Well I definitely kept my integrity on “working it” over this last week. Week 6, when I used to body build, was always a de-load week which was a week to take things light and help your body recover. I think de-load weeks are very important when lifting heavy weight and body building.
I chose not to program in a de-load week for my specific training program as my focus is not to build muscle but to improve my muscular endurance. The way I program this is, starting week 1 and 2 out light, progress week 3 and 4 in volume, and further progress the last two weeks to be the most volume and crank up the intensity. That being said intensity this last week was through the roof!
Intensity: This last week I was feeling good, body wise. I felt recovered from a few set backs in the last couple weeks so I went hard, focused on form, and kept that grit and drive in my workouts. I used my setbacks as fuel. I can say honestly my overall intensity this week was a solid 9 out and 10 and I am proud of that!
Motivation: There was only 1 workout in particular where I lacked a little motivation to get it done. I just reminded myself of how it would feel afterwards to have accomplished a good solid workout and also how good it would feel to move my body. That is usually my trick for motivation:
“Think of that feeling after when you’re all done, and you worked hard. To me there is no greater feeling”
Lessons: With the intensity so high I was quite sore and heavy all week so the big lesson this week was recovery! I lined my workouts up back to back alternating upper and lower body throughout the beginning of the week so I knew that when I finished them I would need some time to recover. I planned a great recovery day (after a night shift) to rest, recover, no stretching, no walking the dogs, nothing. It was almost like my reward for working so hard, what better way to reward myself than to just get cozy and sleep and cuddle my dogs:)
I’ve had to listen to my body in many incidents where I’ve been overly sore. Here is a list of things to remember:
- Try to associate the sore muscle to what exercise you did. This will help your training game in the future. It is always good to know what exercises really work for targeting a certain muscle for you. With this information you can choose this exercise in the future or opposite, say you didn’t intend to work that muscle and you want to stay away from building in that area.
- Make sure that what you’re feeling is a sore muscle and not pain. If it tips more to the pain side of things than maybe you need to back off that exercise or dial it back.
- Never stretch a sore muscle. Stretching although very beneficial for many reasons is essentially a strain on your muscle. It should be used as a tool and used properly with proper timing. You could do some light dynamic stretching of a sore muscle to loosen it up but avoid a long held static stretch of any sore muscle.
- Light cardio can help ease soreness as it aids in circulation. A light jog although being hard to get going, has helped ease my sore muscles up a bit. It’s the stationary sitting positions that really stiffen you up.
- Above all else rest is the key. You do not want to try to workout a muscle that hasn’t had time to fully recover yet. Muscles need about 48 hours to recover from a lift session. Recovery is JUST as important as the lifting itself.
- Nutrition – I haven’t spoken a lot about nutrition yet in this blog series but hope to incorporate it more in the future. When it comes to recovery adequate protein is important. Complex carbohydrates can aid protein in the muscle repair process as well. And of course adequate water intake is always important for literally everything.
I have my new 6 week program all panned out and ready to go! I always get excited to switch things up. With my goal being to compete in a triathlon and to improve my muscular endurance and build more joint and connective tissue strength, I will continue with my 6 month periodized plan for accomplishing this goal.
This will be macrocycle 2 of 5 (6 weeks in length) consisting of:
- 5 resistance training workouts per week alternating upper and lower body.
- Increasing my cardio to 3 runs per week, increasing my distance on 1 of the 3 runs.
- At least 1 full day off from both to recover.
The program that I follow is made for me based of my experience as an athlete and is based off of my intended goals. Please remember that everyone is different, has different goals, and different body types etc.
Don’t just blindly follow a workout plan because it works for someone else. Pick exercises and workouts you enjoy. Having a plan created by a trainer is best if you have a specific goal in mind. Don’t kill yourself or exhaust yourself to meet extremely high expectations right off the bat. This exercise thing always takes practice and patience. Work your way up to where you want to be at. It’s all about the small wins!
Most importantly celebrate yourself when you accomplish little wins! Celebrating can also look like many different things, here is another list of ways you can celebrate your small daily accomplishments:
- Sleep! (my favourite)
- Hang out with a friend and celebrate together
- Treat yourself to a healthy gourmet meal
- Book yourself a massage
What are some other healthy ways you can think of to celebrate yourself?
How has your training been going? I want to hear from you! Do you give yourself enough time to rest? What strategies do you use to ease up sore muscles?
If you are interested in an individualized workout, nutrition, and wellness plan, I am currently taking on clients, feel free to DM or e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re interested in joining my monthly newsletter consisting of meditation tips, recipe, and workout of the month, again DM or e-mail me email@example.com
Have a great week everyone!