Never liked them.
In the past I used to train several weeks without never taking a day off, I remember one day in Miami I woke up and couldn’t get up. I checked my agenda and it said I trained for 30 days straight. I always had the feeling that a day off was a wasted day, where I would have gotten more hungry and felt like losing the “rhythm” of training, even if for one day only.
For years I’ve been chronically overtrained… I didn’t care, all I wanted was that feeling of accomplishment mixed with exhaustion that only a good workout can give you. It was a way to relax and get a good night’s sleep at the end of the day. I don’t think I wanted to improve or become more muscular at that time, I was aware that overtraining wasn’t gonna give me that, I just needed to train to feel better about myself every day, reward myself with a more deserved meal… everything tastes better after a workout!
With time my training experience expanded and my workouts became more and more intense, I started to understand there was no way I could keep up without stopping at least once a week. So I started to have a day off every 4 days or so and that was a great decision. One day less to gain a lot more: drive, energy, strength, motivation. I read books, magazines, articles, talked with professionals ad eventually listen to myself, it’s undeniable how important days off are.
Now I can take couple days off without feeling guilty or nervous about it. I take them and enjoy them. Sometimes I stretch only, sometimes I don’t do anything at all. I need a mental break from the gym so I try to plan something fun or different, like a massage, a movie, a walk, visit a friend, travel. It’s important to keep your diet in check because on rest days we all tend to eat more… just boredom I guess, and also because working out (especially cardio) suppress appetite.
We are not machines, our body needs respect and care if you want it to work properly and for a long time. Remember rest is when you really grow, when your muscles recover and get stronger to be able to survive the next “battle”… aka your heavy session at the gym!
A day off from last summer…Miami style 🙂