Hey reader! I am happy my clever title drew you in, but seriously we hear this all the time and it phrased as a joke but this is pretty serious. How many of you reading this have said “ I feel like I need a rest day” “ I take a rest day once a week” “I can’t remember the last rest day I took” or “What’s a rest day?” these are all sign that YOU NEED TO TAKE A REST DAY.
You’ll notice that during the week we don’t program a “Rest” or “Recovery” day, this isn’t because we expect you to go hard 6 days a week (we don’t). We know that not everyone can make it everyday. It is important necessary to take a rest day during the week. It may be that you wake up and feel let’s say rough or that you feel tired, it’s fairly simple to say “hey I am going to go back to sleep” . Rather than forcing yourself to do a workout that your body isn’t prepared to do. Fatigue can disguise itself in many ways.
I am going to call upon some personal stuff here so buckle up. Over the last couple of months, I was doing whiteboard classes and having a lot of fun, which is what it’s about. Somewhere though between the open and now Is started caring more about my score and proving myself and overall…not having fun. I felt beat up and overall kind of BLAH. Fast forward to last week we are doing a 5RM Bench and 5RM Deadlift bench is bench not a strong lift but ended up 60lbs lower than normal and went into deadlift, with 1 rep of 5 with a PR attempt on the bar I dropped it because I had reached a point where I felt I didn’t care to strain for it. This is terrifying to me, as it should be to you! If you aren’t having fun or aren’t caring about what you are doing you need to change something. So on the way home no music no sound just me and my thoughts, here is what came up.
First thing that popped into my brain was: I feel like junk, how do I change this? I decided to take my own advice and rest! BUT HOW, HOW DO I REST….here’s how I went about it.
Day 1: 50 Min ROM/WOD quiet focused and controlled breathing letting the other stressers go. After this your mind should be more comfortable figuring out what makes you want to train. For me it was realizing that I had no goals and needed to figure something out ASAP which brings me to…GOALS do you have goals….I didn’t! I have personal home goals, coaching goals, spiritual goals and business goals., 0 training goals. Nothing that made me stir inside to train nothing that motivated me.
Day 2: Another long ROM/WOD followed by a Chiropractor (Dr. Ornburn) and some serious quiet time trying to figure out how to do this right, from day 1 I set an aggressive goal of 10 days of rest. (Spoiler Alert: I made it 5) I did Cryotherapy, visited Airrosti and set a session up with Erin Rhodes. I took time to read and come up with some activities to do outside of the gym. At the end of the ROM/WOD something happened during the rebound phase, (basically a 3 Min Cooldown) I fell asleep…. Like OUT Face down on a mat on a hardwood floor. Waking up unsure of where I was or what time it was I realized, I need more sleep, 4.5 hours a night does not cut it. So I made a conscience decision to get 8 Hours at minimum in bed no screens. If you are out there saying I don’t need 8 hours of sleep I can run on less, I have 2 questions. One, when is the last time you slept 8hrs, two, do you tell people how tired you are? Sleep is the NUMBER 1 recovery method! It is when your body down regulates and recovers from all those brutal workouts all week!
Day 3: MORE ROM/WOD by this time I had started feeling better and getting more focused on some possible goals and made up a manageable routine and figured out a better way to take care of meal prepping and better habits in general. Keep in mind I DIDN’T EAT ANY LESS! You need to eat to recover, eating less just because you are taking some time off isn’t going to make you gain a bunch of weight.
Day 4: ROM/WOD plus some casual rowing and getting rid of clutter. Too many times we sacrifice something for something else. We can only really be great at 3 things, these 3 things change from time to time depending on priorities. I personally allowed myself to make a mess at home and slip on my own personal growth, this is frustrating and that carries to other things. During these first 4 days I read more and got things organized. Taking rest days isn’t about doing NOTHING…It’s about doing SOMETHING ELSE. Finding hobbies and other things you enjoy that isn’t gym related or work related is so so so important.
Day 5: I went to church, after this I always feel motivated and overall just good! I had a couple personal training sessions which I love because it gives me a chance to get to know what’s happening in people’s lives and hang out with friends in a more intimate setting. I never train on Sundays it is my one day that I refuse to fitness. By the end of this 5th day I had new goals and was ready to roll for Monday!
So in short what does a rest day look like, not a lack of activity not lighter weight or a workout outside of the gym, not just a light run. Do something fun that may be a new experience. Stretch if you still want to come in ROM/WOD is a GAME CHANGER. If you feel beat down before you start taking supplements and changing diet see how much you sleep. A couple good nights of rest does wonders for the mind and body. Use the extra time to take care of your body and take a breath because the way the world is now there isn’t much time to. Find solace that us as coaches come into the same problem spots as you do, you are not alone, maybe we just need to bring back mandatory nap times….speaking of which I think I’m going to take one right now. Until next time I am Coach Chris, and I endorse naps!
Rest Well !