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Should you have rest days from cardio?

Fantastic Mr FoxFantastic Mr Fox Posts: 848
edited February 2010 in Health, fitness & training
I used to think you can do as much cardio exercise as you like, and it was only weight lifting/etc that you had to have rest days from. However, I've started swimming a lot (like a mile 5 times a week) so I've joined a swimming forum.

Someone on there said that you have to have rest days from swimming as well, and put some formulas up 'proving' his theory. Is this correct?

I'd show you the formulas, but the other forum is down.
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Posts

  • It is physically impossible to increase fitness without also increasing fatigue by a greater amount at the same time. The only way to reach peak performance is to first build fitness by training hard, then eliminate the fatigue with rest so that you peak on the day of your race.

    To understand this, I'll simplify the maths, and start by defining some terms, which will be simplified from what they really are:
    Chronic Training Load (Fitness) = average training load over the last 6 weeks
    Acute Training Load (Fatigue) = average training load over the last 1 week

    So, suppose you start off untrained, both CTL and ATL are 0. You do a training session, and lets suppose it had a training load of 100. Your CTL is now 100/42=2.4, and ATL is now 100/7=14.3, i.e. you have acquired more fatigue than fitness. There is no way to avoid this. The good news is that as well as being acquired faster than fitness, fatigue is also lost faster than fitness, and the ATL will decay to 0 while CTL is still above 0.

    If we suppose, for simplicity, that what you are trying to achieve is to have your CTL as high as possible when ATL decays to 0, the way to achieve this is to first do a load of training, so that CTL and ATL are both very high, and then when you taper, you will have a much higher CTL when ATL reaches 0 than you would have if you had done less training..
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  • Yes rest days are good for your body to recover in.

    Depending on how fit you are tehy decrease, but i would say a rest day every now and then are important part of training.

    Now go post this one on the fitness forum grumble grumble grumble
  • Oh, sorry I'm new.

    Innit.
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  • 411 posts fatty :p
  • 400 of those posts are where MBUK!
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  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    I do cardio every day (and weights twice a week) and haven't died yet - but parts are starting to break... It's called "old age" I think :cry:
  • I do cardio everyday too, picking up my cup of tea everyday is a chore :p
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Either a 12.5 mile hilly ride or a 4 mile run alternate days of the week. So ner.
  • asdfhjklasdfhjkl Posts: 333
    I'd like to congratulate the guy on the swimming forum for taking an easy concept ("your body gets tired") and complicating the hell out of it.

    Yes, you should take days off if you either feel you really need to, or if your performance is suffering and that bothers you.

    But what is rest? I exercise almost every day (lifting / cycling / running) so every 4 weeks or so I just back off a little bit. Ride a little slower, run shorter distances, lift less. Some people might have to stop all exercise completely for a few days.
  • OwenBirdOwenBird Posts: 210
    Surf-Matt wrote:
    I do cardio every day (and weights twice a week) and haven't died yet - but parts are starting to break... It's called "old age" I think :cry:
    Possible link, perhaps?
    SOLD!
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Currenly not broken though... for once :D
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    i work for a company for whom fitness is an absolute must and even we only tend to do physical training 4 days a week. there are those precious few who are supremely fit and will train 6 days a week but i dont know anyone who trains 7 days a week.

    i currently work with some of the fittest people i have ever met (marathon runners, a semi pro rugby player and very keen fitness fans) and they only work out 4 days a week.

    i tend to do 4 sessions of cv a week and a couple of short weights sessions. all to maintain the shittest physique you could imagine!!
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