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February Training Log: Alison

posted on February 15, 2019

Last week a member came up to me with the “exciting” news that he’s only a couple days away from celebrating his 100th consecutive day in the gym.  In so many words, I told him he was foolish and just asking for burnout, stalled progress or worse, injury. I know we often sound like broken records with our insistent preaching of the importance of rest and recovery but it’s a concept that most of us still can’t grasp. I think I had an epiphany, though, when I realized it’s not that our members are willfully ignoring our advice but more so unable to tune into their bodies enough to acknowledge when it needs rest. Driven by the “do more” societal pressures, it’s only natural to think this philosophy needs to be adopted in the gym as well.  And hey, I get it.  I suffer from the “do more”-ness all the freaking time. So, inspired once again to try to always practice what I preach, Alexa and I decided upon an impromptu deload week in our training block.  But deload weeks don’t have to be boring! We spiced up the rest week with some cardio classics: static intervals and a sprinkle of abs.   Here’s what we did:

Day 1:  30 minutes elliptical/15 minutes treadmill

Day 2:  30 minutes treadmill on incline

Day 3:  10 sets:

100 m row sprints</span

1 minute abs (Russian Twists, Leg Slides, Plank, MB Transfers & Erg Pikes)

Day 4:  20 sec treadmill sprint/ :40 rest  x 10 sets

So how can you begin to tune into your body to acknowledge when it needs rest? Here’s a handy dandy checklist that can help you decide if you might need some additional rest days:

  • Are you sleeping more/less than what’s typical? Are you having a hard time falling/staying asleep?
  • Do you get a feeling of dread before/at the gym?
  • Are you “extra” sore compared to your norm?
  • Are you just going through the motions without finding any joy in what you’re doing?
  • Do you have nagging injuries?
  • Do you have a sense of overall lethargy?
  • Are your workouts or weights feeling heavier or slower than normal?

To be honest, the only one I could check off this list was that I was dreading my workouts.  (Well, and sleep—never enough sleep!)  But that was enough for me to know that I needed to scale back for a bit.  After all, I have my whole life to train and just one body so I’d like to take care of it. We have a fun week of concentric training with chains planned and now I have a freshly rested body with which to attack them! Rest now, gains later.


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