Sunday is traditionally a rest day for me though I did take the dog for a walk today. So I guess active rest is the best definition. Most athletes understand the need for rest in order to achieve maximum gain from training. I’m no expert, but each of us have different stressors within training and outside of the gym. These stressors impact our training and our ability to recover. Sprints, squats, work, school, friendships, etc all impact our cortisol levels and affect our ability to rest well. Cortisol is useful but high levels for long periods of time creates an incapacity to recover and relax. Our busy, high stress culture doesn’t help with that.
The idea of rest is not a new idea. There are multiple reasons God told us to take a Sabbath, health is certainly one of them. Rest matters and I am seeing a trend in athletes I coach who believe they can minimize their rest in order to maximize their training. Contrary to popular belief if you are training when your competition is not, you are not always getting the edge on your competition. Furthermore, rest must be intentional. Resting from training but not resting from work and other stressors defeats the purpose.
Remember to take that rest day, do something fun (I went to the park with some friends), and allow your body to prepare for the training to come.
The old adage: “Work hard, play hard” I think is better stated as “Work hard, rest hard.”
Watching the Crossfit Games on ESPN isn’t helping my cortisol level. Till next time…