The process of training follows a pattern where your performance may initially deteriorate before you experience long-term improvements. It is crucial to understand that training should involve challenging your body and allowing for proper recovery, as both elements are necessary for progress. While the overall trend of improvement over an extended period may be positive, it’s important to note that not every week will yield personal records or constant progress.
Setting personal records every week is not sustainable and can indicate that your training might be too easy or lacking in intensity. Even individuals with moderate training backgrounds should expect some temporary decline in performance before incorporating rest and witnessing further improvements.
Here are a few indicators that suggest the need for rest:
- Performance declines: If your performance consistently drops by 3-8% in more than two out of the last three workouts, it’s a sign that you have accumulated enough fatigue and should consider a rest phase. Minor performance fluctuations within the range of 3% or less should be expected and don’t necessarily require immediate rest.
- Feeling worse for three consecutive days: Pay attention to how you feel during your training. If you notice a progressive decline in your well-being for three consecutive days, it’s an indication of overall fatigue. This can be subjective and may include factors such as higher Rate of Perceived Exertion or a general sense of sluggishness and fatigue. Listen to your body and take recovery time when needed.
- Extended training phases: Even if you are not experiencing measurable declines or feeling fatigued, incorporating regular rest phases is still beneficial. Even when your training seems to be going well and you’re consistently seeing improvements, it’s important to cap off training blocks after a maximum of six weeks. Research suggests that it takes around 4 to 6 weeks for training to have a significant impact on performance and physiology. By incorporating rest at the end of this timeframe, you can optimize the natural build and break down processes of your body.
Remember, training is a balance between pushing your limits and allowing for adequate recovery. Understanding the signs that indicate the need for rest will help you maintain a sustainable and effective training regimen.
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