I feel like a brand new woman!!
Double pigeon-posing it out after some sprints, like a BOSS.
Not that what I’ve been doing for the past week couldn’t be the extend of my exercise, period, but I’m ready to slowly add back intervals and strength.
I kicked it off today with a very short 10-20-30 treadmill sprint workout. I did this one. The sprinting portion only lasted about 20 minutes, and beforehand I did my hip mobility routine, which also took about 20 minutes.
However, when the week (actually a deload week, since I was still technically doing some activity, just way way scaled back) was over, I knew I still wasn’t ready to go back to my workouts. So I took another week off. Heck, all day Sunday I thought I was going to go ahead and take a third week off. However, yesterday morning proved that what I thought was my body needing rest was actually just from falling asleep after 1:00 and a couple glasses of wine, shared with good friends. But that’s neither here or there
When I woke up today, I felt ready to get back to it. I felt strong.
I can remember a time where I would have just ticked off the days as they went by (counting them down, actually) and then jumped full fledged back into my workouts on that 7th day (and on the 7th day, she did heavy lifting and HIIT.) Heck, I can even remember a time where I’d run away screaming if you told me not to exercise for a week. And that’s just sad
If I would have done that this time around, I would have come back weaker, prone to injury, and perhaps I’d even wind up in burn-out land.
So today, I challenge my fellow fitness fanatics, who may sometimes do more than they should in the gym, to take a deload week. Or two. Or three. Or even a whole month – whether it’s scheduled, or your body is letting you know it’s time through its various aches and pains (BEFORE they become injuries.)
1. Give the Body a Tune Up.
After months of running, dead lifting, cross-fitting, sprinting – or whatever it is your do, your joints, bones, muscles – body, has taken a beating. It’s constantly being expected to output maximum effort day after day, with typically only a day or two off a week. It takes longer than a day to heal a cut, right? Sometimes, it also takes more than a day to repair the wear and tear done to our muscles through exercise.
2. Focus on other aspects of physical/mental/emotional well-being.
Taking a deload period doesn’t mean you can’t do any form of physical activity at all. It simply means taking a (rather large) step back from the intensity of your workouts. You can determine the how big that step back is. Mine was limiting any cardio to walks with my dog, and any strength training to moderate yoga, foam rolling, or mobility/range of motion training. Basically, just take it easy! Enjoy yourself! Meditate, do some gentle yoga, maybe go for an easy-moderate hike, practice mobility, read a book.
3. Come Back Stronger.
Our strength and level of fitness is built in the recovery period between our workouts. You can actually come back from a deload week(s) stronger than your last workout. It takes at least 3 weeks of no activity to start seeing strength loss.
4. Avoid Injury.
In fact, I majorly blame my bum hip on not taking enough rest when training for my first half marathon. I was so excited to train for that race that I became obsessed with my training runs, just running through the hip pain. I remember the run when the pain became intolerable – it’s funny how only then did I realize it had become a problem. Silly past-tense Paige. Had I just taken a week off, I may not have this injury at all.
At the starting line of that damn first half marathon. (ok, the actual race was pretty awesome, and I’m pretty sure the only time I truly experienced a “runner’s high,” so I should say “damn that training for it” instead. But I digress.)
5. Be a Happy Camper.
Look at your deload week(s) as an extra 4-5 hours available in your week! I’ve
gotten so much done in the past couple weeks caught up on all of my real housewives shows . Taking a breather for a minute was totally worth realizing that Lisa Vanderpump is still one bad bi****.
It’s pretty fabulous. And now that I’m back to it, I look forward to my workouts again.
All that said, I’m choosing to ease back into my workouts – not jumping back in where I left off. I’m ready to switch it up anyway. Here’s this week’s tentative plan:
Monday – sprints + hip mobility
Tuesday – Off
Wednesday – vinyasa
Thursday – pull up work
Friday – deadlift work + 15 min. kettlebell workout
Saturday – gentle yoga
Sunday – Off
How often (if ever) do you take rest weeks or deload weeks?
Has over training ever lead to injury for you?