When you are lifting heavy every day, it is pretty normal to have a few aches and pains. You may even hear a crunch in your shoulders or knees. This applies to powerlifters and bodybuilders, really anyone that trains.

There is a tendency with athletes to think a deload day, or a rest day, makes you a wimp. I am guilty of this meathead mindset myself at times. The truth is, this is a stupid way of thinking and rest is essential for performance and conditioning.

If you don’t have rest days the aches and pains can get really bad. Without ample time to recover, the pains don’t go away. Not only is this pretty miserable but it stops you from performing to the best of your ability.

The worst outcome from a lack of rest is injury. A serious injury can be caused from the breaking down of already exhausted muscles and joints. This could put you out of action for weeks, even months. Its better to force yourself to rest for a day than be written for for months.

Deload days are good because you can still train but with low weight and high reps. This keeps the muscles working and means you can still get a pump without damaging them further.

Active rest days are a good idea too. If you want to be in the gym environment but need to rest your body from weight training; just do an abs and cardio session. Or, you could go for a jog for general cardio and conditioning training.

So if you are training for strength and your body is exhausted, be sure to get adequate rest time. Switching to aesthetic training when you have been focusing on strength will give you a mental rest as well as physical.