Happy Monday! It’s such a nice day I will definitely be looking for more than one excuse to get out of the office and stroll around the city. I am also feeling physically and mentally better today than I did all last week, praise tha lawd.
Even though my lack of exercise and indulgence in all things sweet, salty, and unhealthy this past week was due to being in a perpetually terrible mood, it reminded me that taking some time off now and again can be beneficial.
Last Monday I thought that my workout was going to be a good one because A.) I had a lot of steam to blow off and B.) I had taken the weekend off from the gym (as I usually do). Instead, I felt weak and distracted. Obviously not every workout is going to be killer, but I was totally in the mindset of being ready to crush it, and my body just wasn’t responding the way I anticipated. Maybe, after weeks and months of constantly hitting it hard in the gym, two days of rest simply wasn’t cutting it.
When you are finally on a good kick and you have made it to the gym every day for a week and you’re feeling dedicated, it can be really hard to tell yourself not to go. Where you originally had to make an enormous effort to make sure you were getting your daily workout in, it can seem like the best thing to do is keep it going for as long as you can once you make it a habit. I know have struggled with this mindset for a long time. GOgOgogogogoogoooooo0ooo. But as we all know, too much of a good thing can = bad news.
Ignoring your rest days, or taking too few of them, can lead to overtraining. The general consensus is that overtraining can lead to injury, chronic muscle soreness, weakened immune system, and decreased performance (livestrong.com). While I luckily don’t have any injuries to report (knock on wood x100), I definitely saw a lapse in my performance last week when my mind was telling me that I should have been ready to lift heavy and my body was like “oh hell naw.” Immune system? Check! I have been sick for a little over a week now, though I am ever so slowly feeling better. Chronic muscle soreness? Yes, DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is a part of training that can be a sign of a good workout. But always feeling sore and tired from a workout routine that you should have already adapted to may be a sign that you are overdoing it.
Today, I feel so beyond ready to get back in the gym. And to refocus on my diet, with my lunch packed and ready to go. I think I’m even gonna shake up my usual routine and do some deadlifting today, SO MANY POSSIBILITIES.
Don’t be afraid to take a step back and relax a little bit from time to time. Being dedicated does not mean always going 200mph every single day of the year. It means taking the appropriate time to recover so that you can continue to increase your performance instead of hurting yourself. It means setting new goals and reevaluating your old ones if they aren’t working out the way that you planned. So take a few days off, and then give it 100%.