The last week of December and the first of January are often filled with holiday preparations, travel, and a lot of festive eating and drinking. Let's face it: getting in shape isn't usually our focus during the holiday season.
The good news? It's not as hard as it seems to be mindful about our eating habits, our health and our fitness this time of year.
The holiday weeks can be treated as an intentional period of reduced training volume. And we all know that a reduction in training volume is best preceded by a period of increased training volume. So, this is your time to shine and hit the gym with everything you have!
To see Coach Lark's holiday workout,
Here's how you do it in three workouts per week:
- Assign one workout a week to doing heavier weights with lower repetitions than you normally do (you should aim to reach exhaustion by 10 reps).
- Assign another workout to lighter weights with higher repetitions (18-25) for a long, sustained burn.
- And assign a third workout to a middle range (12-18) but do more sets than usual.
When you are overloading (training more than you are accustomed to), it's crucial to allow active recovery days between workouts and to make sure that you get two consecutive rest days of light training (or even total rest) each week. This allows your body to fully recover.
Working extra hard for these next two weeks will allow you to relax more thoroughly over the holidays and take it easy, without losing fitness or feeling guilty.
And while you're relaxing, remember that your body will be happiest with you if you stay active, so although you won't be doing anything strenuous, still make sure to take light walks, do some yoga, stretch out a bit, or move your body in whatever way is most enjoyable to you.