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Finding the right rest

Tailoring recovery for your fitness regime

A woman resting between workouts.

In the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, there is a myriad of fitness programmes to choose from. Whether you are into weight training, running, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), each exercise regimen demands careful consideration concerning its rest and recovery period.

Understanding different fitness regimes:

Before I dive into the specifics of rest, let's briefly define each fitness regimen and its benefits.

Weight Training

Weight training involves lifting weights to build strength and muscle mass. It is a structured approach that targets specific muscle groups through a variety of exercises. The goal is to gradually increase resistance over time to challenge your muscles and promote growth.


Running is a cardiovascular activity that enhances endurance and burns calories. Whether you are jogging around your local area or training for a marathon, running can boost your cardiovascular health, improve mental clarity and can also contribute to overall fitness.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT involves alternating between intense bursts of exercise and short periods of rest. This fast-paced workout maximises calorie burn, improves cardiovascular fitness and increases metabolic rate. It is known for its efficiency and ability to keep your body challenged.

The role of rest in each regime:

Rest is an essential component of any fitness regimen, as it allows your body to recover and adapt. But these rest requirements can differ for each training regimen, as follows.

Weight Training

After an intense weight training session, your muscles experience micro-tears. Adequate rest between sessions/training days allows your muscles to repair and grow.

Remember, muscle growth happens during recovery, so neglecting rest can impede progress!


Rest days are just as crucial for runners. They provide your joints and muscles a chance to recover from the repetitive impact of running.

Active recovery days, like a light jog or stretching, can help maintain blood flow without overexerting your body.


HIIT sessions are intense, demanding a balance between effort and recovery. Short rest intervals (15-60 seconds) between high-intensity intervals are essential to prevent overexertion.

In addition, post-HIIT recovery should include longer rest periods to avoid burnout and ensure your body's readiness for the next session.

Tailoring rest to your goals:

Personalisation is key when determining the optimal rest for your fitness goals, as outlined below.

  • For muscle growth in weight training, allow sufficient time between targeted muscle groups.

  • Runners should consider factors like distance, intensity and their body's response when scheduling rest days.

  • HIIT enthusiasts should monitor their energy levels and adjust rest periods accordingly.

In the realm of fitness, one size doesn't fit all when it comes to rest and recovery. Rather, understanding the demands of your chosen fitness regimen is essential for achieving your goals safely and effectively.

Remember, whether you're lifting weights, hitting the pavement, or pushing through HIIT sessions, adequate rest is the cornerstone of progress.

So, respect your body's need for recovery, and you'll find yourself consistently moving closer to your fitness aspirations!

Want further advice on training and recovery? Feel free to get in touch.


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