Rest is the Best

All or Nothing. Balls to the Wall. I’ll sleep when I die. You only live once. More is better. Don’t be a pussy. Any of those phrases sound familiar? I’m sure they do. I used to be that way. I used to think the more I worked out, the better my results would be. I used to think the harder I worked out the better my results would be. I used to think I could stay up late and get up early. I used to think I could eat more because I worked hard and dammit I was entitled. 

But then, I fucking grew up.

Not very many people can get by without resting their bodies. And if you think they don’t need that rest, you are sadly mistaken. Your body needs to recover. That is where the magic of results happens. 

I used to work out every single day. It was a badge. A -look at what I can do-badge. A -look how important I am-badge. The sad truth was I was doing my body no good. I was not getting results. My sleep was crappy. I was tired all the damn time. I felt like crap.

I’ve learned to rest my body. I take 3 strength training days a week. I either do a few bike rides or walks as active recoveries or completely rest. It’s hard though, I get it. I LOVE to work out. 

It’s definitely a shift in mindset. I remember thinking I’m going to lose my mind. I wanted to panic. I thought I wasn’t working out enough. But, the thing, because there is always a thing, I was not seeing any progress. My body was not changing, in fact it was getting worse. I was gaining weight, my strength was decreasing, I was not happy and I felt like crap. 

It didn’t take long to learn the value of rest. My body had time to recover. It was able to recover. Then the next time I had a strength day, I felt like a million bucks! I am not kidding. It’s amazing how strong a person feels after rest! What a concept. A concept that is so foreign to so many people. 

It’s so ironic. We always think more is better. It is so hard in this day and age of go, go, go, more, more, more, faster, faster, faster. We never think we need to rest. We think if we don’t work out more, we are going to gain more weight. We think the working out part is the answer. We never think the rest part or the nutrition part is the answer. Too simple. Too easy. Instead we have to overcomplicate it, just like everything we do. 

More is not better. More is just more. But if you still are panicking because you think you need more and you aren’t sure how to get quality workouts in, then you pay attention to your workouts. You pay attention to how your body is responding. You pay attention to how you feel during your workout and after resting. 

During your workouts, you can focus on the technique – make sure you aren’t half-assing it. It is super easy to just go through the motions. Make sure your motions are spot on. 

Increase the weight when it’s appropriate. You should know when that is. You should be able to feel yourself getting stronger. 

You can add reps, you can tempo up your reps, speed up or slow down or a combination of both. 

Get after it during your workouts, don’t be hanging on your phone during your workout. Pay attention to what you are doing. Give yourself the attention you deserve. 

Then you rest. You will start seeing more progress when you are letting your body recover. Your body will thank you by showing up for you. Your body will thank you for letting it have the rest and letting it get more sleep. 

Rest is the magic pill you guys. I say it all the time. It, along with how you are eating, are the drivers of your progress. If you want to be working out into your 90s, well then you better learn how to rest.  Make your rest days your BFF and develop that relationship. 

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