Going on holiday this summer? Bring it on. Feeling the warmth of the sun after the cold winter months is one of the best feelings. And a break from the usual routine allows time to rest and recharge. But hang on a minute. What about training? Will the break affect my gains? Taking some time out from training could actually benefit your progress long term. Our ambassador Hayley Madigan explains how.
Allows proper recovery for muscle repair
Taking a longer break from your typical gym routine, whilst allowing yourself some down time on holiday, is not only important for your mind but also benefits your body. Muscles tear during training and recover during rest days. Days off training allow muscles to repair, grow and heal. This is essential for gains, strength and optimal health.
Could help break a plateau
If you’ve noticed a recent decrease in your performance within the gym or you’ve been plateauing for a while, it may be time to book that holiday and give yourself that well-deserved break from training. Muscle fatigue occurs when we overtrain or don’t allow ourselves the rest our body needs. This means your maximal force or power produced by your muscles will decrease.
You can help limit muscle fatigue by resting and topping up your glycogen stores. This refers to consuming an increase in carbohydrates in order to replenish the muscle and liver glycogen stores, which can then be stored and used later as energy for exercise and training.
Reinvigorates your motivation
Training doesn’t just have its physical benefits, there’s mental health to consider too. It may be that you rely on training to help sustain a healthy mind, and the prospect of taking a week or two off may make you feel nervous. However, overtraining can lead to a lack of motivation, depression, mental fatigue and even moodiness. Taking a week off training can prevent these factors from occurring and allow you to come back even stronger. This is both from a mental and physical perspective. You may even notice a lift in your mood, a clearer mind and more motivation to get back to it once you’ve had your break.
When you take a longer rest than usual from training, you may notice your sleep cycle improves. You may sleep deeper and longer and this, in turn, will help your mind and body recover better from your training.
Allows you to try new ways of exercising
If you’re like me and can’t keep still for more than 10 minutes, or sunbathing just isn’t for you, keeping yourself active through other means, such as hiking up mountains and exploring your surroundings, is a great alternative to training. It still means you’ll reap all the benefits from resting your muscles for a week, but it also gives your mind a chance to focus and reflect. If you’re worried about losing strength, don’t. Your gains will easily survive a week or two if you’re still eating adequate protein. A good option is to take creatine with you.
Booking a holiday is a great goal to focus on, and during the lead up to your holiday you may find more motivation to train harder. Why? Because you know you’ll be enjoying a well- deserved break soon. Once you’ve enjoyed that time off, you’ll come back fighting fit, eager to train harder and keep pushing. Until your next break, that is.
About the author
Hayley Madigan is a Bulk™ ambassador and qualified fitness trainer. Her content and training focuses on improving your confidence, strength, and health by allowing you to feel empowered, positive, and unstoppable.
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