This is a difference that should be acknowledged.
I started working at a young age as a waitress and have always had a lot more plates to juggle at the same time than I should. The desire to over achieve plus the sense of satisfaction when I get multiple tasks done when it is usually considered daunting for the average task-doer, is probably what has kept me going at the rate I am still at now.
One thing IS very different now though, is that experience has taught me a few lessons on understanding the value of REST and RECOVERY.
Sure, it may seem rational to think I can achieve more as long as I DO more. Although, am I actually achieving them at 100%? or am I achieving everything at 70% because I am so tired from lack of rest and recovery? If you love ticking s*** off your list of to-do like me, you might be able to relate thinking #nodaysoff is the way to success, be it at work or with exercise. If you’re not doing anything on rest days, what ARE you doing, for your career and fitness goals?
I think we reflect the way we approach daily matters, similar to how we approach our health and training. Hitting the gym 6 days a week on top of my other activities like Muay Thai, dance class, pole training and aerial training was a norm for me. Quite frankly, it is pretty hard imagining the rest of my life without any of these activities to keep myself agile, fit and appreciating what the human body can do.
Having said that, I learned how to realign my training goals over the summer by asking myself, what is more important to me, to keep chasing tricks, flips and heavy weights just to prove to myself I can do it, no matter what injuries come with them? or to spend the rest of my life being able to do what I love sans injuries that come without proper length of conditioning phases?
I learned to say NO to projects that I am not passionate about.
I learned to say NO to chasing fancy tricks or heavy weights without proper conditioning
I learned to say YES , get smarter, rest the nervous system, recover the body (and mind)
Rest day for me, was what a Training Day would look like for the average joe. Because seriously, I did not know what to do on a day where I was not active.
Recovery was probably a word I never really took seriously, including having horrible sleep routine and nutrition.
NOW that I understand the steps for optimal recovery, I am ALL ABOUT those Rest FOR Recovery – finding that right balance of doing nothing vs doing something efficient for recovery goal.
Boy, am I finding a waaaaaaay better way to enjoy my life and activities right now…than taking that #nodaysoff literally.
I like this guide from Reebok Crossfit Asphodel’s blog. They talk about their athletes training frequency and posed questions on methods and perspective on “recovery”. So to quote –
“…what SHOULD be happening, how close are you to meeting all of these points, and which can you start to include in your ‘recovery period’.”
- SLEEP. Every night, as much as your schedule allows, shoot for 6-9 hours and make it restful, undisrupted. Get rid of your phones and computers an hour before bed and let your mind relax.
- FOOD. Your body has the potential to get stronger and refuel after it went through muscle tissue trauma (which is what happens when you train hard). You will have micro tears in your muscles and they need nutrients to heal – carbs, proteins and fats are all required. A diet void of any one of these nutrients may be leaving you with suboptimal performance. You may reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to find out what you need nutritionally specific to how you train, ultimately optimizing physique goals.
- ACTIVE REST. Better thought of as ‘recovery’. If you’ve just done 200 squats and can barely walk, going for a 20min walk for a couple of days, climbing some stairs etc, will put your body in a much better position that if you bum out on the sofa for 3 days. Simply revisiting the same movement that made you sore can help break up and disperse any of the waste products that may be hanging around in your muscle tissue, causing discomfort.
- MOBILITY work. You have 1 hour a day of training (typically). If you harbour any serious mobility restrictions-and most of us do!-you need to be hitting this mobility stuff daily. Keeping a softball or tennis ball at home or at the office can be a quick fix for those tight areas. Sitting all day?.. Have an alarm on your phone to stand up or change positions after 30mins. It’s the least you could do after all of those burpees!
- HYDRATE. Water, no other fluid or nutrient is needed in your body more than this one. Hot climate, check, frequent exerciser, check. The signs are there you could be at some risk of dehydration. Just being dehydrated by 2% of your body mass can cause performance impairment. Take all the opportunities you can to take in more H20. Carry a bottle around with you and consciously improve your recovery throughout the day. Most ladies would benefit from 2-3 litres per day with guys looking at 3-4 litres per day. Give it a try for a week and see what differences you feel!
Reebok Crossfit Asphodel Blogpost HERE