Like many, when I train I am relieved of most of the stresses that come with being a human. Being an adult.
Those endorphins get flowing and we all just eventually start to feel darn good. Also like many, life stresses can make it hard to focus in the gym and can make me feel mentally and physically crappy, but you know what also does those things? Training!
You may be thinking I’m contradicting myself, but let me break it down for you:
Training is actually stressful. Stressful for the body and the mind. We don’t look at it that way because it makes us feel good, but day in and out we actually put stress on our bodies and those days in the gym where you’re feeling great and making progress can start to decrease.
It took me a while to really grasp this, but once I did, it was easier for me to allow more rest into my life.
High levels of stress increase the hormone cortisol and cortisol can halt weight loss (it can actually cause weight gain!), slow muscle growth and as a whole; your progress. This means that too much training can be and IS bad for you and your growth as an athlete. Absolutely no one wants that!
So, what can we do to ensure that none of the above happens? Train smart and rest smarter! Listening to your body is key.
If you find you’re losing the desire to train. If your recovery is slowing down and you’re sore, or more sore, as well as sore for a longer time, it may be time to tone it down and maybe throw in an extra rest day. It may even be time to unload, or completely take some time off. 3 days to a week can be really beneficial for the mind and body.
Maybe you need to also look at your nutrition. Are you eating enough? Are you missing something within your diet? Remember, it’s important to eat for performance in order to achieve the goals you have set out for yourself.
I know you may think that training 5 to 6 days a week, or every day (for some) is doing you favors, but eventually we all crash. Eventually, progress slows and we need a break.
Remember: Training should be something we do because we love ourselves and continuously want to improve and achieve goals. As athletes, it’s normal to want to push and push, but we are all human. Human’s break. Human’s need to rest and recover. It’s part of the process, friends!
Rest makes us better.