I just finished reading the New Rules of Lifting and the New Rules of Lifting for Women, both by fitness author Lou Schuler. This was one of those instances where I read the right books at the right time and heard the message that I needed to hear!
I had been running myself ragged this past fall, yet I continued to push myself to train on days that I was too tired to do it well. This lead to some signficant fatigue for me and I ended up on the sofa for a week in both November and December. Not a good way to manage life. During my second week on the sofa, I picked up the New Rules for Women and read it for a second time (I read it the first time over a year ago). It's a good book overall and I recommend it to any woman thinking about weight training, whether she is a novice or experienced. The message that reached me in a powerful way was Lou's emphasis on the need to rest - between sets, between workouts, and even for longer periods of time between training programs. This made such an impression on me that I emailed Lou to tell him how much I appreciated his book and share my story. He responded by asking me for an interview to post on his blog, which you can view here:
I then read the New Rules of Lifting (which came out before the one specifically for women) and was once again inspired by Lou's recommendation to make each training workout a little different, and more challenging, than the one before it. My new resolution for the coming winter and spring? It's in two parts:
1. Rest in between sets, workouts and for a week between each new training program. I have to remember that, in order to get bigger and stronger, I need to rest.
2. Only train on days when I can do a quality workout. If I'm too tired to make a good effort and have the workout be different and more challenging than the last time I did it, then I am better off resting.