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Is your Performance Improving ??

How to train smarter and rest better !

Adaptation is the whole purpose of exercise training. Adaptation requires a systematic application of exercise stress (difficulty). The stress should be sufficient to stimulate an adaptation, but not so severe that breakdown and injury occur.

It’s an Adaptation day, not a rest day

Change your thinking like this:

  • Think "stimulation days" instead of training days.

  • Think "Adaptation days" instead of rest days.

When you take a rest/adaptation day you repair muscle, replenish glycogen stores more easily, and let the nervous system get back to an optimal working state. This will help you get Stronger, Fitter and Faster, but it'll also improve your performance on the day you get back to the gym.

The truth is, during your off days crucial things happen that make it easier to recover and get stronger. Your body has limited resources. And if you invest more resources in a training session, rather than resting, you'll have fewer available to fuel adaptation.

During rest days you devote more of your resources to repair. Your nervous, immune, and hormonal systems also get back to a situation conducive to growth and performance. If you're well rested you'll be able to perform at a higher level and do more volume, both of which will make the session more effective.


The body will adapt to the stress of exercise with increased fitness if the stress is above a minimum threshold intensity.

An interesting aspect of skeletal muscle is its adaptability. If a muscle is stressed, it adapts and improves its function. However stress it too much too often, we can have the opposite effect.


The primary purpose of taking adaptation days, is to manage stress loads and avoid overtraining. By the process of avoidance, you can maximise your performance in competition and training.

Overtraining is known by an accumulation of stress (training or non-training) resulting in injury, illness or decreased performance. And returning back to normal capacity may take several weeks or months.

The importance of avoiding overtraining is high and it's critical for an athlete’s progression in training and competition performance. Adaptation days have been shown to improve competition performance, reduce risk of injury, and increase physical capabilities.

Serious symptoms of overtraining can occur otherwise and performance can quickly deteriorate. This can be categorised as internal and external factors, or physiological and psychological factors.

The main indicators affecting stress are:

  • Training Intensity and Volume of training (too much training)

  • Hormones (This can be affected from nutrition, sleep and hydration)

  • Sleep (Are you getting your eight hours?)

  • Nutrition (enough Micro/Macro nutrients)

  • Hydration (plenty of water/electrolytes)

  • Genetics (can’t really do too much with this one, you're stuck with your genetics)

  • Muscle Soreness (training too often and not fully recovering)

  • Readiness to Train (do you feel motivated to work out?)

The ratio to train to rest is widely diverse from the main indicators above and experience, but on average I would recommend 2 training days to one rest day (2:1). But also on rest day, you could do low intensity exercise such as walking or cycling this could speed up the recovery process.

Example Training schedule with 3 Adaptation days

  • Monday:  Training day 1

  • Tuesday:  Training day 2

  • Wednesday:  Adaptation day 1

  • Thursday:  Training day 3

  • Friday: Adaptation day 2

  • Saturday:  Training day 4

  • Sunday:  Adaptation day 3

Example Training schedule with 2 Adaptation days

  • Monday:  Training day 1

  • Tuesday:  Training day 2

  • Wednesday:  Adaptation day 1

  • Thursday:  Training day 3

  • Friday: Training day 4

  • Saturday:  Training day 5

  • Sunday:  Adaptation day 2

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