Most people know that it is important to rest a day or two between hard workouts to give our bodies a chance to recover and adapt. But what is the best way to rest between workouts?
Should we avoid going up and down stairs? Should we skip walking with a friend because our legs need the rest? Should we lay in bed all day?
My answer to all of these questions would be NO. It’s actually even beneficial to train the same muscles you just worked. You just need to do it with a much lower intensity than you did in your hard workout.
This may sound counter to the rule we’ve been taught... that we shouldn’t train the same muscles two days in a row, but let me use the example of the construction worker.
Construction workers typically have very strong grip strength. That’s because they work with their hands for hours every day. Their forearms don’t get rest days. Does it cause their forearm muscles to implode? No… because our bodies are extremely adaptable. The construction worker’s body has adapted to the demands of their job by getting a super strong grip.
The lesson we can learn from the construction worker is simple... TRAIN FREQUENTLY!
What's even more interesting is that the construction worker doesn't even try to develop a strong grip… they just end up with it because they work all the time. Imagine the results if we actually programmed for grip strength properly by incorporating hard days, easy days, and we applied the lesson learned from the construction worker example!
Not everyone needs to be training every single day because not everyone's goals are lofty enough to require daily training. BUT if you have a specific aspect of your fitness that you want to improve more rapidly, the best way to do it is to work on it frequently!