Unless you live under a rock, you have heard this term before – no pain, no gain.
There is a HUGE difference between soreness, and actual pain. It is normal to be sore; that does indicate your muscles have been working, but pain is not normal. Actual pain can indicate several things – you may be doing your moves wrong, you may have an injury you are unaware of…
I personally do not subscribe to this line of thinking, because I do have former injuries I have to be cautious of. If something is actually causing me pain, I stop. If it persists, I get checked out.
I do push through soreness, because how else is one to improve!?
I know of several people who don’t believe in rest and recovery days, and these people frequently get frustrated with their bodies for “failing” them. Truth is, their bodies rebel because they need a break, plain and simple. We are not meant to workout 365 days a year, and while some people might swear up and down that this is the way to achieve your goals, those people are wrong. Very wrong, and you can tell them I said so.
Rest and recovery days serve a LOT of different purposes, this is just a small taste of why they are important. Never skip rest days. For those who are in an excelerated fitness regimen, you can take 1 or 2 days of rest. I like a 4/3 or 5/2 ratio myself, depending on how busy the week is and how my body feels.
Your body can only take so much before it needs a break, and when you skip rest and recovery days, you put yourself at a much greater risk of injury, which is never fun. Always be sensible about your workout – going and going and going until you can’t go anymore does nothing but burn you out, and in fact, skipping recovery days actually inhibits your progress. Resting allows your muscles to grow.
Life is about balance, plain and simple. Exercise is a lifelong pursuit, and it should make you happy. Find the balance that works for you — your body and your life.