How Rest Periods Affect Muscle Growth

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.

Why Rest Periods Are Crucial

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Quick warm up at the home gym

There are a few reasons why rest periods are crucial.

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.

What’s the Proper Rest Period?

The proper rest period is about 48 hours for each muscle group. That said, it’s really rare that someone can actually work out one muscle group three times in a week. More realistically, your rest period is probably going to be more like two to four days per muscle group.

Resting your muscle groups doesn’t mean not working out. It basically means you alternate working out different parts of your body. For example, you might work out your upper body today, then work out your lower body two days from now, then work out your upper body again a couple days after that.

Also try not to workout three days in a row. Working out a couple days in a row is fine, but keep in mind that even if you’re switching up the muscle groups it still takes your body a lot of energy to repair tissue every single day.

If you’re continually working out without rest, even if they’re different muscle groups, the micro tissue injuries and the lactic acid will build up.

Rest periods are a critical element of strong muscle growth. Make sure you’re getting enough rest by spacing out your workouts and alternating the muscle groups you’re training. Sometimes the best thing for your muscles and your workout routine is a nice break.

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Natural Weight Loss Tips

You just have read all that you need to know about how to prevent being overweight or ways to improve weight loss. That simple set of instructions should be easy to follow, but not for 35% of Americans who are unable to prevent being overweight.

Of course, once we are overweight, we usually want to trim down for a whole lot of reasons, some related to health, others having to do with looks.

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In addition, it is never too late to lose weight. But the fact is, it is a whole lot easier to prevent putting on pounds than to try losing them later on. And if there is one thing we all know, it is that weight gain is likely to happen if we do not take forward-looking steps to stop it.

Health experts say that most people who are into losing weight usually stray. They tend to go back to their old eating habits even after they learn to enjoy low-fat eating. They tend to return to sedentary ways even though they enjoy exercising.

But despite the momentum toward weight gain, you can stop it from happening, experts say. And there are plenty of good reasons to avoid excess pounds, reasons that go beyond vanity or social acceptance.

In fact, some health experts contend that the significance of excess weight is more than cosmetic. They say that it takes a huge toll on people’s physical health.

The Way to Losing Weight…Naturally

The nuts and bolts of eating right maintaining a healthy weight is not all that complicated. In fact, it is a good bet that most people know pretty well what is best. Hence, losing weight the natural way should not be a problem at all.

Consequently, a reasonable approach for losing weight naturally is to stick to a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates, high in fiber, moderate in protein, and low in fat.

A complex carbohydrate is a baked potato. Fat is the sour cream and butter you should not put on it. Fiber is vegetables. Fat is the oil you should not fry them in. Protein is a lean cut of meat. Fat is the gravy you should not pour over it.

Moreover, health experts say that dietary fat promotes weight gain because it is a very dense source of calories. Also, when you consume excess calories from dietary fat, you store those calories as body fat more efficiently than excess calories from other sources.

On the other hand, it can also help you lose weight naturally if you will not fall into the so-called “fat-free” trap. Manufacturers keep coming out with low-fat or fat-free versions of their best-selling foods, but Americans keep getting fatter anyway.

One of the greatest delusions of the 1990s is that “no fat” means “non-fattening.” The truth is, you are often getting just as many calories from the no-fat version, even if the calories are not coming from fat.

The term fat-free can be a trap if you start to believe that you can eat any amount of the foods that are advertised that way.

What’s more, it is best to respond to hunger with healthful snacks. Health experts say it would be better to try eating every three to four hours, which may mean a nutritious low-fat snack between lunch and dinner.

When you feel the urge for food coming on, snacking on something healthy such as a slice of whole-grain toasted bread is a better alternative. Never skip a meal and eat snacks instead because that is the worst thing you can do if you are trying to control your eating habits and weight.

Remember, if you want to lose weight naturally, you have to keep track of every food you eat and of every activity that you do. When you say natural weight loss means that you do not have to use some accessories or helpful aids just to lose weight.

Losing weight naturally is a process and not a fad. Hence, it would take a lot of dogged determination, self-control, and discipline just to achieve your ideal weight.

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Massage Therapy vs. Chiropractic Therapy

If you are anything like me, you probably prefer staying away from providers of conventional Western medicine as much as possible and I cannot say that I blame you. Although I have full medical coverage for that “you never know when you might need it” time of my life, I have not seen any of my doctors in well over ten years, and I hope to continue not seeing them for the rest of my life. Please do not miss understand me and think that I am some sort of superhuman creature who never gets ill. I do have my weak moments of pain and sniffles just like everyone else, or at least everyone else who takes good care of him or herself. So, when my body seems to need a boost, I visit one of my two favorite practitioners of alternative medicine; my massage therapist or my chiropractor.

I know that it all sounds very simple and straight forward but it is, in fact, somewhat challenging at times, because I do not always know which one of these wonderful professional to seek out. So, I often first opt to visit my chiropractor for a good therapeutic session of adjusting and aligning my skeletal structure and then, as an extra bonus to me and my one and only body, I also make an appointment with my massage therapist for some hefty digging and rubbing. Between the two of them, I come out feeling like a million bucks although my finances are sadly depleted. I figure that we, my body and I, are worth it.

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Now, you might ask and rightfully so, “What is the difference between a massage therapy and chiropractic therapy?” Well, I will be happy to tell you:

  • Chiropractic Therapy.
  • For the most part, chiropractic therapy focuses on the hard tissues such as the spine and other joints for adjusting and realignment. Chiropractors have some training in massage techniques but that is never their first and foremost priority.
  • Chiropractors are authorized to make medical diagnosis, order x-rays or blood works.
  • Chiropractors cannot prescribe conventional medications but they can sell supplements or homeopathic remedies.
  • Chiropractors do not need medical referrals to perform their work.

  • Massage Therapy.

  • Massage therapists perform wonderful work on the soft body tissues such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments but they have not been trained nor are they licensed to adjust the spine or any other joints.
  • Massage therapists may not legally make medical diagnosis, order x-rays or any blood work.
  • Massage therapists are not permitted to dispense medications of Western medicine but they can and do provide or recommend alternative herbal remedies.
  • Massage Therapists do not required referrals from anyone to conduct their massage sessions.

A highly acclaimed national non-profit magazine recently conducted a study in which more than 34,000 participants in the United States were asked to rate which alternative treatments worked best for their two biggest health problems for the past two years and the overwhelming majority voted just as I would have; for deep tissue massage therapy and chiropractic therapy in equal measures for such conditions as back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, insomnia and prostate problems.

Of course, as far as alternative medicine is concerned, one should not discount acupuncture and reflexology for they too are beneficial in their own very special ways.

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