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I have read that rest weeks are beneficial for body builders since that extra week of recovery (vs a rest day) helps them gain muscle by constituting the healing process the muscle requires, is the same thing applicable to people who are going for fat loss?

I have noticed decreasing levels of intensity and all out motivation to work out because of over training, and I was suggested I go on a rest week, would this help me in my fat loss venture? I feel so guilty today since it is day one of my rest week that I want to workout already though I feel like Im so tired.

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An exercise regimen that targets muscle-building (i.e., anaerobic activity, intense muscle breakdown and rebuild, and a heavy diet) is fundamentally different than one that targets weight-loss (i.e., aerobic activity, lighter muscle breakdown and rebuild, and a lighter diet). I can see why taking a week off from muscle-building will help the former—you are giving your muscles additional time to rebuild. But a weight-loss routine doesn't emphasize muscle rebuild—so that particular benefit is reduced. At the same time, you could lose a tiny bit of aerobic conditioning that you had built up.

However, if you need a mental break from exercise—and who doesn't?—by all means take a week off and come back re-charged and re-dedicated. Just take it easy on the cupcakes!

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thanks for your insight, I was thinking the same. I think I just need to get some sleep back. –  reverb Jul 8 '13 at 1:26

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