Last week was manic work wise meaning very little gym time. I decided to opt to take a “Recovery Week” training wise and let me tell you – it’s tougher than I thought. I managed 4 days of no weights and once Monday rolled round I was back in the weights room. Now I know that weeks like this are a recommended part of any weight lifting programme, but I found it very hard to stay rested. Lifting heavy weights week in week out is just not doable. I usually opt for a deload week in between programs where I opt for a lighter week of training, lifting lighter or reducing sets. But taking a break altogether proved tougher than I thought. I suppose the gym has become a part of my everyday life and to be honest it is my time for taking a little headspace. Still the idea of a recovery week can be very beneficial if you are training heavily. If it is something you are keen to know more about – here are some reasons why it SHOULD be part of your gym routine.
Your Body Needs A Holiday
Yes even our bodies need a “holiday”. If you’ve been pushing yourself hard in the gym trying to reach a particular goal, taking time away from your routine can be a perfect way to inject a little shock to the system. Time off allows the body to rest and re-cooperate and will often mean you will return to your programme stronger and more willing to get stuck in.
It’s Easy To Overtrain
Are you overtraining? Some of the symptoms include chronic fatigue, muscle soreness, trouble sleeping and bad moods. If you are an avid gym-goer it’s all too easy to cross the line into the “over-training” zone and so a recovery week is all the more important. I personally train for LESS than one hour, five times a week. Knocking out longer sessions means the body produces cortisol – a stress hormone – which can actually prevent you making progress towards weight loss or muscle building goals. A recovery week will go a long way towards recharging your training batteries.
Live Your Life
Sometimes we are FORCED to take time off from the gym – because well LIFE happens. For an avid gym goer this can be more of a problem than you might think. It affects the body mentally. The trick here is to then TAKE a recovery week – guilt free – and realise it’s fine to do so. Remember by taking a few days off you WILL NOT reverse all you hard work, in fact chances are when you do step back on the gym floor you will be raring to go and tackle your workouts with even more vigour.
Taking a 4-7 day rest every 12 to 16 weeks SHOULD be part of your programme. It’s simply not good for your body to have to train to a high level for 52 weeks of the year. Planning time off can go a long way towards ensuring that you stay injury free – allowing your body to rest and recover. Go for leisurely walks, practice some yoga or meditation, take muscle soaking baths and avoid stress. You’ll be a brand new person before you know it!
Hope this helps,