ACTIVE REST

Hey Dr. Bell, I’ve been working out for probably 3 months straight (six days on, one day off). Do you recommend taking a week off of training after a certain amount of time? I feel good, but a trainer recommended I should take a week to cycle off.

Your timing is about perfect! Typically 3 months of hard training, especially the demands of six days on/one day off, will require 1-2 weeks of “Active Rest.”

Active Rest is NOT “couch potato” time. Active Rest is switching to another sport, not the primary sport you have been engaged in for the past 3 months. Ideally, you would pick a sport that would be complimentary to your primary sport, and would provide you a significant level of conditioning.

Personally, I think everyone needs a minimal level of competency in all fundamental sports: Sprinting, Tennis, Track & Field, Swimming, Weight-Lighting, Soccer, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Cross Country Running and Martial Arts. If you are one of those people that hate any sport but your own, then pick any physical activity you actually enjoy: Yoga, Tai Chi, Aerobic Exercise, etc.

Every physical activity provides some conditioning in one or more of the 12 IFPA Components of Fitness: Strength, Speed, Power, Anaerobic Endurance, Aerobic Endurance, Agility, Balance, Coordination, Flexibility, Body Composition, Symmetry and Biomechanical Balance.

You benefit by participating in a variety of sports. You improve with every skill you learn.

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