Two monkeys are always better than one

The importance of rest. This weekend, for pretty much the first time in as long as I can remember, I took a day of from lifting. Mind you, I didn’t sit at home either, I still went to the gym to do conditioning work, but it’s important to give your body the break it needs to grow and repair, especially when dieting. Now, I normally train in a cycle that’s one body part per day, so technically, there’s a full week before I train that body part, or at least 3-4 days. Your muscles may individually be resting, but your energy systems that fuel them are not when you repeatedly crush the gym on a daily basis. Your central nervous system must itself have rest days free from the gruelling demands of weight training as well. If the nervous system doesn’t get that rest you’ll compromise your immune system over time, as well as your energy levels and ability to recover. It’s also important to keep your joints in mind, the shoulder girdle is utilized in any overhead motion, as well as pushing and pulling. So while each of these three areas are usually trained on three separate days, the shoulder is continuously utilized. So what is a gymaholic to do? Well, active rest or conditioning days are a great way to give your body a little R & R while still getting your sweat fix. You can utilize your off days to work on conditioning, cardio, mobility or flexibility. I like to use mine on Sunday’s and refer to them as “fuck around” days, cause Im a lady like that. I play around with things I’d consider “fun”, cause I’m weird like that, and that aren’t in my normal programming, but won’t compromise my future workouts. This weekend I did prowler sprints, false grip pull ups, TRX squat jumps, rows, and ab work among some other stuff. It’s fun to try something new. Be silly, work on your hand stand, just sit and sauna. I love to monkey around and see what my body is capable off. It’s a challenge, without the stress of worrying about failure. Often with lifting there is a huge psychological component. If we fail at a lift, or feel weak, or plateau we often become upset. If I have a weak day I’m furious with myself and frustrated. Rest days can also be a great psychological reprise to give your ego a break. I even like to bring my best friend B for accountability, that way, I can’t wuss out and go lift weights. And two monkeys are always better than one 😉

Your fitbetch,
JP xoxo

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