My coach decided to give us a few off days at the end of last week. He said we were looking pretty beat up and he wanted us to be rested for the next 18 weeks leading up to Nationals.
Especially for a weightlifter, it’s pretty uncommon to have four days in a row of no training. So what was I to do with all this free time? Well, not too long ago I signed up for a 30 day Vinyasa Yoga trial. I feel in love. It felt so amazing to sweat out all the toxins and get a really good stretch. I definitely think this is a wonderful way to keep active outside of lifting heavy weights.
On days when I’m not training, it is important to relax and recover, while staying active. I have found that watching movies all day on the couch is not necessarily helping me for the next training day. This doesn’t mean go run a 5k on an off day, it can be as simple as playing frisbee in the park, a light swim, or going on a walk outside to enjoy the weather. I try not to let weightlifting keep me from doing the other activities that I enjoy. I know I have been in a position where I avoid certain things because it may mess with my training, but at the end of the day, it is important to enjoy life and take a step back from the high intensity gym environment every once in a while. Taking advantage of my time away from weight lifting helps me stay committed to my goals and prevents me from burning out, which may be a common characteristic of competitive weightlifting.
With a sport as mentally draining as weightlifting, It becomes easy to forget why one dedicates so much time to lifting heavy weights. After several weeks of non stop training, if a day goes by when I don’t pick up a barbell I almost feel guilty. However, a day away keeps my mind right. Training after an active recovery day, I feel like I can attack the bar with much more intensity.
I still have my goals set and I plan on achieving them leading up to Nationals. I will do what it takes to perform at my absolute best. The harder my training gets, the more I enjoy the opportunities I have to recharge my mind so I can continue to work toward those goals with consistent drive and focus. In weightlifting and in life, balance is key.