Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fight Camp Day Twelve: Day of Rest

I don't recommend resting in the ring, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Hello again, Dear Readers.

I wasn't planning on posting anything today, because a day of rest isn't too exciting. But then I thought, maybe other people don't know how important it is to rest. Even when you're trying to get into shape, or training for an event, or desperately hoping to lose those last ten pounds.

Taking rest days can be difficult when any of those things are looming on the horizon. You may think that it won't hurt to go for a light jog or do some sit-ups, but the truth is--it might. Our bodies need rest. During an intense training program, it's even more important to be properly rested. Resting is when our muscles actually grow bigger and stronger from the workout they endured the previous day (there's tons of fancy expert-type studies out there that prove this, but I'm too lazy to link to them. It's my rest day!). In my case, taking a day off will (hopefully) allow my body to heal from all the sparring and contact drills I've been doing. One of my thighs is a lovely shade of blue and purple, and both quads are sore as (add the expletive of your choice here). You know things are bad when your cat jumps onto your leg in the middle of the night and your own cry of pain wakes you up (and that was my light cat).

Another benefit of rest days is that they help you avoid over-training. Over-training, as any personal trainer or fitness buff could tell you, is a very bad thing. Muscles don't get the break they need to heal those tiny tears that happen when you stress them during a workout, which makes you more prone to injury. Injuries can also happen due to overstressed joints and from being so darned tired that you get clumsy. Your body can decide "enough already!" and force you to rest by making you sick. I've personally experienced that, and it's not fun. Even if you think you're suffering no ill effects, you have no idea how much better your performance could be if you took the occasional day off.

Due to the secrecy of our fight camp, I can't tell you how many days we train, but...it's a lot. I already don't get a lot of rest, so when that time comes, I really need it. I tend to spend it in a coma, unable to move, and all my plans of being highly productive and catching up on the rest of my life go out the window.

Fight camp is getting scary. Already, one of us is down with an injury and can't train with us for two weeks. Almost everyone has been sick with a bad cold. Thankfully, except for that nasty heat rash/allergic reaction or whatever it is, I've stayed healthy so far. Hopefully my luck continues.

Well, what do you know? It turns out I had a fair amount to say after all. How do you spend your day(s) of rest? Do you believe in resting between workouts? Or do you think it's all a sham?

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