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Why Rest Days are Important for Building Muscle

April 21, 2023

Rest is an important part of recovery that focuses on improving sleep, reducing stress, and increasing physical relaxation. But how can rest help you achieve a muscle building goal?

A well-rounded training plan will allow you to see the fruits of your labor without burning out, or even worse, getting injured. If you have been consistently eating well and working out regularly, rest may just be what your body needs to see results!

Prevents Injury

There are so many ways of preventing injury in your fitness goals, and they key is REST! If you are too sore, your form can and will suffer. If your muscles are screaming at you, using them efficiently probably will not happen. It is also imperative to avoid overtraining. Symptoms of this include fatigue, insomnia, irritability, depression, and sore/stiff muscles. Overtraining can lead to overuse injuries as the body is not able to recuperate between fitness sessions.

If you are training back to back days, make sure you are alternating muscle groups/formats to allow 48 hours of rest between muscle groups.

Promotes Muscle Growth

A large portion of muscle regeneration happens during sleep. When lifting weights to fatigue, microscopic muscle tears can happen. When trying to build muscle mass, these tears essentially tell your body that the tissue needs to be stronger to sustain the force that caused the damage. While resting, fibroblasts repair the tears resulting in stronger muscles and more mass.

Boosts Recovery

Recovery is a psychological/physiological process where the body and brain both require rejuvenation to prepare for the next round of training. Proper rest allows the body to utilize nutrition and hydration from the refuel phase. When regenerating, movement is much easier to accomplish with good form when well-rested.

Encourages Better Sleep

Sleep is the biggest component of rest as it plays a huge role in cellular repair, regeneration, and hormone regulation. These are all critical when trying to build muscle.

Without adequate rest, training can lead to sleep issues. This created a vicious cycle of breakdown within the body as well as a compromised immune system. Improving stress management as well as making time for relaxation, will definitely lead to better sleep patterns/habits. Who wants to toss around in bed and wake up sore?


A muscle building strategy can’t be complete without a strategy for rest! Getting adequate sleep, reducing stress, and finding ways to relax both mentally and physically are all important. Getting enough rest can help you promote muscle growth, get better sleep, avoid injury, and enhance total recovery. Consider adding rest to your routine to truly see and feel the fruits of your labor.

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