Have you been in the studio every day this week? Are you booking all your free time with drop-in classes and open studios? Do you laugh when your instructor recommends taking a day off? My friend, this post is for you. Take a seat and listen up. (No, seriously, get off the trapeze. Now. We’re not joking.) We’re here to talk about rest days, and why you might be sabotaging both your training and your overall health by not taking them.
All Work and No Play
First, let’s talk about muscle growth. Presumably, you’re training all the time because you’re serious about getting stronger. You know that you need to put in the hard work to get there, so you’re showing up every day, ready to push yourself to the limit. And that’s great — to a point.
It’s true you’re never going to make progress towards your goals without some serious time and effort, but if you don’t take at least one day a week to let your body recover, you’re actually working against yourself. The intense physical training we do tears our muscle fibers. When we rest, those fibers repair themselves, upgrading themselves to bigger and better versions, more equipped to stand up to all those pullups and inversions. Without rest, you don’t get the benefits — all that hard work for nothing.
An Ounce of Prevention
Overtraining can also lead to injury, which will definitely derail your plans. We all know circus is hard on your body. We put a lot of stress and strain on various body parts every time we’re in the air. Without adequate time off, the micro-injuries we inflict on ourselves develop into true injuries — a tweaked wrist, a wrenched back, a torn labrum. Any of these are enough to keep you out of the studio for weeks, so make sure you’re giving your body time to recover and repair itself.
Everything in Moderation
Aside from resting your body, it’s also important to rest your brain. Right now, you might be happy to eat, sleep, and breathe circus, and we don’t want to mar that enthusiasm in any way. In fact, we want to kindle it. So if you’re truly in this for the long haul, start working now to make circus a (big, important) part of your life without making it your whole life. Believe us, you will not be able to keep up this pace forever, and we want to help you avoid the inevitable burnout. So, go meet a friend for dinner. Have a date night with your partner. Visit your family for the weekend (without looking up the closest aerial studio). Incorporate your circus life into your daily routine, finding balance between this passion and all the other things and people you care about. Trust us, this will keep your love for circus fresh and fun, rather than turning it into a burden.
Rest Is Best!
So, what do you do on a rest day? Well, there’s no need to be completely inactive (though that’s certainly encouraged every once in a while!). Go for a walk outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunlight. Do a little gentle stretching (emphasis on gentle). Take a dance class with a friend and focus on having fun rather than pushing yourself. Cook yourself a delicious meal. Do your laundry. Break out the foam roller. If you absolutely can’t stay away from the studio, check out our Self Care and Repair class and make your rest day into a social outing.
We love seeing you in the studio and want to keep you coming back for a long time to come. That’s why we’re encouraging you to spend some time away from us. Just a day or two a week will help keep your brain and body healthy and rested, so you can continue to tackle your training with gusto!