While you might hear some hardcore lifters shout “No days off” the truth is the majority of us need our rest. Many of us work really hard in the gym pushing ourselves to the limit. While our goals might vary from muscle building, strength training, sports performance, or just general health we all want results. Proper nutrition fuels our workouts and the recovery process that follows, but when we rest is when the real magic happens. All the heavy sets, forced reps, slower negatives, drop sets, and methods we use in the gym have the ultimate goal of damaging muscle fibers. Intense resistance exercise, especially the eccentric movements or the lowering of weights, cause microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. You may feel the effect of these tears days after a workout in the form of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). During our rest periods is when the body uses nutrients to repair these tiny tears making the muscle fibers thicker in the process.
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