While attempting a Romanian deadlift, my entire body was suddenly overcome by fatigue and a dreadful feeling that I might collapse like a deflated balloon.
“Is it weird that I just feel really tired today?” I asked my personal trainer.
There is a difference between whining about the difficulty of a workout and being able to identify and communicate when something just doesn’t feel right. Which is why I immediately divulged my state of mind.
I have been working out at Steve Nash consistently for a little over a month, and during that period, I have also packed my week with additional fitness classes outside of the gym. Basically, I have gone from the sum total of zero workouts per week to at least five sweat sessions.
But that all-or-nothing approach to exercise was starting to weigh on me.
Rest, it seems, can be just as important to fitness as working out. At least that’s the immediate sense I got from my personal trainer, who insisted we use the remaining twenty minutes together to work on my meal plan instead.
There was no judgement and he didn’t make me feel like a failure, even though I kept apologizing.
I learned that overtraining not only deprives your muscles of the time they need to heal (which risks injury) but it can turn momentum at the gym into dread.
Rest should be part of your workout, not an alternative to it. A healthy lifestyle involves breaks, although that doesn’t mean getting overly friendly with the couch.
Here are a few ways you can be diligent with your down time:
Try something new
If you’ve decided to take a few days of rest from your personal training sessions, at least get outside for a brisk walk, go on a short hike, or try a yoga class with a friend. This will allow you to give overworked muscles a rest.
Nourish your muscles and your mind
Focus on helping your muscles repair themselves through stretching, plenty of sleep, and nourishing foods. Don’t stress out about taking a few days to rest either – your progress won’t go to waste and your personal trainer will be happy once you return rejuvenated.
Communicate with your trainer
My body feels like it’s waking up from a long sleep. Although it loves moving again, I recognize that my lifestyle has changed drastically in the past month. With that, I’m discovering sore muscles are part of the equation. It also means I’m often spotted awkwardly walking down the stairs with a strained smile after a workout. By keeping your trainer in the loop about your energy level, he or she will be able to guide you towards proper recovery.
I don’t have another personal training session at Steve Nash Fitness Clubs booked for four days. By momentarily taking away something I have grown to enjoy, it has already reinforced how much I want to do what it takes to get back. At the moment, that is completely resting my overworked body. And that’s okay.