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Rest Days

Throughout each year, you should be taking days off from training in order to allow your body to recover, heal completely, and de-stress. The amount of time you take off will depend on your fitness level, health, stress levels, genetics, training volume, training intensity, and so on. There is no answer that fits everyone. For that reason, we'll go over a few strategies you can employ, and you can choose one that fits your schedule best, or find a different one.

Strategy #1: Take weekends off. This works best for people who have enough time to fit in all the training they need during the week. When the weekend rolls around, you can stay active doing fun things, but you aren't doing actual workouts or putting a lot of stress on your body. If you want to sleep 10 hours each night, go for it. If you want to relax and watch movies all day, go for it. This is your time to let your body heal. If you're someone more advanced in your abilities, and whose goals require 6 days of training, then just take 1 day off. Either Saturday or Sunday, you choose. I promise you, those days off will help you improve as an athlete (as long as you don't trash your body with junk food and alcohol), and will help reduce injuries.


Strategy #2: Spread your "off" days throughout the week. The typical athlete that we work with trains 4-5 days per week. If you are hitting 5 days, you could choose two days throughout the week to take off from training. It could look like Tuesday and Friday, or Monday and Thursday, or any other combination that spreads out the rest days during a training block. This allows your body to recover more frequently. The only draw back may be that you don't get a TON of recovery time (since it's just a 24 hour period) if you had multiple very intense workouts in the days prior. Still, it's a good strategy, and one that will work for a lot of people.

Strategy #3: If you are a well-trained athlete (doesn't mean you have to be professional-level - just someone whose trained consistently for a long time) you can likely get away with shorter duration workouts for 8-10 days in a row. As long as the intensity or duration isn't very high, a healthy and solid athlete can manage it just fine. For this athlete, 10 days on, and 2 days off might be a strong option. They aren't working on weekly cycles to work around their training and rest. For that reason, this strategy is best for those with flexible schedules and good fitness levels.


Strategy #4: This one is the most dynamic. This strategy is based entirely on your training volume/intensity. If you are working low volume or low intensity, you go longer periods without rest days. However, if you are working very high volumes or intensities, then your rest days come sooner. This is the strategy I use most. I know, from years of experience, that if I do very high intensity work frequently, I start to get burnt out, sick, or having injury issues. I have two choices: 1) Spread my high intensity work out with multiple days of lower-intensity work in between, or 2) Take a rest days after 2-3 days of high intensity/volume work. This strategy is also beneficial for someone whose work schedule is constantly changing.

You can use one of these strategies to stay healthy and improve, or you can find another. One thing is certain though: If you don't rest the proper amount for YOU, you will end up burning out or getting injured. It may take time to learn what works best for you, and that's totally fine. It's worth it!

 

The Ultra OCR training program demands dedication and determination. Each week you'll have 6 days of training followed by a 7th day of fully programmed recovery work. If you're ready for the challenge, sign up now.


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