Over my 14 years in the fitness industry I have watched the more is better approach, the minimalist, the steady state, the high intensity, the list really does go on.
And of all those the more is better can really bring us unstuck. Especially when we mix it with high intensity training.
Over the years there have been terms thrown about like abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym, and you grow outside the gym not in it. These are rooted in truth and fact, they are just downright cringy when put with a background pic or something to make them into a motivational, but I digress a little. It is the truth of them I want to talk about.
Rest days. Are they dirty words to you? After all you got fit and healthy and lost a few kilos because you did X amount of exercise, surely 2X is going to be better?
Well it could be, but at a certain point the law of diminishing marginal returns kicks in. Every unit you add, adds less benefit to you until the additional unit becomes detrimental. Think tennis elbow, or RSI. We use something so much it gets a repetitive strain injury.
Hitting the gym is no different, and especially when doing high intensity exercise. Your body needs time to recover, and this is especially true when we are in the midst of lockdowns. Our bodies and minds are already stressed enough. So trying to train at an absolute peak every day and not taking a day to just be here and there will be counter productive.
Your body will recover if fed and rested properly. If you take an ‘active rest’ day of 30 power cleans for time, eventually you are not going to have a good time. If your active rest day is a leisurely walk with someone you like being around it will be umpteen times more beneficial, and more so when we are in lockdown situations.
So have you taken a rest lately? A proper rest day where you take a chance to do very little and breathe and feed yourself good quality food as well as mental food?
If you take one to two days each week to recover, relax, and enjoy a day of not so hard work you will reap the benefits by being able to be more consistent long term with your training, suffer less injuries, and of course, be able to enjoy your routine a lot more AND have time with the people in your life that may not share your enthusiasm for CrossFit, I mean exercise 😉