TAKE A REST TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE: MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER

Blog #5 of 7 in series by Angelica Avolio

When it comes to training for a competition, it may seem counterproductive to take a step back and relax – in reality however, it is very much needed to make sure you are maintaining high levels of performance and allow improvement. In this article we will list some of the reasons why you should take your rest seriously and how to maximize rest days.

OVERTRAINING

Overtraining occurs when an individual trains vigorously without allowing the body to recover between sessions. Pole dance is a very strenuous sport and as such, you must allow your muscles to rest and recover before going back to training. Pole dance also requires plenty of pulling of the muscles and isometric holds, which may put a strain on your ligaments. Constant strain on your ligaments can lead to inflammation and if not taken care of (by resting!), it can lead to injuries - and if this happens, you won’t be able to do pole dance for a while. Not worth risking it, right? 

LOW SLEEP QUALITY

As mentioned above, not allowing your body to rest can lead to overtraining, which then leads to poor sleep quality. If you don’t sleep well, it then means you have not allowed your body and your brain to recover adequately, and therefore this feeds into your already present overtraining – it is basically like a dog biting his own tale! Sleep is extremely important to rest not only your body, but also your mind, which is ultimately the backbone of fitness. 

LOW MOODS AND MOTIVATION

Not allowing your body to rest makes you feel overwhelmed and can lead you to overreaching, which occurs when people constantly push their bodies through vigorous workouts. Overreaching can lower your motivation and lead to low moods, which can really affect your overall performance. 

HOW TO MAXIMISE REST 

So it may come in natural from the points above that in order to maximize your rest and recovery, you first of all need to take some time off from training to allow your muscles and your nervous system to take a break from all that effort. But also, aim to sleep a minimum of 7 hours per night to maximize rest and muscle recovery. And don’t forget to eat plenty of nourishing foods to replenish your muscles. These include lean meats, grains, pulses, healthy fats and plenty of colorful fruit and vegetables. Having a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is also particularly important to fight oxidative stress, including that caused by intense exercise). Finally, make sure to stretch or perform some form of low impact mobility exercise to reduce muscle soreness. 

We hope that discussing the downfall of not giving yourself a break from training and the negative effects of overtraining, especially when training for a pole dance competition, made you decide to take your recovery more seriously, as it is essential to allow progress and keep up your performance. 

REFERENCES

Cheng, A.J., Jude, B. and Lanner, J.T., 2020. Intramuscular mechanisms of overtraining. Redox biology, 35, p.101480.

Grandou, C., Wallace, L., Impellizzeri, F.M., Allen, N.G. and Coutts, A.J., 2020. Overtraining in resistance exercise: an exploratory systematic review and methodological appraisal of the literature. Sports Medicine, 50(4), pp.815-828.

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