Training Harder = Better Results?
Will training harder equate to better or faster results? The answer is simply, not always.
We are not huge fans of the word – overtraining. Overtraining is usually just an excuse for under recovering or under nutritioning (yes, we just made that word up). At times the body does need a break, and hopefully this article helps you navigate when it’s ok to train hard, and when it might be ok to sit one out while still heading towards your overall goal.
Your Central Nervous System (or CNS) can take a beating from all the tough workouts and at times it indeed may need a rest and reset day. But if you navigate the waters correctly those may be fewer and far between than you think.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Are you getting approx. 8hrs of sleep each night? Yes, not everyone needs 8hrs, but it is a good place to start and find out what your exact sleep needs are. You could be 7, you could be 9, but finding that is KEY to good workouts and better recovery to get to your goal faster.
Second, are you drinking enough water? No, you don’t need a gallon or more a day. Everyone is different, so just like sleep, find the amount that works for you, but it will no doubt be a minimum of 64 fl/oz. If you are taller, weigh more, or sweat a lot it’s probably going to be a gallon. If you are petite and don’t sweat much, are you even working out? Just kidding! Your water intake might be closer to the 64-100 fl/oz mark.
Are you eating right? We have another blog post that speaks directly to finding your daily nutrition intake amount in a certain way. You can view it here – Eat Pizza, Get Shredded
Long story short, make sure you are getting adequate Fat, Carbohydrate, and Protein for your specific needs. And likewise, make sure you are getting plenty of micronutrients and eating your 5 fruits and vegetables. Nutrition is not rocket science, and it definitely doesn’t come in a magic pill. Follow the basics, and you’ll be on your way.
Now that we have the sleep and nutrition taken care of let’s chat workouts.
Are you the type of person to head into every workout trying to conquer Rome?
Are you the type of person to follow another plan blindly? “I have to do chest/Shoulder/tris today, it’s Monday” – does that sound like you?
Not every workout should be a max effort, full steam ahead, heart exploding, mind numbing excursion. Similarly, your body has no idea its Monday or 2pm or 2019, so pump the brakes on HAVING to do chest on Monday.
A good, and simple way to keep your workouts in check is a simple saying – “Work hard on your hard days, go easy on your easy days.”
Might sound like a no brainer, but the balance is key. Start by alternating hard and easy days. If you have a hard sprint, strength, or tough metabolic conditioning Tr3s method workout today – give it 100%, and crush it. Here is your chance to go all out and reach for the stars. Tomorrow though, will be the complete opposite. Even if you are not sore (which should not be a testament of how ‘good’ your workout was) or tired feeling, take the next day for some active recovery, mobility, and stretching. Or do nothing at all if you are running around all day. Then the day after that, time to go hard again, and so on and so forth.
If you start alternating your days by effort, you may find you need to take less days off. But we would be hypocrites if we told you to follow this exact plan, when we just said no two bodies are the same. This is merely a starting point to find your balance.
Like we said in the beginning, your CNS just may need a break. Plain and simple.
Top 5 reasons you should take the day off
- You feel exhausted, drained
- You are dreading your workout
- You are sore to the touch/walk
- You are injured/had surgery (duh)
- You are sick
If you feel exhausted, and I mean totally drained, like you could just flop onto the couch and pass out until 2021, take the day off – listen to your body. Usually this means your body is screaming at you for a break.
Now we don’t mean tired, if you live a full life, have kids, a demanding job, etc, chances are you live ‘tired’ most days. But if you are past your normal tiredness to a new level of “I could fall asleep standing up” then punch out for the day completely. Regroup tomorrow.
Sometimes you might not notice your body sending signals. If you are sore to the touch, or can’t walk normal then it’s obvious to take a rest day, as working out may inhibit your path to success, putting it further into the negative. But if you are not sore, don’t feel super tired, but mentally you just #canteven, then you probably need a rest day too. Sometimes we all just dread our workout, we all have those days. Just don’t feel like showing up to that office, and giving more effort. That’s a good sign your CNS needs a break.
Lastly, if you are sick, injured, just had a baby or surgery, these are all obvious signs a workout should not be in your immediate future. Your body clearly needs a break and time to recover from the main trauma you are experiencing.
Paying attention to these Top 5 reasons, and taking your rest days then, will again help you in the long run. Training harder is not always going to help you get to your goals quicker.
If you eat right, sleep well, balance your hard and easy efforts, stretch, laugh, and rest a little, you will get to your goals as quickly as possible. There are not short cuts, but being smart is the most efficient route to your destination. Know when to give it your all, and know when to give it a rest. Knowledge is power!