Happy belated Easter, Valkyrites!
A few reminders:
This Tuesday, Family & Friends free bootcamp classes
Movie Night featuring The Goonies, Saturday, April 22 @7pm
Saturday, May 6&7 Camping at Ward Pound
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s focus our attention to Lucas, who took the time to give us some helpful advice and information regarding rest and recovery. Make sure to check out what he has to say because if you haven’t already picked up on this, he is a pretty smart person!
Hey guys – I’d like to take a moment to talk about Rest and Recovery. The common theme that I’d like to drive home in regards to these two themes, as I talk more about this, is being aware of how you’re feeling when you make decisions about your workout schedule. How much you rest and work out is influenced by both your personal fitness goals as well as your weekly schedule, but you cannot ignore the way you’re feeling when making these decisions. Being mindful of how well or not well you are feeling on a certain day will pay off in dividends in the way you approach your fitness. So, let’s get into it.
We love going to the gym, we love seeing our friends, we love doing things we didn’t think we could do. We love pushing ourselves in a supportive environment, and what better place to do it than at Valkyrie. However, we, as a gym, need to be more mindful about how we structure our workout schedule.
The workouts in Crossfit, Bootcamp, Row Club and Barbell Club, are designed to be extremely potent. There are specific intentions with each workout, and not all of them are designed to make you feel like you’re going to perish. Yes, metabolic distress (or that “oh my god my lungs are on fire” feeling) is important to consistently program and maintain, and metabolic conditioning is essential to Valkyrie’s programming. However, just because a workout didn’t leave you on the floor breathless doesn’t mean it didn’t “work.”
Some workouts are designed to maximize power output for short periods of time (see – any sprint, ever). Some workouts are designed for you to limit your power output during longer time domains, and keep you moving for extended periods of time. Some workouts are designed to test your skill and agility, and may not even make you feel “tired.” Some still are meant to tax your strength and challenge you to complete it, even if you’re not breathless at the end. Regardless, it’s important to use every workout as a chance to push yourself and improve on your weaknesses, whatever they may be.
Where am I going with this? Simply: for the vast majority of members at Valkyrie, one workout a day is enough. I say this for two reasons. Firstly, we want to use our time at the gym effectively, and if we want to become champions at meeting our fitness goals, we need to approach our workouts with intent and mindfulness. You are much better off focusing on making one class as effective and potent for you as possible than you are doing two classes, and not giving it 100% in either session.
Secondly, we want to be mindful of our body, and of our rest. Sometimes, the week hits you hard. You hit an open gym on Sunday, go to class Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and then show up Thursday feeling worn down, exhausted, grumpy. You’re also stressed because of all types of external factors, which also tire you out. Working out when you’re at this point of exhaustion defeats the purpose of working out. At some point, you need to take a rest day, and when you do, really, take a rest day. Don’t do anything. Eat healthy delicious foods, and catch up on your hydration, which I KNOW you haven’t been keeping up on. Grab your lacrosse ball – do some soft tissue work in front of the TV. See your friends! Knit! Pet your dog/cat/fish/bird/children! I can’t say it enough, if you’re feeling absolutely worn down, a rest day instead of one more day at the gym will be more effective in making you a better athlete and a healthier human. Working out 3 – 4 times a week, broken up with rest and recovery days, is a much more effective training cycle than hitting 6 days in a row, and run the risk of burning out.
I’d like to refer everyone to a graphic from our favorite supple leopard, Kelly Starett. He’s put together a 24 hour adaption cycle that hits on a lot of the key points that I discuss above. Take a look:
Now, here are a few things that I really like about this. Firstly, the morning readiness assessment. If you slept for 4 hours, woke up grumpy, and really want nothing more than to curl up in a ball on the couch after work and catch up on some sleep, DO THAT. Taking a day to catch up on your nutrition, hydration, and rest means you’re serious about your fitness, and serious about making improvements in your health. The other recommendations are all excellent, from hydration in the morning to keeping your sleeping space technology free and dark! Making these improvements to your lifestyle will not only increase your athletic performance, they will also help you feel generally better. These are not difficult tasks to perform, and don’t worry if you can’t hit all thirteen every single day. Even if you begin by drinking water in the morning and improving your sleep, and nothing else, you will see the benefits in your health.
In summary, I want us to constantly strive to be better at taking care of ourselves. Work on following that 24 hour adaption cycle, and don’t be afraid to take a rest day now and them. We love seeing you all in the gym, but we also want to see you there ten, fifteen, even twenty years from now. To quote Ben Bergeron, our fitness journey is a “low trajectory toward a distant horizon,” so we want to adopt training habits that are sustainable for years, not weeks. Let’s be smarter about our rest and recovery and keep ourselves healthy outside the box, so when we get to the gym, we can kick ass and take names.
Yours in General Physical Preparedness,
PS- I’d like to encourage all of you to take note of how you’re feeling, and share these thoughts and data points with me and the other coaches. I am not, at any point in this post, going to prescribe a work / rest cycle for anyone (although I am happy to talk about such things in person).