by: Konnor Fleming
photo by: Athena Pelton
I want you to imagine something for me. I want you to imagine it’s 8:00AM Sunday morning. You’ve just woken up, turned off your alarm, thrown the sheets off your body and slowly made your way to a seat on the edge of your bed. Letting out a big yawn, you get up out of bed and make your way into the kitchen for your cup of morning coffee. Making your way over to the kitchen table, mug in hand, you sit down, take that first sip…and in that moment, life is good. And then, all at once, it hits you.
“Holy s*** – I am sore!”
We’re talking everywhere; your quads are blasted, you can hardly lift your arms above your head, your abs are sore to the touch. You name it, it’s sore. And now you find yourself in a bit of a conundrum. What about the AStrong/A20 combo you were planning on today? How will you make it through class? What are you to do?
Here’s a hint: rest.
At Alchemy, we have guidelines around the frequency of training that we advise our athletes to follow. As a general rule, we advocate for 10-20 minutes of vigorous exercise 3-5x per week.
Two of those numbers should come as no surprise – A10 and A20, anyone? – while I’m hoping the other two turn on a bit of a lightbulb. In particular, the significance of those other two numbers is this:
Three is not equal to seven. Neither is five. In fact, both are less than seven.
Now, I was a Psychology major in college so someone may have to check my math on that, but I’m pretty sure that checks out. And it’s really, really important. Rest days are a necessary part of training. As a matter of fact, rest days are a beneficial part of training. Without getting too far into the weeds, your muscles and nerves and bones and connective tissues need rest to rebuild. In doing so, they rebuild stronger than they once were. (Want to make it happen even faster? Get yourself some SFH Recover and Fish Oil next time you’re in studio!) That can’t happen when your body is subjected to rigorous physical activity day in and day out.
And hey, look, I get it. This is much easier said than done. As a matter of fact, I’ll tell you candidly that I have trouble abiding by these guidelines myself. Despite my best intentions, there always seems to be something that gets in the way of my planned rest days.
“I mean, I always take class on Wednesday afternoons,” I tell myself.
“Absolutely, I’ll come take 5:30 AM with you!” I promise.
“That workout looks so fun! I can’t miss that one,” I say.
And while all of these are valid reasons to want to get into the gym, none of them invalidate the importance of rest days. At the end of the day, rest equals recovery, and recovery is the key to making consistent progress.
So what do you do on the other days? Recover, physically, mentally and emotionally. Enjoy time spent outside of the gym. Do something you love. Go for a walk with your friends. Volunteer in your community. Let yourself get into that Netflix show you’ve been meaning to check out for so long. Play a round of golf with your college buddies you haven’t seen in a while. Live your life. Pursue Your Legend.
I get that it can be frustrating to miss days. I get that all your friends take class on certain days at certain times. I get that the fear of missing out on a really good workout is real. But here’s the thing: there will always be more A10’s. AStrong will continue to exist. The 9:30AM class will still be there next week, and it will still be there the week after that. We pride ourselves on always being available for you – Alchemy 365 – to come in and crush class. But understand that sometimes, time away is a good thing. Sometimes, time away is what you need.
Sometimes, you just need to rest.
Feeling sore for days? Feeling lethargic after a big AStrong workout? SFH Recover and Fish Oil will help. We also carry the plant-based protein, Sunwarrior! Available at all Alchemy locations – and we promise, you don’t have to grab 50lb Torpedos or do pull-ups band-free to benefit from it.
Konnor is a coach and Director of Product Development at Alchemy. The programming we do day in and day out? He’s on it. He’s guaranteed to make your day, and we’re not just saying that – he’s known for his inspirational cheers during his classes. In his free time you can find him singing with his a cappella group, living it up on the softball field, or chowing down at Chipotle.