18NFF World Vegan Champion Hin Chun, a Clean Machine sponsored athlete, understands patience when training.
When you first launch a weight training or fitness program, the key is not to rush. Intensity is earned through diligence and hard work. Recognizing your gains and accomplishments are equally as important as adapting to the changes your body is going through. There is power in patience.
Many fitness and exercise programs recommend specific increases in how much to lift, how hard to exert, and how often to workout at such intensity. Having rest and recovery days work hand-in-hand with the changes taking place in your body is key to seeing results. Scheduling and writing every minute of your training down can seem like an overwhelming challenge, so let’s break it all down.
Any anaerobic program such as weight training involves volume and adherence. If you are working with a trainer or coach, they most likely have intricate methods on how to stack more weight onto your rep load and when to do it. The same can be said for rep amounts. Slower repetition training for 6-10 reps with each exercise might be all you need on any given day. Following a slow day and heavy lift day could be a lighter weight and higher rep day. Then a recovery and stretch day. The energy required is geared towards maximizing your potential.
Clean Machine sponsored Kim Constable, The Sculpted Vegan, explains "If you quit you will never get what you want, but if you keep trying you will find a way to get what you want."
Here's what a typicalrep load and rep amountcan look like when you're in high-intensity training:
Paying attention to what type of athletic training is ideal for you is rule number one. If that is determined from the get-go, then your workout and training schedule will be programmed accordingly.
The importance of rest days during training cannot be understated. If you were to workout hard day after day, hour after hour, week after week, with zero rest and recovery days, your ultimate result would be a failure. Training to failure is one thing, working out with no rest is an entirely different type of failure.
Training to failure has such a negative connotation, that you might instead recognize it as 'training to exhaustion.' Every athlete has their breaking point where they're unable to go any further, faster or heavier. Once exhaustion sets in, it's time to be mindful of your body and give it what it needs: REST.
Rest days are not to be discounted. Our bodies are designed to reprogram during recovery. Our bodies are specifically and chemically innate to understand when enough is enough. If you ignore the signs, all of your efforts in the weight room, on the field, or on the track will be for not.
A recovery day allows you to eat wisely, stretch purposefully, and engage in light activity that keeps your muscles moving yet doesn't overload the muscles in demand. Staying in bed is not considered a rest day. Your muscles, over a long period of inactivity, will begin to atrophy and you might end up having to start all over again with your training.
Muscles are wise beasts. They have memory and know how to adjust to reps and weights and sets. If you give your muscles the rest they need, they'll reward you in kind.
When you're ready to return to training, the benefits of rest days will be noticeable. You'll have more energy, you'll be fresh and more motivated, and you might even be surprised at how strong you are after a cycle of recovery. Oftentimes, a rest day can be right after a heavy lift or longer weight training day. Be sure to write it all down to chart your course and progress.
The intensity of training is a make or break issue. Coaches are knowledgeable and understand when their athletes are overdoing it or underperforming. They know how to select the type of weight, determine how often to train at that weight, and when it's time to back off.
If you're solo on your journey towards powerful gains in the weight room or your chosen sport, read and research prior to joining any gym. Ask for help if you need it. Have a training partner to keep you accountable and responsible. Write a schedule and post it on the refrigerator or your office bulletin board for when you need to ante up the intensity, when you need to eat, and when you need to rest.
Everything matters once you get in the weight room, but you need to have the right plan to fit your goals. If you're serious about getting fit, strong and healthy, you'll be excited to observe your results over time and continue with your program. Don’t forget to have fun, because that’s important too!
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