the effort to rest

Image from Hills and Hammies. Today is Saturday. It is a rest day.

I have a really hard time incorporating rest into my training schedule. I told Brian yesterday, “Do NOT LET ME GO to the box tomorrow. No matter how much I wheedle; do not let me go.” Because I will schedule a rest day, and then I will skip the rest and go wod anyway. I have small ways of justifying it: I tell myself that I’ll just do light weight or that I’ll go easy.

Resting freaks me out. I feel slovenly, guilty. I feel like all my hard work will be lost, my muscles will atrophy, my conditioning will suffer. And I know in the rational, thinking part of my brain that one day (or two!) of taking it easy will not automatically turn me into marshmallow. But my emotional brain has trouble with that logic.

I need a strategy for resting — some kind of method for making my rest days seem more productive.

So, I hunted around the interwebz to see if other people have developed “rest strategies.” What can I do on my day off that maximizes the rest, but also is not just laying on the damn couch all day (which makes me feel like a complete waste of carbon atoms)?

I found some good logical reinforcement for resting:

From Cynergy CrossFit: “Rest days are not optional. Rest days are mandatory. Rest days are the most important part of training. Devote as much effort to recovering as you do training. Too much volume, intensity and frequency is just as bad as too little.”

From CrossFit Impulse “Quality rest increases your ability to train more frequently… If you shovel tar for half a day on your rest day then it wasn’t especially effective rest.”

From CrossFit Tai “According to ‘supercompensation theory,’ after the body has been exposed to a stressful situation [training], providing that adequate recovery has taken place, it will adapt and become stronger… But if training takes place too soon, recovery is incomplete, less work can be done and the athlete risks fatigue, injury or burnout.”

However, I did not find a rest day strategy. What am I supposed to do on my rest day that makes me feel like what I’m doing today is productive? What do you all do so you don’t feel worthless on your days off?

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