Do You Need a Workout Recovery Day?

Not long ago, the New York Times featured an article about “double-dippers,” fitness fanatics taking multiple fitness classes per day. Barry’s Bootcamp was featured in the article since many of those profiled hit the treadmills in the morning and before they head off to bed… on the same day. But what about the advice you’ve heard – that your muscles need a day of recovery to repair themselves, and thus grow and strengthen? Are you just wasting your time going two days in a row?

The answer is… not if you do it the right way. It is true that without recovery, you can’t progress. You will tear those microfibers before they have a chance to heal and grow. So how do you balance the desire to tone-up as fast as possible with the need for downtime? Men’s Fitness Magazine has gathered six great strategies for the workout-aholic in you. A taste:

1) Mix it up! Yes, you should have a minimum of 24 hour between intense workouts of the same muscles. So on day two, attack a different muscle group. This is why we target a different group every day. If you work your arms on Monday, and your butt and legs on Tuesday, by the time you’re back for chest day on Wednesday your arms have had time to heal. (Don’t worry about the muscle soreness, or DOMS, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – that generally peaks two days after your workout). So whatever workout you do, change it up every day.

2) Hydrate! You lose a lot of water when you sweat through a 1000 calorie workout. And your muscles need water to recover. Shoot for one liter of water for every 1000 calories burned.

Want four more great tips? Read on