Okay, I want you to close your eyes (but not really so you can keep reading) and imagine that you own a pristine 1969 Chevelle…a prized garage trophy indeed! Now imagine pushing the pedal to the metal a few days a week, with maybe a day or two each week where you take it out for a nice stroll or get under the hood and work on preventative maintenance. I’d like to think that the car owner in this situation knows what’s best for his baby.
Now imagine revving that engine everyday, multiple times a day. Still a reasonable possibility if you’ve primed your baby for an intensity level like that…behind the scenes extra care and maintenance to ensure that your baby can handle the load. Again, the car owner knows best! But what if the owner of the car is still in the process of learning what’s best for that HOT Chevelle? Is there a chance that an owner may experience outcomes of an overheated engine, broken parts, and wear and tear on his vehicle?…Absolutely!
So, here’s the loaded question for the day. As the proud owner of your body, do you know what your body can handle? I wish I had the perfect answer to share with all of you on when to workout and when to rest to achieve optimal strength development, but the truth of the matter is…one size definitely does not fit all. Each and every body is uniquely different in so many ways, and it’s up to each of us individually to find our balance. How do we find our balance? Here are a few factors to help you find your answer:
How young are you?
Um hello…I’m not in my 20’s anymore. If you are, I hate you (but not really ;)). Age definitely matters, and as you get older, you may start to realize that more rest is crucial for optimal performance.
How restful do you sleep?
Are you filling your tank with enough rest to allow your broken muscles to reconstruct while asleep? A disturbed sleep will counteract with the rebuilding of muscle, and not enough sleep won’t allow your muscles to recover in stronger formations and increased size. Yes, that’s right…not enough sleep and disturbed sleeping patterns will mess with those gains!
What are you using to fuel your body?
I could write an entirely different blog post on nutrition, so for the sake not making this post a novel, I’ll keep it short and sweet. When you’re at the gas pump, you fuel your car with proper fuel, not garbage from the trash can (unless your Marty McFly and Emmett Brown fueling the home energy reactor in the DeLorean). And not only do you fill with proper fuel, but you stop it from overflowing and before it’s completely full…right? If you’re one of those that keeps clicking to the very brim…STOP IT! 🙂
Intensity and Duration
Now this formula may take a lot of trial and error. I would suggest listening to your body. If you’re a beginner athlete, you’ll need more time to recover between workouts until your body acclimates to the training intensity. If you’re an intermediate and/or advanced athlete, look for signs of decreased performance, elevated blood pressure, decreased immunity and disturbed sleeping. If you’re experiencing any of these overtraining symptoms, step away from the increased intensity workout for a day, and enjoy a nature hike, a light jog on a beautiful trail, a swimming day with friends/family, gardening/yardwork, a home project you haven’t had time to complete, batting practice, (cue music) shooting some b-ball outside of the school, etc. The list for ACTIVE rest truly goes on and on and on.
Hope this helps you find your groove. Balance is a key ingredient to success! If you have any questions, you know where to find me 🙂