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Rest: A Four Letter Word

For some of us, rest is the hardest workout of all.

We don’t want to stop. Put our feet up? Are you nuts? There’s so much to do, so much to accomplish, so much to be, that we just keep charging hard all the time . . . right up to the point that we hit the wall and explode.

Sound familiar?

The fitness universe is packed with “Type-A” personalities; for folks like us, nothing is ever hard enough, fast enough, strong enough. We like intensity, crave it, inject it like a drug into our veins. We’re adrenaline junkies, but with nice muscles and good teeth.

So when someone tells us to rest, or relax, or recover, we quite simply don’t know WTF to do.

Why shouldn’t we work out 10 days in a row? Why shouldn’t we go 100% in every workout all the time? Why can’t we test 1RM every week in our favorite lifts? What do you mean “3 days on, 1 off?” Isn’t that for sissies?

Yet, somewhere in our racing brains, we know that rest is critical to our improvement; that we grow during recovery, not during the actual test of our strength. And we know that we should take that rest day, get those extra hours of sleep, relax a bit more. “Sleep is the best supplement.” (So sayeth Jeremy Mullins.)

I’m going on a cruise next week; it’s a “workation” but it’s forced downtime too. First event like this I’ve had in years and years. And the thought of it terrifies me more than handstands on parallettes.

But if I can do this, so can you. What are you going to do to relax and recover this week or next? How about the one after? And can you make it part of your regular routine? “Rest” as the WOD; it’s got four letters but it’s not a dirty word. Put your feet up now and then. It’s actually going to help make you stronger.

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