Many of us who lift weights for strength and for muscle would have hit a serious plateau somewhere in our pursuit of being able to achieve new PRs or body image goals. Cliché as it is, rest is one crucial aspect of the path to excellence if those 1-rep maxes you’ve ripped through during intense workouts have, unfortunately, led to some form of memory loss related to overexertion.
Without a doubt, rest is the most neglected aspect of training for the (especially determined) athlete. All of us want to advance quickly and efficiently.
But the reality remains that without adequate rest and recovery, your body will never be able to build itself. Oftentimes, the soreness and ache after a workout can be somewhat addictive, even masochistic, and grinding day in and out it what drives our energy levels up in the daytime.
It becomes a psychological hijack.
As we feel the effects of a kickass workout ripping throughout our bodies or perhaps having hit a 10-pound increase in our PR for squats, we may rush to perform the same achievement with our bench press the next day without considering that rest is not just split into a lower body/upper body thing, but our Central Nervous System may be lagging behind our muscle recovery.
As our muscles are the main display of our body, we tend to forget that there are other systems running our physicality as well, such as the nervous system which is tied much more closely to strength performance as compared to hypertrophy or endurance training.