731 W. Hargett St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601

"I Never Should Have Taken A Week Off"

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[caption id="attachment_3196" align="aligncenter" width="775"]The first workout back from vacation The first workout back from vacation[/caption] I love vacation. Most people don’t get enough of it, so I’m always happy when people get time off. And if you’re training hard you need time off. But when you take time off you have to come back, and that can be rough. Whenever someone comes back from vacation they inevitably declare, “I haven’t worked out in a week!” usually while struggling through a fitness class. “I never should have taken time off!” is another common refrain around Krav Maga Raleigh. And while it’s true that you can have some small deleterious effects in your peak conditioning after a week off, it’s quite minor. So why do you feel so out of shape? Your brain is great at a lot of things. Remembering things accurately is not one of those things. But it is terrific at softening your view of difficult past experiences. Once you’re even a few days removed from a really tough workout, one of those near-death experiences, you’ll already think, “Well that wasn’t SO bad.” It’s just rose-colored glasses. So almost every workout in the past will seem easy compared to the one you’re going through right now. Sure there are those exceptional ones that stand out, and maybe even get more extreme in your memory over time, and take on lives of their own – We had to carry 50lb sandbags up 20 flights of stairs! No it was 100lb sandbags up 50 flights of stairs! No it was a hungry tiger up the Empire State Building – but don’t forget that all those other workouts were no picnic either. When you’re in the middle of a great training cycle there’s something else you forget, which is what it’s like to “feel good.” We all love training, but it means being sore and tired most of the time, and at least once every two days being in the middle of a workout that you’re not sure you’re going to make it out of. When you take a few days off from that schedule and your body heals up, you actually feel “good” for the first time in weeks or months. Then after a week of feeling good you get back in the gym and beat yourself up again and of course it seems worse than ever, because you’ve had a few lovely, abuse-free days. So take vacations, take recovery days, and don’t stress out about how you feel when you get back in the gym. And remember, when you’re sweating and shaking and gasping for air on your first workout back: You felt just as bad all the other times.

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