Do you have a problem resting?

You must be wondering if I did anything right at all…

That’s one of the downsides to learning to do something alone. The learning curve cannot be cut in the middle. You will only learn by doing the wrong things.

Continuing from where I left off in the last post, after I figured out that rest is just as important as working out, I faced a big block.

By this time, working out had become a part of my life, my schedule. It was a habit that I had started to love and enjoy. Naturally, I wanted to do more. I wanted to do more so that I could have fun and see the results that I wanted to see as soon as I could possibly see it. But my body? My body wasn’t willing. It needed the rest. 

My week had become a rollercoaster for my mood. Every workout day would start with a smile, with optimism, with enthusiasm. I would be energized and go all out in my workout. This would be followed by days where I was forced to rest. I would wake up dejected.

After every hard workout day, I would wake up sore. Sore in the muscles I worked out the previous evening and sore in my mind: because today is a rest day. Today I will not be able to work out. My week had become a rollercoaster for my mood. Every workout day would start with a smile, with optimism, with enthusiasm. I would be energized and go all out in my workout. This would be followed by days where I was forced to rest. I would wake up dejected. Staring at an hour of my day, completely blank. I’d have to fill that hour with something, anything, just not working out. Mentally, I was facing a big battle.

That was when I came across an interesting article on doing pull-ups everyday. (I don’t have the link for that one, but I’m attaching another equally simple article here, in case you want to check it out. It talks about essentially the same idea). What this article highlighted was exactly my issue. Working out everyday was something I wanted to do, so how could I do that and still ensure I had enough rest?

Here’s what I did after I read that article-

  • I did rest. But I built up my routine and strength up to a level where I needed only 1 day’s rest to restore my body from 4 days of activity. How do you do this?
  • You do this by spreading your workout in such a way that you don’t focus on the same muscles on consecutive days. I did this by doing abs on the first day. Then, I worked on my upper body; chest and arms on the second day. On the third day, it was dance or light sports. And on the fourth, it would be a leg workout (either jogging or strength training).
  • This met my need for working out everyday, and not forcing a “rest” upon me, and at the same time I managed to give the required rest that my muscles needed in order to grow back stronger.

This is what that article had talked about. If you want to do pull ups everyday, do it in a way that you engage different muscles each day. Do chin ups on the first day, wide grip pull ups on the second, and conventional pull ups on the third. This ensures that you are acting on different muscles everyday, attacking them from different angles so that yesterday’s muscles see some rest. And, you are getting your workout in.

If you have ever faced this problem of not being able to rest, I suggest you give this a shot.

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