League of Wildness,
When was the last time you took a week off from ‘training’?
When was the last time you took two weeks off from ‘training’?
Honestly - I can’t really recall when I did either.
The terminology used above is important to pay attention to. Training can be very different from movement.
Training is predicated on movement, but not all movement is training.
I generally define ‘training’ as having a specific performance goal. Think about increasing strength or improving endurance.
When I think about ‘movement’ it’s similar to how I think about breathing. It’s something that you have to do to live.
No movement - no life.
Sometimes the importance of something is more easily understood when it is removed. I believe this is the case with movement. When you stop moving you get sick, lose fitness, and your capacity for physicality decreases significantly.
Movement is medicine. It’s not just a popular hashtag - it’s true.
What’s critically important to understand is that even your soul-punishing training does not absolve you from having to move. Training should NOT be your only movement in a day whether it is a rest week or not. For example, if you do a 60-minute hard workout and spend the other 23-hours of the day not moving, the balance of movement and non-movement in that 24 hour period is not favorable - even despite the hard workout. Stretch that timeframe out to a week, a month, or a year and the ratio of movement to non-movement becomes anti-wild.
Training is movement. But while training is usually a set time frame, movement can (and should) be throughout the day.
So why did you ask about taking time off from training?
I’ll tie this together now - hopefully…
When you train you’re stressing your body. For exercise to result in an adaptation it needs to be performed at an intensity that goes above your threshold of adaptation. Right? Right.
As a society, we tend to believe that if a little of something is good, then A LOT of the same ‘good thing’ gets progressively better. This belief is often erroneously associated with exercise.
For example, if you just completed THE ENEMY WITHIN program it would be highly beneficial to your health and well-being to take a week or two off from formal training.
WTF does this mean - really?
I’ll start by telling you what it doesn’t mean. It does not mean you stop moving.
You’re never allowed to stop moving.
Instead of crushing lactic acid inducing workouts - go for a casual run or hike. Do yoga. Try out rock climbing. Ride your bike. Play ultimate frisbee. Dance. Swim, canoe, kayak or SUP. Play with your kids. Spikeball, Volleyball, or Dodgeball - all good choices. Heck - you could even crank out a few reps on pocket monkii, monkii 360, MB2’s, Isocore X and any other wildness you have. But remember - it’s not a workout, it’s simply a tool helping you to move.
I’m partly writing this for myself. As the owner of a company that happens to make fitness products there is a real pressure to A.B.T. - always be training. I’m definitely not complaining. I am acknowledging that I need to heed my own advice.
As I’ve gotten to know the wild family better it’s become quite clear that most of us are here to maximize our healthspan more than anything else. Sure - we’d all be psyched to get a little bit stronger or faster, but the real goal is maintaining our capacity to live a physical lifestyle.
If you can learn to believe that movement is medicine - I believe that the dose will be much more effective. It’s the magic of the placebo - you have to believe.
If you train hard - consider taking one or two weeks off from intense training every four to six week.
If you do not believe you train ‘hard’ - just keep moving.
If you want to train harder - follow this general template: Increase intensity gradually for three weeks. Rest the fourth week and repeat. As your ability to adapt to training improves you can considering extending the intensive training to five or six weeks before taking a de-load week.
De-loading does not mean you get a free pass to Netflix and Grill. Instead, reduce overall training intensity, but maintain your movement. Remember, movement is medicine and will help you recover and adapt.
Join a movement community. Ideally this is a group of people that gathers in the real world to do something physical. You could even consider starting a WILD GYM chapter in your community (email us if you’re interested).
Our OUTDOOR WORKOUT CHALLENGE Facebook group is also highly recommended. It’s unbelievably positive (and wild). There is real value in the ‘social facilitation’ that takes place - we get elevated by holding each other accountable in the most benevolent way possible.
GET OUTSIDE - Kim said it best, “when I’m outside I just move more”. This is in addition to all the other benefits of being outside (helps you get Vitamin D, reduces anxiety, helps regulate your circadian rhythm, improves focus, alleviates stress, enhances creativity and much more).
Have a wild weekend and we'll see you out there!