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Why Is It Important To Rest Between Military Workouts?

For any high intensity resistance training program, it's crucial to take calculated time off for optimal physical fitness.

Working out is a vital part of mental & physical health, and doubly so if you are in the military. But although maintaining a fit physique is crucial for your duties and overall bodily health, you also need to rest between training sessions.

Contrary to popular belief, off days aren’t opportunities for you to laze around. They’re a necessary part of your body’s natural muscle building processes.

Here are some facts that demonstrate the importance of resting between strength training.

Image of Resting Lets Your body repair itself


Why is a rest day important in exercise? First off, resting gives your muscles an opportunity to repair the microscopic damage you incur every time you complete a workout routine.

As you try to build muscle, you make micro-tears within your actual muscle tissues. Your muscles need to repair these minor tears by flooding the small gaps with special cells that create new muscle tissue.

In other words, if you don’t give yourself adequate rest, you won’t actually gain muscle as efficiently as if you took regular rest days.

Additionally, rest days let your body make use of the protein and other nutrients you’ve eaten to create new muscle tissue without additional stress.

Image of resting prevents muscle fatigue


Furthermore, taking a rest day stops you from overly straining your muscles and experiencing fatigue. Any type of exercise can deplete the glycogen levels within your muscle tissues. Muscle fatigue and soreness will follow any work out if your body hasn’t received enough rest beforehand.

This basic principle is why fitness experts will advise that you use certain days for training different muscle groups. This way, you still burn calories and hit the gym every day, but don’t strain the same muscles over and over.

Any CO should know this, too, so don’t let them tell you otherwise.

Image of resting can reduce the risk of injury


Resting also lowers the risk of injury from future exercise. The fact is that an overworked system may also fall out of form or make a small mistake which can have disastrous consequences down the road.

When you go up to heavier weights, dropping something or trying to perform a lift with improper form can result in a serious injury. In this case, not resting might cost you more time and bodily health than if you took a rest day in between training sessions.

If you’re in the military, your unit might be depending on you being up and about.

Don’t disappoint them by pushing yourself too far!

Image of resting boosts future work out performance


It’s also important to rest because it improves your performance the next time you work out. Resting will help your systems to recharge and allows your muscles to perform better the next time you call on them with even heavier weights.

Pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion will actually decrease your performance rather than resulting in bigger gains. If you want to hit your military fitness benchmarks, you’ll need to let yourself rest so your body can reach those goals.

Ultimately, there are tons of benefits to resting in between your workouts and no downsides.

Be sure to plan out and mark your rest days to give yourself some time in between your training days. You’ll complete your mental & physical workouts with better results and a healthier body.

Justin | Maine, USA
Military Mental Endurance