There’s a sneaky saboteur in your gym, hurting your members’ gains and slowing their momentum towards optimal health. The Rest day. The truth is, your people don’t need to rest. They need to recover.
There’s an important difference between the two. Sitting on the couch all day is technically “resting” but it's definitely not recovering. Having nachos and a few pints of beer for dinner may be restful, but again, it's not helping you recover from training.
Let's change the way we talk about resting. Instead, let's call them "Recovery Days." Maybe it's an 'active' recovery with hiking or biking, or maybe it's just recovering by preparing our meals for the next few days. Whatever it is, we want people thinking about how to recover their bodies and get them mentally and physically ready for more. By changing how your people talk about and treat their days off, we can greatly improve their results.
Here are a few easy ways you can keep your members off the couch and out of the beer fridge:
Offer yoga classes. Whether they are after the last class of the evening one day a week or on the weekend, offering yoga to your members is a good way to provide value and give them the guidance to stretch without the intensity of regular classes.
Program recovery as an optional (but highly recommended) piece of classes. Including recovery poses and mobility in your programming for members to do autonomously after class gives them the ability to learn new skills that they can implement at home without adding them to your classes.
Build active recovery into your programming. Not every day needs to be a grinding workout. Many gyms will program something lighter and restorative on Thursdays as that's a common rest (I mean...recovery) day for folks. No one wants to do a 5k row on their own, but it’s a great way to get some active recovery in while still providing a challenging workout to those who aren’t yet in need of that recovery workout.
Ensure you and your coaches lead by example.Coaches who never exemplify mobility and recovery days show their athletes that they don’t need to either. Active recovery isn’t a,” Do as I say, not as I do” action.
Create events built around making active recovery days fun and community-based.Schedule group hikes, park runs, swimming laps, or field trips to a local yoga studio. The options are endless and a great way to get your members out of the gym together for community building.
Show your members the value in active recovery days while making them fun for them and we'll kill the Rest Day once and for all!
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