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  /  Muscle Toning   /  The Importance of Rest Days for Muscle Building

The Importance of Rest Days for Muscle Building

Importance of rest days for muscle building

The Importance of Rest Days for Muscle Building

To maintain health and well-being, particularly as we age, we must continue to remain physically active. The further you push yourself the better the results. But can you push yourself too hard? And how does rest play a role in muscle recovery? The importance of rest cannot be understated. It plays a very big role in achieving your fitness goals. In fact, without it, you can decrease your results rather dramatically.

Just like living life 9 to 5, you can’t work continuously. You need to understand the importance of rest days and adequate recovery time. Rest cleanses your brain. It also contributes to your success in the gym. To understand this, here’s a summary of how muscle grows.

muscle building rest recovery

Factors that influence muscle building

Muscles should be forced to grow 

To grow muscles which in turn keeps you lean, you must get the body in a state of muscle hypertrophy. To get to this state you will need to increase the load and lift heavier weights than your body is used to. You must force the muscle to grow by overloading it. In doing so, the body realises that circumstances have changed, and to keep up with the present requirements, it must adapt. Increase the load and go heavy, and your muscles increase in size and strength.

Overload is lifting a load more than what your muscles are used to. This, in turn, creates tiny tears (micro-tears) within the muscle fibres. As the body repairs, the muscles adapt better to the stimulus responsible for the damage. To generate more micro-tears and further muscle growth you will need to increase the load accordingly.

Know your limits

If a workout creates too many micro-tears, the body cannot repair the muscles properly. Too many sets in a training session can cause your muscle to make more micro-tears than your body can rebuild. This has an impact on cortisol levels and can stunt potential growth. When a muscle group hasn’t had adequate time to recover, you end up overloading a muscle that hasn’t fully repaired. It can then lose strength and size.

The Importance of Muscle Nutrition

When the body does not receive the nutritional support it requires to build muscle, your muscle building will be stunted.

Remember Hydration

Remember the importance of hydration. The body must be supplied with an adequate supply of water before, during and after training. Do not forget the basics – much like rest, hydration is an essential factor in building muscle.

Allow muscles to rest and recover

For optimal muscle growth, you must give it the proper amount of rest.


Focus on Compound Exercises and Increased Intensity.

When you are lifting weight using compound exercises as opposed to isolation movements, you are lifting more weight which equates to increased muscular growth. A compound exercise is a movement that involves many major muscle groups at the same time. It usually consists of working out a primary muscle group and one or more secondary muscles.


Your muscles have a great memory, and they remember the last time you worked out hard. Muscle memory is an essential physiological phenomenon that can help you accomplish your goals of muscle building.

Using high energy and power in your workouts is what will maximise benefits. Use slow controlled movements for intense lifts and successful gains. Intensity comes from your motivation. Your mental intensity is what will create the physiological effects you are driving towards. Protein synthesis is the basis for building muscle and can be increased by training with high intensity.

Muscles need Nutrition

What you eat and drink determines how you look. When you eat a proper diet, and you time your meals to support training and muscular repair and recovery, you are giving your muscles the best chance at growth. Clinical studies have revealed that the ingestion of protein following an intense training session, stimulates muscle protein synthesis.

The Importance of Rest and Recovery Days

Muscle tears from intense training cause damage to the cellular proteins in muscle tissue.  This, in turn, prompts cells to send messages for repair and recovery. Sleep helps muscles release the necessary amino acids into the bloodstream so that muscle can be rebuilt at an increased rate. Getting enough sleep helps to increase GH levels which helps the body with muscle repair.

During REM sleep, the body usually cleans the brain and re-energises the mind. In the NREM phase (the deep sleep stage), the body stands to gain from the restorative benefits of sleep. The blood supply to the muscles increases in the deep sleep stage, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body that promote muscular repair and growth.

On your off days, ensure you keep in mind the importance of rest and recovery. Remember what muscles need to grow if you are experiencing sore muscles attributed to an intense workout. At BodySpace, we have several solutions to meet your rest and recovery needs.

Book a wellness session today, and support the muscle-building process at Body Space Recovery Studio, Cockburn, Perth.