How I Approach Exercise After A Long Weekend

Date
July 13, 2021
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Looking at my kettlebell, I knew this was gonna be a rough one.

Memories lingered of the holiday weekend: the food, the music, the late nights.

But, if I don't do this now, I might never get back on track...

Read my first post in this series: How I Start My Day After A Long Weekend

Start Easy, But Make It Count

Everyone has heard about doing a warmup. Personally, I don't make it a separate entity. Movement is movement. I just take it easy to begin, but I'm still getting work done.

For example, if I'm doing three sets, the first one might not be my best. But, I try to make it my best anyway. I try to imagine how great I'll feel if I hit my rep goal in the first set.

What

I used to think walking was a waste of time. Gimme high intensity so I can get the most done in the least time, I thought.

Since then I've discovered that exercise is about my mind as well. It works similarly as meditation or journaling for me. Clears my head. Allows my subconscious to solve problems.

That said, I still love high intensity workouts. Here's my usual pattern during the week:

  • Lifting for reps to measure progress (bodyweight resistance)
  • Experimentation (try something new I've come across over the last week or so)
  • Time-based lifting (isometric and/or eccentric OR shortened rest periods)
  • Yin Yoga (for muscle release)
  • Regression lifting (little to no rest between sets, from most to least difficult movement)
  • High intensity bodyweight circuit
  • Core focus

When

If I want to get the most out of my limited time for exercise, I have to time it right.

As I mentioned in my last post, I start my day with a walk outside in the sunlight. I also work in two more walks throughout the day. My dog, Kenji, doesn't let me skip a single one.

Because my work usually requires a lot of mental energy and being physically still (usually in a chair), having occasional breaks are essential. Being outside, walking, helps counteract most of the rest of my day sitting in front of a screen.

On days when I do a hard workout (lifting or a circuit), I do it in the late morning if my schedule allows. By this time I'm usually a bit mentally tired and could use more mental energy. The types of exercise I usually do generate BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which re-energizes my brain.

I try to avoid doing anything even moderately intense in the late afternoon or evening because that tends to mess with my sleep.

Energy & Hydration

By the time I hit the gym, I'm well hydrated and caffeinated. These work really well together. Drinking water earlier in the day allows time for processes to use that water and prepare my body for movement. Coffee gives a bit of a boost to get me going, and because I drink my coffee "bulletproof", I also have healthy fats to give me energy.

During the workouts, I drink as much water as I can stomach. I know that I'm losing water and how important it is to stay at my best.

Tomorrow: How I Eat After A Long Weekend