Sick day

A few things for you guys today!

Regarding my last post, there was an article by Cal Dietz on Elite FTS the other day concerning “Antagonistically Facilitated Shock Training” which is just a fancier term for ballistics.  I thought it was pretty cool, & it provides a few videos with more examples, so check that out here:


Now, since everyone & their mother has the cold from hell lately, it was only a matter of time until my glands started to swell & that tickle in my throat would demand some attention.



The thing about colds – they’re really just annoying.  No energy, can’t breathe, can’t taste, and they seem to linger for days and days like an unwanted guest you can’t get rid of.  Everyone has a go-to remedy, but the only thing that really works is time – something we have very little of.

I read this article on T-nation a few months ago regarding the start of “flu season” & training – check it out HERE

The author makes some great points about how to keep yourself healthy & when to know if you can still push through and get some solid training done.  While I agree with most of his points, I get frustrated with people that push through hell & high water to get a lackluster workout in.

Here’s the thing: if you’re under the weather, and your energy level sucks, chances are, your performance will suffer too.  Unless you have no choice and you’re training for the Olympics, or you have a competition while you’re sick, the best thing you can do is back off for a minute.  Everyone is so afraid of “detraining” or losing the results that they’ve worked so hard to achieve – which is completely understandable – but the concept of rest & recovery is more important than a lot of people realize.  Even at the very early stages of a cold, where you know you’re just “off” – you’re better off just taking the time to hit the brakes.  Too often this scenario occurs: you don’t feel 100%, but you push yourself to get to the gym, and after a pretty decent warm up, you feel a little more like yourself and you end up overreaching beyond what you had intended.  While this is normally a good thing, and probably leaves you feeling super accomplished, the next day you wake up feeling like a truck ran you over twice.  Would this have happened without the overachieving training session?  Maybe, maybe not.  But if you’re so busy fighting off a cold, is your body really recovering properly for you to gain the benefits from that amazing work out?  Not likely.

A cold is just one of many ways our bodies tell us that we need to relax.  A forced “deload” week, really.  When you’re sick, your immune system is in overdrive – so there is no point in creating MORE stress on your body in the form of exhaustive exercise.  It will delay recovery, prolong symptoms, and create a domino effect of poor training and low energy.  Not worth it.  Take the week off & get yourself together.


In fact, if you’ve never taken a full week off from training, sick or not sick, then I suggest you try it.  There might be some SLIGHT detraining that will occur – mainly in the cardio area after around 4-5 days – but nothing significant enough to warrant a panic.  Most of the time, taking a complete recovery week allows your body to catch up and reset – and if you’ve recently hit any plateaus, this can sometimes help bust through them.


The most challenging thing about a recovery week is mentally allowing yourself to take time off and understanding that it is NEVER as hard to get something back as it is to get it in the first place.  Also, 7 days is hardly enough time for your body to make any drastic changes: just think how hard it is to “reset” your metabolism, or lose any permanent weight.  Same thing goes for keeping your fitness level.


So while I’m recovering from this monster, tell me: do you guys take full weeks off with NO training whatsoever? What are some of your recovery techniques? OR – do you have a fool proof method for the common cold?


About sten06

Master's in Kinesiology: Strength & Conditioning BSed in Exercise physiology -NSCA CSCS -NASM CPT, PES -Varsity Lacrosse Coach Saving the world one workout at a time ;)

Posted on March 27, 2012, in Fitness, Lacrosse, Strength & Conditioning, Training and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I have no method for beating the common cold…Just the old “plenty of fluids and rest” drill!! If I have a minor cold I’ll usually take a day or two off, but for a full blown sickness (body aches, fever, etc) I’ll take a full week. I’ve found that when I just have the sniffles, a workout usually helps me feel better, but anything more than that and it’s much better to give it a day or so. I’ve definitely been guilty of pushing through too much, and you’re right that it bites you in the ass the next day! Feel better!!

  2. SableSquatLikeALady

    Ugh seriously I’m so glad you wrote this. If I hear one more person go “OMG I had to miss three whole days of working out, my life SUCKS” I am going to flip a poop. Or something.

    Max and I routinely take full weeks off and deload weeks. And our results are BETTER when we come back!!

  3. Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

  4. Good timing I’ve been feeling major guilt at not working out, I tried! I did but when I was doing even one of my basic dynamic circuits, powering down the high intensity moves I was whipped and my lungs were weezing. Glad I listened and just took a rest. I’m going back today for a little test to see where I’m at. Good information thank you!

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