Instead of Cardio sessions, I took lazy strolls along the beach, shopped, and did a free "Zumba in the park" class at sunset. Instead of hitting the weights at the gym, I hit a private "pole dancing" class, ate buckets of tropical fruit, and got a pedicure. Instead of "feeling the burn" doing High Intensity Interval Training, I ate some spicy Mexican food, and felt a little bit of pink sunburn (from all those fabulous beach naps!)
So, how did I get away with doing absolutely NOTHING for an entire week... without feeling an ounce of guilt?
Well, because taking a week off (yes completely off) from exercise is actually the single most crucial part of my fitness regimen. And, I have learned that being "Lazy" (when incorporated appropriately) is actually the #1 strategy for helping women stay toned, healthy, motivated, (and sane) on any workout plan...
Why do I need to have "Lazy Weeks" in my Workout Program?
Well, for the same reason why you should never be on a program that forces you to work out every single day of the week with no breaks! Those of you who have tried such a plan understand what this does to your body: it becomes quickly overworked, tired, stressed, and begins to shut down. Not to mention, your body needs this time to HEAL if it is going to continue getting stronger and more fit!
Great, sign me up! How do I incorporate "Lazy Weeks" into my Regimen?
In order to prevent you from reaching the dreaded "weightloss plateau" (those periods when the last few pounds just don't want to come off, and you find yourself stuck in a motivation rut), you need to include rest and recovery days/weeks into your weightlifting programs. You'll need about 1 week of recovery per every 6 - 7 weeks of training. You can break this up however you wish -- either doing 6-7 weeks of training followed by 1 week of rest; or doing 12 weeks of training followed by 2 straight weeks of rest. You decide!
What Constitutes a "Lazy Week"?
To incorporate 1 week of rest after 6-7 weeks of training, simply take an entire week OFF (no running, no lifting... basically nothing more strenuous than yoga!) before picking up with training again.
To incorporate 2 weeks of rest after 12 weeks of training, you'll do something a little different. The first week of rest will be what I call "actively" lazy, and the second week of rest will be "passively" lazy (i.e. do NOTHING)
For "active" laziness weeks, you will skip cardio entirely, and will go to the gym three days to lift -- but only to do a restorative active recovery circuit like the one I've provided below.
The Active Recovery ("Lazy") Workout
For active recovery days, you will use a weight that is light enough to perform 15 reps with a 3 second pause in the “fully extended” (“top” and “bottom”) parts of each movement.
One set of each of the following 8 movements should be performed one after the other, with little to no rest in between — like a “circuit”! Then, perform the entire circuit once more, the same exact way.
2 times through the following ‘circuit’ (15 reps of each exercise):
- Dumbbell bench press
- Dumbbell single-arm rows (one set each arm)
- Dumbbell hammer curls
- Free-standing squat (no weight!)
- Lat-pull downs
- 45-degree back raises (no weight!)
- Straight-leg dead-lift
- Incline sit-ups (no weight!)
As always, make sure to stretch gently after you finish your lift -- as this will further aid your muscle recovery by increasing blood flow to your precious metabolism-boosters (your muscles!)
And of course, after you finish your week of being "actively" lazy, it's time to kick back, relax, and enjoy your full week of doing... absolutely nothing! Seriously, your only permitted forms of exercise include: napping, shopping, and walking to your napping and shopping locations. :)
Your body and soul (and scale!) will thank you.
Great! Now you know how to rest. But obviously resting is only effective if it's part of a solid workout plan! To get a great fat-burning, total-body-toning workout plan to start today, try the 2-week Quickstart Program... or go for the highly effective 14-week Complete Program!