Long-term recovery involves rest days, rest weeks and modifying your workout regimen throughout the year.
You definitely need one rest day per week and approximately one rest week per 3-6 months depending on the intensity level of your workout program.
Modify your workout program every 3-5 weeks to give your body a break. This means changing the length and intensity of your workouts from week to week and month to month. Every 3-5 weeks you’ll want to decrease the volume (reps) and load (weight) of your workouts to allow your body to recover between the more intense workouts.
Also make sure you get 24-72 hours of rest between workouts involving the same muscle groups. You don’t need as much rest between low intensity workouts.
If you don’t get the proper recovery you need, you may end up overtraining (not getting enough recovery time). If your workouts are too difficult or too frequent, you will become exhausted. Overtraining Syndrome may develop if you stay fatigued for too long, which can lead to a myriad of physiological and chemical changes.
Fatigue + More Fatigue + Inadequate Recovery Time = Inability to Adequately Adapt + More Fatigue + Inflammation + Terrible Workouts
And make sure you get GET PLENTY OF SLEEP! If you’re only getting 5 or 6 hours per night, that’s not enough. Most people need 8 hours to function at their best.
Incorporate these long-term recovery steps into your workout program to prevent overtraining and keep your motivation sky high!
Also, if you have a minor or major injury, make sure you’re icing it every day and giving the injured body part time to heal – and consulting your doctor when necessary. When you don’t give the injury the time it needs to heal, it will never heal.