There is a Superhero somewhere in all of us. We wish! Action heroes never go out of fashion and, without dressing up as a comic strip champion, most of us like to keep busy. We work and play ourselves into the ground and expect our bodies just to deal with it. No rest is for the wickedly driven. Yes, it’s nice to treat yourself to the occasional lie-in or a Sunday sprawled on the sofa with a newspaper but difficult to do without feeling just a little guilty. James and I like to keep the blood flowing. When was the last time we actually spent more than an hour doing absolutely nothing? Er…..!
Being active is in vogue. If you’re feeling busy you’re probably feeling important, and if you’re busy being active you are making a particularly important contribution to your future health. Holding down a full-time job and taking on the ‘Comp Prep’ challenge at the same time ticks all the boxes. And we don’t even prep our own food!
That’s not to say that there are times when rest is essential. Our bodies cannot be pushed over and beyond their natural capacity, especially if they are running on a little less fuel than they are used to! This week bought that into a sharp and sudden focus…
Monday mornings are a struggle at the best of times. Anyone here arguing with that?! Our Monday mornings consist of an hour of ‘Upper Body Mobility’ and it is actually one of my favourite sessions. We work the whole of the upper body through a series of supersets incorporating drop sets throughout. As the reps drop, you should feel inclined to up the weight. It’s a win win! But this Monday we suffered a rare defeat.
We met at the gym bright and early. Both of us felt just a little weary but assumed it was nothing a pre-workout coffee wouldn’t fix. But caffeine is no cure all. If you like to listen to music during your session, make sure you can listen to your body above the House beat. Our bodies were yelling. As the session wore on, our muscles began to wear out! Only one thing to do… switch from the row to the roller and spend the rest of the time stretching and soothing those tired muscles.
We only had ourselves to blame, though. Monday wasn’t the issue, Sunday was the culprit. It is recommended that Sundays should be spent either resting or maybe performing 30 minutes of LISS (Low Intensity Steady State). Instead we had taken ourselves to ‘Gym Class’, a high intensity circuit class run by the Queen of Neon Fitness Helle Hammonds. Sixty minutes of swinging from monkey bars, jumping from squats to lunges and progressing our pull ups… hardly LISS. The soundtrack of the gym worked in harmony with the pocket rocket instructors and we just got lost in the workout. Safe to say we loved every minute and we cannot wait to return to work beneath those same bright lights on our designated HIIT day. The interval-based workout is exactly what ‘Rich’ orders when it comes to a serious ‘sweat session’. (Link at the bottom of this post) but it was not what was prescribed on this given Sunday and our bodies wanted us to know!
Starting Monday with a pretty ‘rubbish’ workout is no part of ‘Comp Prep’, particularly when the last two weeks have followed a steady upward curve of progress. It was a setback, our first real setback, but as long as you can see the reason for it you can soon start moving forward again. We’ve talked about the mind set you adopt upon taking on such a challenge and that mind set is affected by everything you do, whether it is eating out of your Tupperware or achieving a new 1 rep max. This unexpected drop in our energy levels certainly messed with that mind set. It was demotivating. As a result, Monday dragged a little more than it usually does and we finished the day not only exhausted physically but also mentally.
When pushing your body towards its limits, it is vital to have a plan. We knew that from the start so our plan was drawn up by people we trust implicitly. Part of that plan was to rest last Sunday but we thought we knew better. Our bodies just gave us a gentle little reminder that we don’t. Thank you, bodies!
Get your gym class fix in the heart of Holland Park! http://goo.gl/SJYhcU
Train Fitness Challenge- Week 4