take a look at each option.

Scheduled rest days:

  • The ability to plan tough workouts and allow for time off after
  • This provides structure to training
  • It can be a good tool to prevent over-reaching or overtraining

Training every day:

  • Sore muscles can benefit from light stimulation and increased blood flow from exercise
  • If a muscle group is sore, try to avoid intense training
  • Alternate days of intense, heavy training with easier, low-intensity training

Rest when needed:

  • Training performance may be improved, as there's less pushing through a workout when sore
  • Allows for schedule flexibility
  • Allows for intuitive training

During my days as a collegiate athlete, I had always taken scheduled rest days based on my coach's recommendations. For the most part, this strategy worked out well. Recovery was needed after a big meet or a strenuous practice. But, there were days where I wasn't sore after a big meet, and days where a mid-week practice left me feeling wrecked the next day.

When I started training for figure competitions, I scheduled my training and recovery days. But, I ran into a similar issue that I had during college.  I would sometimes be sore and tired on a training day. In the last couple of years, especially in my off-season, I switched to taking rest days when needed. I will sometimes train 7-10 days in a row, while alternating days of high and low-intensity. BetaTOR has really helped me recover faster. I can fit more quality volume into a week of training!

Training schedules can vary from person to person. I think the best strategy is the one that makes training sustainable and constructive. Thanks for reading! Until next time... train hard, y'all!!

-Erin Stern, IFBB Figure Pro/USATF Competitor

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