Happy Thursday to you all once again, everyone all dug out from our little dusting of snow yesterday? At the expense of contradicting myself I'm posting this one up to go with last week's post. Last week I put an article out there that was to, hopefully, encourage those that are getting their fitness and health back on track in 2018, and not let them give up. Today I have something else to help on the flip side of that, looking at those that are full bore and right into it.
First off, those that are pedal to the metal, that’s awesome, way to be, you’re doing it. Secondly, sorry to be Buzz Killington, but rain it the hell in. OK that’s probably a little too extreme, but I’m just going to tell you that you can cool your jets just a bit.
Let's start with this, do you remember that workout yesterday or the day before that you really pushed yourself through despite being more tired than an ultra-marathoner? Truth be told, probably was not your best decision, might’ve been more prudent to take an off day. We can get into how a workout is not a punishment for your eating, you can’t out train a bad diet and what a gaping pitfall that whole ball of wax is, or we can talk about why you need to recover. Really this is the biggest culprit as to why a lot of the new year’s resolutioners burn out or get hurt, too much, too fast, too soon and not recovering.
Here’s the facts, the time that your muscles do their growing, and strengthening, is NOT during the workout, but actually in your down time, when they're repairing themselves. You know that soreness you feel? That is your body in recovery and doing its job. Your body needs down time and food, yes that stuff too, food! Not resting, going full tilt, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, means either you’re a freak, or you have a burnout (at best) or an injury (at worst) in your no too distant future. Yes, there are people that train almost every day, the key there is almost. Those are also people with loads of training in the books and have a very dialed in program, both in and out of the gym. You strive for that you say? AWESOME, but this is not the time to get crazy just yet. Let's shoot for something you can consistently stick with, 5 days in a row might be overachieving it. 3 days consistently training, for weeks and months on end, is far better than 5 days in a row every 3 months.
Also, your brain and body are going to one day scream for mercy, hopefully before you get hurt, listen and listen well. As a coach of a team I can tell you when I see this look on my player’s faces. It’s not tired like you’re going to sleep, it’s tired like you are dragging an 800 lbs. gorilla named Coco chained behind you. Those are absolutely the days you need to call it off and get yourself away from the gym or training facility.
I’m not saying sit on your posterior and do absolutely nothing for the days you don’t train (workout), there are ways to keep active, but not destroy yourself in the process. Things like going for a walk (my favorite), doing yoga (holy shit Jarrod just said to do yoga, head for the hills, the world is about to move on), doing some soft tissue work (foam rolling or a a massage) or you can do a recovery workout like the one below;
Foam roll all your ouchie spots for a few minutes
1. Spider-Man x5/leg
2. Split Squat (either body weight or very light load) x5/leg
3. Yoga Push-up x5
4. Goblet Squat x10
5. Glute Bridge x10
6. Forearm Wall Slides x10
7. Yoga Plex x5/side
8. Lateral squat x5/leg
9. Dead Bugs x5/side
10. Lightly loaded farmer's carry
Do this all twice (3 times if you're a little more seasoned), rest as needed and you'll feel 10000 times better for your next workout.
Keeping the blood flowing is important, it’ll help alleviate the soreness that you’re likely feeling from all that hard work. Remember that first time you worked out in a long time and you were sore all over like you just went 5 rounds in the cage with McGregor? Did you stay at home for a week before you went back? You were almost just as sore all over again weren’t you? Let’s try something different this time and move. Just a little, nice and light, just enough to get the heart rate a little elevated and the blood flow. That's what I got today folks, thanks for reading, now go out there and get after it!
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS