One of the most important yet most hotly debated and misunderstood aspects of a good workout routine are rest periods. Rest periods are crucial for muscle growth. How do rest periods affect muscle growth and what’s the optimal rest period? Let’s explore these questions.
First of all, when you exert your muscles you’re building up lactic acid and hydrogen ions. In small doses, these substances don’t harm your body at all. However, during a workout these substances can really build up to substantial amounts.
These substances will prevent your muscles from exerting themselves fully and cause more fatigue. In other words, it can cause you to tire yourself out without actually making any progress towards your goals.
Even worse, however, is that lactic acid and hydrogen ions can prevent the proper delivery of proteins to your muscles. In other words, your muscles won’t be getting the necessary building blocks they need to build stronger muscles.
The other reason rest periods are crucial is because of the way muscle building works. You’re basically causing tiny micro injuries in your tissues when you work out. Then when you rest, the body repairs the muscles and makes them stronger than before.
If you don’t have proper rest periods, you’ll just continually injure your body without actually gaining muscle. That can be very unhealthy.