Our coaching question of the week comes from a member of the Metabolic Mastery Club Facebook group, who we will call Sheri for the purposes of this post! If you’ve been struggling to meet your weight loss or shape change goals through focusing on diet and exercise, we hope this blog post helps you! 

After reading this post, notice if you find yourself embracing the idea of resting more often. We hope that you embrace the idea of “resting your way to success” at the gym between sets, at home after a busy day of running from place to place, or as a consistent addition to your lifestyle if your tendency has been to view rest as a waste of time! 

“Hey hey! Just a quick question for everyone. Would you say that this program could be summed up by doing your workouts and following the eating plan for your specific type? And that’s what leads to success? Do the workouts, and eat the suggested foods consistently, and that’s what’s effective for helping with body composition goals? There’s nothing else that I’m missing?”

Well, Sheri, actually there are a few things that are potentially missing from your plan or summary of what you feel will lead to success, but there is one glaringly obvious component missing in my opinion as a Metabolic Optimization Coach. It may surprise you to hear this, but the thing that I’m referring to is the idea of rest!

If you are somewhat new to our programming philosophies, you may not be familiar with the technique we call “rest-based training” or the lifestyle method we promote called “rest-based living”.  According to Dr. Jade, “rest” is the key to success with all aspects of our programming recommendations.

“The way most people think about health, fitness, and body change is incomplete. Diet & exercise are not the only things to attend to.”

~ Dr. Jade Teta

Why does Dr. Jade want you to attend to resting and work this into your programming? Quality rest is required to produce quality work. It is a win-win for the metabolism. Following a “rest-based” lifestyle, which also includes training through a “rest-based” approach, allows you to tailor any exercise session (or program) to your personal physiology and needs.

The mantra of this approach is this: “Push until you can’t, then rest until you can.” When it comes to your workouts, pushing to the point of rest is the goal. Understand that pushing is not about pacing. Forcing yourself to go harder when fatigue is setting in, or pacing yourself as a way to avoid pushing too hard, will likely not lead to the results you desire.

We don’t want you to ever feel guilty about taking too much rest. Sufficient recovery is the key to sufficient intensity, not only at the gym but also in life. While our workouts are designed to force your body to rest, becoming a better metabolic detective involves slowing down, stressing less, and working more intentional downtime into your daily commitments.

“People cannot sprint at top speed for 90 minutes. But if they do sprint, bike, or lift weights at peak performance for short intervals, such “high intensity” events not only lead to better overall performance but improved insulin sensitivity and, according to recent research, improved overall health.

Rest is required for these benefits to be acquired. Walking 10 minutes at three widely separated times of day will do better than walking once for 30 minutes… intense athletic activity shows many similarities to intense creative brain work. Both require rest for the advantages to remain and continue – for the learning and regrowth to get locked in.”

~ Matthew Edlund, MD, Psychology Today

For those of you who are more curious about how this is more specific to our style of training, you may only exercise for a few minutes of an entire 15-minute workout. The remainder of the time will be rest. Others who are more trained may rest less. Plus, how you choose to rest is also based on your personal physiology and needs. 

Some people prefer to take shorter and more frequent rests. Others prefer longer, less frequent rests. This is easy to assess while you are at the gym, but how should you assess this as part of your daily routine? Consider how you prefer to use your time throughout the day, or consider what your schedule often demands. You may find you like to build in 5 minute hourly breaks for deep breathing, closing your eyes, or relaxation practices all throughout the day. Others may prefer a 20-30 minute session of these things.

Like with all things, listen to your body! The amount you need to rest, and how you take that rest, will change as your overall fitness level and ability to recover increases. The amount you need to rest, and how you take that rest, will also change as your SHMEC comes into better balance. 

For more on the topic of rest, head to our blog and you’ll find even more helpful information. Best of luck, Sheri, as you work towards building our programming recommendations into your lifestyle, and don’t forget to rest your way to success!

Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash