if you’re looking to get that total up as fast as possible you need to consider the aspect of your programming that doesn’t involve training, your REST days! Not to say that just focusing on rest days will solve all the problems, not at all, you need to address your diet and training always. And when it comes to your diet there’s no better solution that I’ve found for keeping the quality up and the time involved down, than with Quick Paleo Meal Prep, this book goes over all the need to knows and things you need to know but don’t want to hear about eating for performance and ease. But for now let’s address the rest.
DO YOU EVEN SLEEP BRO?
I lose count every time I think about the number of times people say ” I function better on 4-6 hours of sleep”, what they meant to say was “I’ve adjusted to how crappy I feel when I only get 4-6 hours of sleep”. If your attempting to be competitive in any sport then sleep needs the main priority! 8-10 hours per night EVERY NIGHT, and if you can manage, put black out shades in your room as well as invest in a noise canceler. This will improve your quality of sleep dramatically, check out this episode of barbell shrugged when they interviewed a sleep doctor who studies athletes and sleep patterns and I’m sure you’ll agree.
ACTIVE REST IS THE BEST REST
The main reason people who train for strength don’t take time off is because they don’t want to lose all that they’ve worked for right? So don’t do it! Active rest is simply staying active while giving your mind and body a chance to re build and catch up. So instead of sitting on the couch meditating about cucumber water and zen world peace, go to the gym with some lightly playing headphones (keep all stimulus low), warm up and mobilize for a little longer and then go through some reps with 50-60% of your max. This will not only keep your body active and awake but you’ll possibly make some gains on your rest period! Who’d of thunk it.
CLEAN OUT YOUR SYSTEM
I used to be in the camp of those who looked at a rest period as a time to do as much carb loading and artery clogging as possible! But like I’m sure most of you know, that this will end in disaster when you’re back in the gym. You’ll lose any fitness that was there and you’ll look like hammered poo. So instead do a juice cleanse for 2-3 days and keep a strict Paleo diet for 80% of the day, let’s not get carried away here cause we all need that fix at least once per day ;). So focus on rest on the inside as well, your body works hard to keep you moving forward so show it some love once in a while.
On your next rest period apply these principals to your rest and note which helped and which you could toss out. Let’s face it, what works for some won’t work for all, so tweak the system as needed to fit your situation.