Posts tagged rest

Strength Training: Rest Helps Reset


Go Lift One of the things I am learning to do is to take rest periods between my lifts seriously. I have always been more apt to rush through all my sets – getting it done fast so I can be done with it. I didn’t really understand the science behind strength training and what the benefit of resting between sets was for. My new coaches have really taken the time to explain to me why it’s so important.

I just read this post about it as well:

Rest Between Sets: How Much Do You Need?

“Longer rest gives you more reps, with three to five minutes being the most consistent for performance.”

Strength training is all about timing — our muscles and central nervous system need time to recover from lifting heavy. Resting three – five minutes between sets can help you quickly recover and allow you to do more.

Understanding Rest Between Sets 

Just this morning I was doing my 5×5 back squats.  In the span of 25 minutes – with some warm up sets to ramp up to 163# – I was only really squatting for a total of two minutes or so. It was a lot of work for two minutes. Who ever says that strength training isn’t cardio hasn’t lifted heavy enough! I force myself to rest between my sets and sometimes it’s tough to wait it out. Ultimately though – it’s worth it. I am seeing more results now than I have ever seen strength wise and my body is taking on more definition.

It really is the small tweaks that you learn from experienced coaches that can make all the difference. Yesterday, I was able to perform the Power Clean transition over and over again – something I haven’t been able to do until last week!  My coaches Randy and Dan have been working with me on it — small tweaks, video and practice! Go back to the fundamentals and work the positions – that is seriously what it takes.

Once you progress beyond beginner strength training, the magic happens when you tweak your form. Always go back to the fundamentals – and perfect them. Plain and simple!

5×5 Back Squat

5 mins AMRAP
10 KB Swings
10 Ring Dips
–2min Plank Hold–
2 rounds
200m sprint
40m bear crawls (10m down/jog back)

Also, I want you to notice that for as long as I have been doing this — I am still making progress and learning, each and every day. That is what drives me and it’s what I need in a training program in order to continue to feel motivated and inspired to do it week after week. If you are stagnant and feeling blah about your workouts – or anything in your life – it’s time to step back and evaluate whether it is really meeting your needs. In the end, we all have to do what’s best for us at the time and based on where we are and what we want. It’s always important to continually evaluate whatever we do to ensure it is still meeting our needs. Change is a part of life —



Say Yes to the Rest


Pat-Sherwood-QuoteLast night, while contemplating whether to take my rest day to today I read this from a Facebook page I read Lift Run Bang and it quickly helped me make my decision. Yes to the Rest!

“Rest” has become such an ugly word in the training paradigm now.

I attribute this, at least partially, to the “don’t be a pussy” ridiculousness I see hurled out by people who have no life outside of the gym. 

When in doubt, taking an extra day of rest isn’t going to do anything in terms of setting you back. And in more cases than not, the extra rest will in fact benefit you significantly. 

The problem is, we are a society of excess, and so many adhere to the belief that if 3 days a week bring great results, then 6 days a week will bring double great results. However, there will always be a point of diminishing returns with anything and everything in regards to excess. 

The variables involved in rest, are unique to every individual, and where they are in their training life. 

When I was 18 I could train hard as fuck, 6 days a week. In my late 20’s, with kids, a wife, and a real job, it went to 4 or so. Now I find that at 38, three days a week seems about optimal. Sometimes I can do 4 or 5 days a week for a while, however I eventually settle back into three days a week, because I always feel like I need the extra rest. 

What most people do is, they feel as though they are letting themselves down if they don’t train, or that for some reason they will regress or fall behind if they miss a workout. 

Please, get that out of your head. Skipping a night because you feel beat to shit is not going to put you behind, or cause regression. Do a better job of listening to your body. Especially after very tough training sessions, and you’ll be rewarded for it. 

If you need time off, take it. The weights will still be there waiting to resume battle after you’re well rested.

Here’s some great information about over-training that highlights why rest is so darn important. I usually take a week straight off every quarter that coincides with a vacation and I usually take two rest days a week at minimum regularly.

Have you tried De-Loading? Many times, adding a de-load week to your training will actually help you come back stronger! Hard to believe, but it’s true!

The Deload Week: What It Is, How to Do it, and Why It Might Help You Get Stronger

A deload week is a “take it easy” week. It’s a break from training hard and training often, and scheduling a deload week is often how hard-charging athletes and weight lifters (a notorious bunch who never want to take a break) force themselves to recover from their pursuits. Exercise, you see, especially effective, intense, hard exercise, requires that we recover. It’s just like any injury, wound, illness, or stressor faced by our body.


Stop and See!



I have been buying flowers the past few weeks –to brighten up the house and also to help brighten up the family. I think even if you aren’t depressed or feeling low, staying connected to beauty, nature and wonder is key in staying centered and at peace. It’s all a part of self care –continuing to take care of yourself and making you and your family the priority! And come on–flowers are cheap therapy!

Personally I buy flowers weekly during my grocery shopping..relatively inexpensive way to brighten up your house and your mood! And I also stop and notice flowers and nature around me.

The world is a really pretty place if we stop and pay attention!

I so needed to read this article:  Fighting the “Mehs” – When Taking Some Time Off Is Good

I often lose sight of how I am really feeling inside because my fitness routine is so ingrained and so much a part of who I am. I miss being at the gym when I am not there and I know that people look to me to help spur their own journey to getting fit and healthy. The reality is that sometimes I do experience burn out and need time off.

And just like Dizzle says —  it’s good to step away, get some real rest and get re-energized and pumped about heading back in. I have noticed that I havent made huge gains in certain areas and quite frankly am not too pumped about even trying. That’s when I know there is an issue.

The one thing I have been pumped about is running –getting to figure out my damn running form. I saw a bunch of pics from my 200 mile relay this weekend and man — I don’t lean. Don’t get how to lean even when I think I am leaning. I am straight up and down. Proof is in the pictures. Now some of that was due to sheer exhaustion but man — I am fired up to figure it out.  So I am going to either take a few solid days off or de-load and just focus on form for the next few weeks to refuel my inspiration tank so I can feel pumped up again!

I need a vacation –

600m jog
Burgener Warmup


1 Hang Snatch
2 HS

all the way to 11. (I went to 8 until I ran out of time and stuck with a 53# to work on Snatch form)

Rest Days are Important


It’s another rainy day in the DC metro area — we have had the craziest weather this year, sure makes you wonder.

I am taking an extra rest day this week. Last week during one of my workouts, I realized my body was more tired and sore than usual. I just need to give my body a break and take a day off this week. Let’s see how well it works.

Rest days are earned.


I took a rest day today. An athlete friend of mine has been talking to me about over-training. Now I won’t say that I am, but I appreciate that he has taken the time to remind me to be aware of it. He said something yesterday that rung very true — people who are totally hooked on CrossFit get ‘high’ on 2 main elements –the endorphins from the workout and the feeling of working out with the community. He’s completely right. I have always said one of the biggest reasons I love working out is I get to hang with fun and healthy people all the time. I get up super early to go play with a bunch of athletes on a playground.

I took a rest day because I am super tired and my arms are killing me. This has been quite an arm/shoulder intensive week at CrossFit. And also – 5x a week is a respectable amount of fitness in one’s life. I will be there tomorrow, bright and early for their free 10A workout, so if you want and are in the area – join me.

Fitting in Exercise


Sometimes  I think when I let myself actually rest -things catch up with me. Since Scott is away and I can’t go to boot camp — I have been sleeping in and hanging with the kids since I am on vacation. But it seems like I am more tired and man this soreness is worse than usual. I must have really pushed myself hard on Monday because I seriously am in pain! It hurts when I bend down to pick something up, when I go to lift something and just when I move my legs. I did some serious squats and power clean presses I guess! Who knew??!! I think that so often I operate at full speed handling my life that when I finally slow down — it all catches up with me so makes me wonder if it’s worth slowing down at all.
I want to get out today and do something in the realm of exercise so Nate and I are headed to the school where we will run on the track there. He wants to race me because he says he’s way faster than I am. He told me we both need a practice round so we can evaluate how fast we are — The running will hopefully loosen up my sore muscles.  Just because my routine is changed, doesn’t mean it’s a free pass to goof off when it comes to being active and fit! You just need to get creative with what you can do!

Monday – I took a later boot camp, hired the babysitter for 1.5 hours and had my workout

Tuesday – I went to my basement and did the elliptical although not for as long as I would have liked because I was so sore

Wednesday – heading to the local school to run around the track with the kids

All of what I posted above are things we all can do to fit in exercise – when our routine changes! While not boot camp intensity, it still gets the job done!

Rest and Recovery Reflections


Sometimes I forget to stop and smell the roses – I am sure we all do. Today – I had some time to quiet my mind from all the stress that has been around me lately. I did stop and think about how lucky I am. In a million years I would never have thought my life would be the way it is — but here I am. I have a great family. a husband who is healthy and who, along with my 2 kids keep me laughing every day. I have some funny kids.  In a lot of ways – I am living the dream and have so much to be thankful for.

I have had the pleasure of meeting great people,  and having a few of them influence my life, finding perspective and humor in what could possibly be the most challenging thing I have ever had to face, and have found a passion for living. I have to remember these feelings of accomplishment when I begin to be hard on myself instead of being kind.  My rest and recovery has not only helped by body recovery, I feel refresh and renewed with a sense of accomplishment and passion.

I mentally had a hard time grasping the idea of resting for 4 days straight – will I lose some headway I made physically, will I ever begin again, will I slip and fall off the wagon, will I let people down? — all thoughts that raced through my head but what I realized was that it has been good. The run I did yesterday felt good. My body wasn’t aching and feeling stretched past its limits. I was energized during the run – granted Kimmy was there for support and company – but I did more mileage than I have done in a very, very long time.

I realized that I do need to rest regularly – it’s tough getting up at 5a 4x a week, heading to a very demanding workout, then taking care of 2 kids and a house for school/cam — and then head to a full day of work where I am challenged in more ways than one — then homeward bound for family ‘work’ and time – it’s a lot of work running a household and all that entails.  I can’t go for a year without a break – it’s not good for me mentally or physically. Resting to let your body recover is beneficial and it’s something I am going to do regularly. I am not superwoman afterall.

Here’s to Monday and back at boot camp…

Rest and Recovery


Another rest day in motion. I can totally see how someone can get used to NOT getting up at the crack of dawn — I think this forced rest has done me good though. I am going to run tomorrow morning and have a running appointment with my pal – Kimmy – Saturday morning — so while rest is good – there is no chance of slipping into my old habits. It’s not me anymore —

One thing I have been thinking about is doing some yoga or stretching on a regular basis. Center myself and get some flexibility back.  Maybe even try meditation – to help quiet my mind a bit. I am definitely in my head a lot when I work out.

What’s nice about the group of ladies I work out with – I have heard from many of them – just checking in on me and telling me they support my rest time.  How great is that?

Day 1 – Forced Rest


Dear Diary,

Today was day 1 of my forced rest period. It may not seem like a big deal but knowing that I missed my boot camp was a mental challenge for me. It was great to sleep in an extra hour or 2. My body is still feeling fatigue so while I know I am doing the right thing – I still need to believe it physically.

Here are some reminders about fitness and nutrition goals:

1. Establish a realistic goal: Think about what you want to achieve and why. Set a positive-minded, health-and-fitness-oriented goal that you know you can accomplish. Be specific and realistic.

2. Find a support system: Surround yourself with people who can help you achieve your weight-loss goal, whether that’s a formal support group, a class, one-on-one counseling or your friends and family.

3. Think positively: Resist destructive thinking and put your energy toward proactive steps that will take you to your goal. Stop thinking of yourself as fat, and start focusing on how fit you can become.

4. Use nutrition as an ally: Emphasize good nutrition and educate yourself about how nutrition enables your body to control cravings and regulate its weight through healthy metabolism. Remember that you need good nutrition in order to exercise effectively.

5. Find time for fitness: Keep in mind that fitness isn’t just about burning calories: It’s a fundamental component of a synergetic, effective weight-loss strategy and an active, healthy lifestyle.

6. Watch for positive change: But don’t get hung up on the scale. The first changes may be seen and felt elsewhere!

7. Get help when you need it: If you aren’t making progress, or if you’re feeling bogged down and confused, get some expert help!

via Life Time Fitness – Feel good inside.

Have no fear…


No worries – I haven’t fallen off the wagon. Boot camp is off this week and I decided to take it easy with regards to training. I worked out on Tues with my boot camp crew with a guest trainer, ran on Weds, but have been feeling worn out and my throat has been sore so I took yesterday and today off – on purpose. I did set the alarm for o’dark thirty but when it went off – I said nope and turned it off.  Part of me does worry – what if this is me heading down that slippery slope???  But, I know I will go running tomorrow morning and back to boot camp on Monday bright and early.

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