Why lifting on rest days?

Hi there,
I’m a little puzzled by the decision of programming lifting during resting days…Is this an evidence based deliberated decision?. In my experience, and listening to many high level coaches, this is highly not recommended as:

  1. You don’t really get the rest intended by programing a full rest day.
  2. You compromise the next session, which should in theory be a hard one, by adding muscle fatigue.

Please comment. Thanks. Old


Hi Old,
I’d say you have a good point about not lifting on a rest day. I’ve noticed that for myself and my athletes, there are few full rest days on Athletica, which is in line with some modes of training. If you are using HRV4Training or another app, I tend to keep going unless the app warns me to take a rest day. Alternatively, if you feel you need a rest day, simply don’t do the workout that day, or use the Workout Wizard to select a different kind of session.
So the strength training day is a different kind of training to help your muscles recover from cycling by doing something else. Still, stress is stress, and if you need a day off for physical or mental reasons, be sure to take one.
I hope that helps! Keep asking good questions, Old!

As we often say at HIIT Science, there’s lots of ways to skin the cat. I think it really often depends too on how hard your S&C work is. I’m a big believer in keeping things fresh, that less is more (minimal effective dose) and to hit the target and walk away. But if you’re straining and S&C is difficult, then I’m all for what you propose and I think you should do so (move to same day). The key point, and I pull Chapter 6 page 132 from HIIT Science, is that you should adjust the neuromuscular load so that its not impairing either your key HIIT Session, or your S&C work. That could work on a rest day in some contexts (mine for example doing pull ups on an off day from swim training) or it could be best on the same day to bulk the stress together and fully rest on an off day like you mention. All are good ideas and the best process is the one that works for you in your context. There is no right or wrong rule in this space. Just what works for you in your context.