Exercise Fundamentals Series – #2 Rest

#2 – Rest

Part one of this series looked at “stress” while part two will look at  the “rest” portion of the fitness formula.

“Stress” and “Rest” can be likened to the Yin and Yang of ancient Chinese Philosophy.

baseball ying yang
Yin & Yang = Rest & Stress

We have all seen this symbol and how it represents balance between these two equal but opposite forces – a balance that must be respected if you want to achieve higher levels of fitness.

If you have too much stress/yang and not enough rest/yin you will beat yourself up and tear your body down – this is no good.

too much stress

But if you provide too much rest/yin and not enough stress/yang you’re body will not positively adapt and will become fatter and lazier.

There is a basic concept in exercise that you must learn to accept otherwise you will be literally wasting your time and effort in the gym.  The concept is that we DO NOT get bigger, faster and stronger during our workouts but rather the time between them.  Tough to grasp I know but keep following along.

The stress you place on yur body during your workout just gets the ball rolling towards your goals of becoming more powerful baseball player.  If you give your body a chance to rest we just have to rely on our body’s natural ability to adapt so we are better prepared to meet the demands of this stress if we come across it again.  This is why we can progressively lift heavier weigh we have conditioned our body to do so.  In the world of Exercise Physiology this model is either called “Super compensation” or “Fitness Fatigue”.

Fitness Fatigue Model

These two models are slightly different from one another but they both basically state your body will improve its fitness level following a stress if you give it the chance.  The rest that you provide your body then becomes vitally important if you want to make positive gains.

Bottom line

Follow your workouts up with periods of relaxation.  Food and sleep are two of our best weapons to make the most out of our recovery time between workouts. Don’t forget about all the other distresses in our lives – if you can learn how to handle them, you will be well on your way to seeing the results that you want.

working hard on his resting

Take home points

  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Go to bed before midnight
  • Don’t watch tv or look at a computer screen 30 minutes before bed
  • Take a breath with Epsom salt (form of magnesium that helps muscles relax)
  • Make sure all your school work is done (another form of stress you need to control)
  • Have a post workout drink with carbs and protein to start the recovery process as soon as possible.
  • Try taking an adaptogen in the form of a Ginseng to help your body cope.
  • Try breathing exercises

Graeme Lehman

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