We always think more is better and you should train every day to make yourself better. When it comes to bodybuilding, this might not be the case.

If you haven’t realized it yet, you are soon going to understand the importance of rest days in bodybuilding and weight loss routines.

Just like every day in the gym routine has a pattern, rest day too has a set of rules. There are dos and don’t, benefits, important pointers, and guidelines for the rest day.


When should you Take a Rest Day

For most of us gym bros and broettes, taking a rest day in bodybuilding is the last thing on our to-do list and we don’t want to take on unless absolutely necessary.

But these are the sign that you should look for, and take a break if you haven’t taken one already.

Muscle Soreness

Sore muscles top the list when it comes to taking a rest day in bodybuilding from the gym. These are the easiest to identify because of obvious reasons and these should be the top reasons to take time off from the gym.

Muscle or General Fatigue

Feeling tiredness or sloppiness is common when you do workout every single day of the week. If you feel tired quickly while you do everyday tasks – climbing a fleet of stairs, walking, lifting something, sitting at the office, or even reading, then it is a good time to take a rest day in bodybuilding.

Breaking Sleeping

When you do workout, the body creates more cortisol and adrenaline. This stacks up in your body and messes up with the sleeping pattern. Waking up in the middle of the night without any reason is one of the effects of such hormones.

Emotional Unbalance

An increase in the number of hormones because of the workout often unbalance you emotionally. You will feel strong emotions especially those related to anger or crankiness.

Reduced Motivation

When you are tired out from the workout you will have lesser motivation to get up and do something. Studying, working in the office, or doing your daily chores will feel like a task. Your body demands rest and you should hear it out understand the importance of rest days in bodybuilding

Reduced Performance

The sore muscles and reduce glycogen; an important compound required for your muscles to work. It depletes when you workout. A reduction in glycogen and muscle soreness because of microscopic tears will result in reduced performance in the gym.


Different Rest Day for Different Body Types

The rest day will, of course, be different for people following different body routines in the gym.

Sports Athletes/Runners

Casual running and sports don’t necessarily need rest days, however, keeping one rest day a week would certainly be able to boost your performance in the field next time.

If you are doing intense sports or preparing for a running competition then you definitely need to understand the importance of rest days.

A few stretches accompanied by your daily diet would be a good way to spend your rest day for athletes.

Weight Loss Rest Day Routine

People following proper weight loss routines should always follow a rest day in weight loss. Weightloss routines are generally cardio intensive and have a lot of parts of weightlifting. Following a proper rest day in a weight loss routine is required to let the body recover from sprinter fatigue and be ready for another session.


If you are a casual bodybuilder and go to the gym once in a while then you don’t really need a rest day in bodybuilding routine.

But if you are someone following a proper gym routine and getting some gains, generally in that case, you should have at least one rest day a week. If you don’t want to have scheduled rest day then take off when your body asks for it.


Benefits of Rest Day

Let’s quickly go through the benefits of a rest day in bodybuilding, weight loss, and for athletes.

1. Regulates Your Sleeping Patterns

When we do the workout at the gym, we are generally more tired with muscle fatigue and the body needs sleep. But while you workout the body creates cortisol and adrenaline and if you don’t rest, these compounds just stack up in your body messing with your sleep schedule.

When you don’t do the workout and take a good rest the body drain out these and a good sleep would be on its way.

2. Improves Your performance

Daily workout drains you out of your stamina, besides the workout also produces tears in the muscle. With sore muscles and lower motivation to workout, your numbers will drop.

Giving muscles the time to recover removes the fatigue and repairs the muscle tear. Also, most of the muscle gains happen when you are resting after an exhaustive workout.

This allows you to lift weights with your maximum potential, get the agility back, and be completely aware of what is happening around you. This improves reaction times.

3. Aids Muscle Repair

When you do the workout at the gym, there are microscopic tears created in your muscles. Your body will repair in these but only if you give it enough time to recover and rest it out.

A rest day in bodybuilding is the perfect way to rest your body and recover from the muscle repairs. Along with the repairs, this period is where the gains come in and the fatigue goes out.

4. Improves Endurance

When you do the workout, the muscles need glycogen to move. When you workout with intense training every day, the glycogen deposits drain out a lot quicker.

The body needs to recover from this and refill these glycogen glands. The lack of glycogen in your body will lead to sore muscles and will not be able to draw full potential from your body.

5. Reduces risk of Injury

Working out daily fatigues your muscles beyond repair and kills your motivation to work. The messed up sleeping patterns, and excessive body heat while sleeping are also common.

The body becomes sloppy and the reflexes slow down by quite a bit.

You don’t want to exhaust your body to a point where you lose control of the weights and injure yourself. Also, don’t drop dumbbells on your feet because of exhaustion. Rest well!


What to do on Rest Day

So, if I am not supposed to workout, then what am I supposed to do? Let’s find out!


One of the most important things to do on the rest day in bodybuilding is when your body is recovering and healing the muscle tears, stretch. The recovery generally emits heat, gushes the blood around the muscles, and cause stiffness after the muscles are repaired.

Stretching your muscles during this part of recovery will not only assist in removing the stiffness but also regulate the blood flow.


When you are recovering from the pain and the lack of glycogen doing yoga is very helpful for stretching the sore muscles.

When your body is recovering. if you sit in one place for the entire day, you will probably see a lot of irregularities in your normal body functioning. Besides, your body is focused on repairing the tears on your muscles which will lead to gushing and blocking of blood in one part of the body.

Yoga also helps improve blood circulation, making it freer and thereby increasing the rate of recovery of your muscles. Your blood is responsible to make sure that every part gets what they need for recovery. This makes the circulation and important piece in the recovery.

Protein Diet

Always keep following a diet no matter what day you are on. When you are resting and recovering your body needs more protein to help it repair the muscle tears.

A protein diet will provide your muscles with what they need during the recovery period. A good protein diet also helps your body gain the muscle it needs to improve and make the present workouts easier.

Also, keep drinking a lot of water. When your body is recovering it keeps on heating up and water will help you keep your body cool.

LIT Workout – Low-Intensity Training

Low-intensity training during the rest day in bodybuilding will help keep your body moving. Walking or a few bodyweight exercises just to keep the body moving might go a long way in recovery.

It is very easy to overdo the workouts though and get into a full program. You need to avoid a full program at all costs during the rest day.

If you need, you can do a few stretches, and go to the local park in the evening for a stroll. Staying away from the gym on a rest day in bodybuilding is the best way to make sure that you don’t do any workout on a rest day!


Wrapping up!

That’s it for Cannot Cardio’s take on how you can make the most out of your rest day from your gym routine. We completely agree that staying away from the gym is pretty difficult and you don’t even know what you are supposed to do if you are not going to the gym.

But believe us, not going to the gym is a part of the gym routine that you need to have. The day away from the gym only makes you better at the gym.

Okay, bros and broettes, remember to not strain yourself or your muscles during the rest day. Follow us at Cannot Cardio to know more about rest day and for more articles backed with the science of bodybuilding.

Stay Fit and Stay Awesome!

Posted by:Sunain Banga

This is Sunain! I'm might turn up as shy at first, like I might extend my hand for a handshake and if you don't react within the next 0.03 second I'll just take it back wondering if I over did the acquaintance limits, but if you do react, I'll just take back and flee because you came out too bold and I won't be back until I don't think it is necessary to crawl out of my hole. But, when I do crawl out, you are going to have a night full of stories and a day full of well, more stories. I talk a lot. Also, I'm an Author! The title is The First Crush - at 13.

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