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How Do You Know It’s Time To Take A Break? - Tucson Personal Trainer Blog

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How Do You Know It’s Time To Take A Break? - Tucson Personal Trainer Blog

By: Jerry Trubman, Owner and Founder

One of the coolest things I’ve noticed recently about us crawling out of the COVID mess is that many of our students are taking summer vacations again! Marie and I just got back from visiting our oldest son and his wife, and it was really nice to get away and unplug for a bit. We have one simple rule for vacations: disconnect from work/home life as much as possible and enjoy the time away. This means little to no social media, tv, work calls/emails, etc. Although sometimes it’s not practical to be 100% unplugged (I still had to work a little on this last trip), the goal remains.

Taking a break can also apply to other things besides work. Training is a great example. It’s been my observation over the years that people who are ‘always grinding’ in the gym often experience burn-out. This constant grinding day-in and day-out simply does not stand the long-term test of time.

So, how do you know when it’s time to back off? There are several ways, and that’s what today’s post is all about…

No Light At The End Of The Tunnel

In his book, The Gnoll Credo, author J. Stanton talks about how our hunter ancestors would operate…

  • Plan the hunt
  • Hunt
  • Discuss the hunt

In other words, our ancestor’s ways had logical beginnings, middles, and ends to the daily work they did. Many of us work in jobs that do no such thing. Many jobs are like laundry: You go in and do the laundry… and then there’s just more laundry. You just keep doing this until, one day, you retire or die.

One of the reasons we design training programs the way we do is, for both students and myself, we love to see things have a beginning, middle, and end. We start with a skill… say the deadlift. In the beginning we just enjoy the practice of the skill. Then we get better and add more weight to the bar. At the end of a program we peak… celebrate like mad… then reset and start over with other skills.

We enjoy these types of programs because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel; something to look forward to. After it is finished, we take a rest from that particular thing and focus on something else.

If there is no cycling in your training program, or life program, and you’re feeling like a hamster in a wheel, it might be time for a break and a reset.

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Feeling The Burn

Many of us spent 2020 in survival mode. In some jobs we get caught up in a big project at work that just keeps us running with our head down. Managerial positions can have people hopping from one crisis to another. Hard-training gym goers hit points in their training where results stagnate. All of these situations are a good indicator that it’s time for a break.

Burnout is real. Not addressing it puts us into a situation where we end up with a lack of desire to keep trekking forward. Stepping away from a situation can provide the space needed to analyze and look for inefficiencies. Some of the best new business ideas/strategies I’ve ever come up with were conceived in the middle of nowhere in the mountains on a summer getaway.

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Tell Me Your Ways…

One of my colleagues recently posted “You people who take vacations… tell me your ways.” His post made me realize that for the past year and a half, I’ve been afraid to leave my post because of how unstable everything felt around me. Even with having the ability to get away again, I noticed myself still feeling anxiety about taking time off. When operating in ‘survival mode’ for so long, it’s hard to re-shift the mind into realizing things will be ok. Turns out… I came home after my trip to notice, low-and-behold, things were pretty much the way they were before I left.

Reminds me of a funny thing I saw online…

European guy’s voice message when on vacation: “Hello, I am on holiday for the next three months backpacking in the Swiss Alps. Will check messages when I return.”

American guy’s voice message: “I will be out of the office today from noon to 3 having kidney surgery, but will still be available by text.”

It’s funny because it’s true…

Many Americans are notoriously overworked and unhealthy. Much of that unhealthiness is a direct by-product of being overworked.

Can we all stand to clean up our eating? Sure. Can we exercise more? Sure. But if we don’t manage the rest and recovery side of things, the health and wellness puzzle will never be completed.

Until next time,

Jerry Trubman is a coach, clinician, author, blogger, and powerlifting state champion. With over two decades of lifting experience, he has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. Jerry has coached "Team Protocol" to 4 National Powerlifting Championships in the 100% Raw federation. He writes the internationally-read blog, “The Healthy Addiction” and lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, Marie, and dog, Asher. To subscribe to his blog, click here.

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