Burnout Fake-out


At this point in my life, I’ve come to accept that I’m crazy. Loco. Verrueckt.  For example, here’s my weekly workout schedule:

Sunday       

  Monday       

Tuesday    

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1 hr. Cardio
8-9 am

Body Pump
8:30-9:30 am

Body Pump

5:30 -6:30 am

Cx30

10:00-10:30 am

Body Pump

5:30-6:30 am

1 hr. Cardio

5:15-6:15 pm

Step

9-10 am

Yoga
10-11 am

Turbo Kick
9:30-10:30 am

Cx30

6:30-7:00 am

Pilates

10:30-11:00 am

Body Combat

5:30-6:30 am

Cx30

6:15-6:45 pm

Cx30

10:00-10:30 am

   

Step

5:30-6:30 pm

45 min. Cardio

5:40-6:15

Cx30

6:30-7:00 am

 

Zumba

10:30-11:30 am

   

Zumba

6:30-7:30 pm

Yoga

6:30-7:30

     

 

And this is pretty much every week.  Depending on my schedule, I’ll swap a class for a different one at a more convenient time, and I do try to take a day off every week.  I’ll let Sunday be a just-yoga day, or I’ll take all of Monday off, since Sean visits me on that day. Nevertheless, it’s crazy. 

[I do want to reiterate that I would not recommend this much exercise for everyone.  My body, however, is conditioned to dance 4-6 hours each day, so I can handle this as long as I pay attention to how I’m feeling.]

It has taken just about half of the summer to perfectly situate this schedule to challenge my body without coming to the point of dangerous over-exercise.  Splitting workouts up into two parts per day not only keeps my metabolism revved, but it also makes all the activity easier for me to handle, physically.  My weekly free day is there for me to use whenever I need it – whenever my muscles are feeling sluggish and overly tired – and I use that free day with absolutely zero guilt.

Yesterday probably should have been that day. There I was, standing in my bedroom and looking at the gym schedule I keep on my bulletin board.  Body Pump was calling my name.  Heavy weights, rockin’ music, positive atmosphere.  The little Energizer Bunny in me just couldn’t resist! My body, however, didn’t feel as refreshed and ready to go.  Not only have I worked and taken my normal classes the day before, but I’d also squeezed in an extra Body Pump Class, too.

IMG_0719

Pump is usually very popular, but I’ve never seen it so packed! This picture show a little less than half the classroom, and the whole thing looked like this. We ran out of bars and one poor girl actually had to leave due to lack of equipment.

As a general rule, I don’t take Body Pump two days in a row, especially if I’m sore or tired.  In fact, from the time I left my house to the time when I was walking into class, I kept asking myself, “Why am I doing this?  I don’t need to take this class.  Why am I here?”  I just couldn’t help it!  And class ended up going very well.  I didn’t feel overly fatigued and I made sure to stick with my base weight level rather than adding the heavier plates I sometimes use.  My arms felt like wet noodles during work, but that’s pretty normal.

And then came Body Combat later in the evening.  Cue the Jaws theme.  I should have known something was a bit off when I didn’t feel the buzzing, excited feeling I usually get before that class.  I was a little tired, a lot sore, but also very determined.  And then I bonked.  I have never bonked before, and I think I was in denial that it could even happen to me.  I had ZERO energy and my muscles were shot.  We had 15 minutes left in class – the hardest 15 minutes.  I weighed my options and, against my own rules, decided to leave class.

The lesson I (re)learned: You have to listen to you body.  All the time. When it needs a break, that means you’ve been working hard and it needs a reward.  Also, guilt has ZERO positive effects, so don’t even bother. Rest is necessary for a healthy body and lifestyle!

So there you go.  Am I perfect? Nope.  Am I an unstoppable workout machine?  Definitely not. Even the Stair Master doesn’t work if you unplug it.  But wait!  There’s another lesson here!

Yesterday, the day after I reaching this stopping point, I made the conscious decision to use my rest day.  It would mean missing my favorite Friday evening Cx30 class, but if I needed a break, no big deal.  I took it easy, stayed home, took a nap (weird!! I DON’T nap) and refueled my body.

And then that Cx30 class snuck up on me.  I thought about all the reasons why I should go:

1. It’s only 30 minutes long

2. I needed to buy Better n’ Butter, but I don’t want to leave the house just for that.

3. I could kill 3 birds with one stone (I hate that phrase) and also stop off at my grandma’s house for her camera cord.

So I went.  And you know what? It felt great!  The short class length wasn’t too much for me to handle, and I felt totally refreshed and energized afterward. Just when I thought I was majorly burnt out (as in, I was considering taking off for about 5 days) I realized that I just needed a little rest. It’s all about balance.

Lesson #2: Working out feels amazing.  It may be easier to sit on the couch/eat chips/show some love to a Big Mac…but only exercise will make your mind and your body happy. And not just “I loves me some fried food happy,” because that happy can easily turn into a raging guilt monster. Mr. Guilt Monster generally brings a few pounds when he comes to visit.  Exercise-happy will stick around for a long time. And who doesn’t need a little more true happiness in life?

Just sayin’.

And please bear with me on that recipe.  I promise it’s coming this afternoon!  I didn’t want to bog everyone down with a novel-sized post this morning.

My challenge for you:  Do something active today – go for a run, play frisbee with your dog, yoga, weight lifting – something.  It is important to smile occasionally while doing so.  It’s not torture, after all.  Afterward, take a moment to sit still and listen to your body. What is it saying to you?

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