Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo. Let’s talk today about when you should be pushing through an exercise or lay off of it.  You’ve heard the saying, “walk it off!”  While that may be sage advice for some instances it isn’t always the case.  If you have any questions about today’s blog or would like further information about how to get the most out of your routine, give us a call: 806-322-3188.

Our minds are tricky.  Sometimes you feel like if I push through this one, I’ll be doing better and I’ll reach my results faster. Whereas if you lay off of it you feel like you have fallen off the wagon and you’re not going to make it back on. Knowing when it is appropriate to lay off an exercise is definitely one of those critical things (especially to rework your thought process to believe it is okay to do so). If you are unsure about whether you should or shouldn’t, I always go with err on the side of caution and take off from the exercise. That gives my body adequate time to time and be able to recover.

When to Lay off

Last week we’re talking about getting ready for fall. How to be well and healthy from the inside out.When people get sick they tend to say well you know I’m starting to come down with something I don’t really feel good let me go to the gym workout I’ll sweat it out like a detox and  and I’ll come home feel better. When you workout, all of your all of your internal resources funnel from your immune system to the muscles and internal structures to perform said workout. Did you realize you workout with a semi-weakened immune system?  That can allow a virus or bacterium already incubating within your body to rev up and take hold of you for the next few days or weeks. .

Likewise, if you’re starting to get well, but return to the gym too soon,you’re already weakened state will only worsened if it is forced to perform without a full recovery behind it. This will lead to getting sick again shortly thereafter. My advice to you is, if you feel sick stay away from the gym. Your local gym-goers will appreciate you not spreading your coughed-on hands touching all the weights and equipment; nobody else wants to get sick. We have been taught as Americans to stay busy, busy, busy; so busy that we just don’t have time to be sick. If you don’t take the time to heal yourself when you’re superhero body does come down with something, then you really are going to stay sick longer and have more symptoms.  While you’re recovering away from the gym (for a few days or weeks), you can still be active by stretching, walking, and other lite endurance activities.  Please stay away from the intense cardio and weight lifting during this time to allow your body to get back into peak physical condition.

Feeling too sore  is another good time to ease up. I don’t mean regular (you just started a new routine or you pushed yourself a little harder than the day before) soreness. I am talking about 4 or 5 days post-workout you are still struggling to tie your shoes or jump out of bed. If you notice your body just doesn’t seem to recover very quickly, you are not getting any relief from working out again, that your soreness is compounding with every trip to the gym, that is proof that your body is not fully recovered and you need to rest. The reason you have become extremely sore is maybe you are overdoing it during your workouts, the weights  might be too heavy, the repetitions too much, the duration too long, etc. Something in that work out isn’t working for your body.You need to take some time back and rest and recover. I know that sounds kind of crazy coming from a personal trainer in Amarillo, but don’t worry, you will get back on the horse; one day/week off does not a habit make. To combat falling off the horse for good, while you are recuperating, plan it in your schedule when you want to return. Set up an accountability partner or if you have a trainer that’s going to be check new with you – let them know what’s going, and reschedule. Making sure that you are preemptively closing the loopholes your mind will find to skip going back to the gym.

Say you go to workout while you are sick or too sore.  This could likely lead to an injury that causes (or forces)  you to even more time away from the gym, your family, and even work. Depending on the injury you could work around it, at Custom Fitness do a lot of post-therapy work. We can find alternative ways to build up the muscles behind the injury like stretches and mobility work. For example, let’s pretend someone had shoulder surgery. They went through therapy and the therapist release them. The goal of therapy is to get you to be functional. From there on out, they need to work with someone is is aware of how to train around injuries, so they can fully heal. If that person were to come to my studio and they we’re not ready to do full on work with that shoulder, then we do all-out work with the rest of the body: the core, the opposite arm, the legs, etc. while pairing that with some therapy-bridge type training to build the shoulder up in the meantime. We see many of our clients after they complete therapy and need some help getting past just being “functional”.

Another reason to lay off is if you are exhausted. We’ve all been there, we just don’t like to admit that we are tired, but running on fumes can be damaging. You feel like you have energy because you have to, so your brain plays along. You get up and go, and you don’t stop until your head hits the pillow. You get up the next morning just to do it all over again. You are pushing yourself too far past your limits and your body is playing catch up.  Put a workout or two on top of that exhaustion and your body is well on its way to shutting down.  You add an extra physical stressor on your body when you workout during this time, not to mention it requires more concentration.  This is likely to result in poor form and increase the possibility of injury. Your exhausted muscles, ligaments, and tendons do not fire the same way as they do when you are well rested.

Those are great times to lay off, but the list is not comprehensive. We have clients show up coughing everywhere. We also have clients come to workout with an injury when their doctor asked them not to. We have to be able to advise on that. If you’re working with a personal trainer, I hope they are giving you quality advice about when to workout and when it is okay to take a break.

When should you push through?

When should you push through a workout that doesn’t feel great and we push through it? Maybe your legs are really sore. Should you keep going? If it’s regular soreness, meaning if it’s something that goes away within about anywhere from 12 to 48 hours depending on what kind of workout you’ve done, keep going.  You can identify this soreness as in your muscles and noth something more serious if when you stretch it feels better, as you move it feels better, or if you go to another workout it feels better. If you haven’t  been exercising for a long time and you’ve been complacent in a sedentary lifestyle, then jump into the exercise world, you will definitely experience some soreness. Just make sure and work through that feeling by consulting with your personal trainer or viewing some of our other videos about how to reduce soreness. If it feels like something more than just your run of the mill ache, definitely consult a professional in that or you just take a day or two off and see how that feels.

Another big one when you’re starting out is, “I don’t feel like it”. That’s because you haven’t gotten in the habit of it yet.  You haven’t developed any enjoyment in what you’re doing. For now it just feels like something else to schedule and tick off because you know you have to, you know you need to, but you just don’t feel like it. In that case you have to push through. Schedule your workout in your calendar as a meeting for yourself just like you would with any other colleague. Get in the habit of showing up to your meeting everyday to build the habit. Research shows us that it takes about 21 days to start building a habit.  Over that 21 day period, you’ll notice how your body craves more of it and how you are really wanting to do more of it even if you don’t technically want to do it.  Push through until you find that habitual craving.  If you go without it once your habit is established, I promise you’ll notice a big difference.

What about when you wake up in the morning and you’re kind of tired? You’re not exhausted, but you’re just tired – you didn’t wake up very well. Exercise is a great idea.  Push through the sleepy fog and go workout. It doesn’t have to be just as intense as your workouts when you’re not tired; it can be something completely different.  When you workout when you’re a little tired, it’s going to give you a little energy boost. That energy is exactly what you should feel from a workout.  We have too many people come to us as new clients saying, “I go run for an hour on the elliptical and that night I know worked out because I was exhausted all day long.  That is the sign of a bad workout.  You want to workout and feel fatigued afterward, but after 45 minutes you should start to feel a burst of energy. You should feel that you can sorts of  things rather than needing to go home and lay on the couch after work.

If you’ve been having those kind of workouts when you feel exhausted afterwards it may be because that workout isn’t right for you. It could be that it is pushing you wrong, you feel like you’re sick afterwards, or maybe you’re seeing stars…these are all signs that what you’re doing isn’t agreeing with your body and  I’d love to be able to help you with that. All we ask is that you come in for a consultation to talk with us. We offer that to you free of charge so you can come in and find out more about what we do. We have an entire team of professionals that are highly certified, highly qualified, and ready to simplify your life and start making big changes for you. so feel free to give us a call 806-322-3188 or e-mail us at info@customfitness.biz. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo.  We’ll talk soon.