The Holidays. A very busy and often stressful time of year for many people. The worst thing you can do is cut your workouts. You will double your stress and ultimately compromise efficient use of the time you do have. You’ve got extra tasks on top of your normal agenda; parties to attend, decorations to put up, gifts to buy, you’re not eating as well as you normally do, may be drinking more and you’re likely getting less sleep.The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and being a Type A I have failed to enjoy them in the past. But not anymore, here’s my best tips. . .
Skip the excuses. I don’t buy them the other 11 months of the year I’m surely not going to buy them now. We are all given the same 24 hours in a day. We all have some combination of children, career, family and multiple obligations; it’s how you structure and use that time that makes the difference.
This is NOT the time to set PR’s although it’s not unheard of. You’ve less time and energy; don’t stop working out, modify or cut back a day. I typically train 4 days a week and get at least 1 recovery workout in a week. Around turkey time when the demands start escalating I get 3-4 workouts in per week. My ‘recovery’ day is generally about 8+ hours of chores and non stop holiday prep on the weekends.
Change it up. One of the best times to lighten up your typical heavy training. No, I’m not suggesting you give up weights but take the reps up to the 8-15 neighborhood and do a little hypertrophy cycle. After all you’re eating more cals you just might add a little muscle in spite of yourself.
Change the time of your training. If you usually train at night but are too busy with parties and shopping switch it up to the am, that way nothing will get in your way and it sets the stage for a productive day. Generally train in the am but find you’re needing the extra sleep? Try a midday workout, might be just the boost you need to power through the afternoon
Just not enough time? That’s kind of the theme of this post and ties in with changing it up. Shorten your workout; if strength is your primary focus can the met con or keep it very short. If conditioning is your focus (and I wouldn’t recommend that unless you have a solid foundation of strength) lighten up on the strength and stick to more conditioning; for some that is a great stress reliever. You can pick the pace back up in January.
Take a rest day. Yes, even tho you are not getting in as many workouts or as long of workouts the mind must have a day or at least an afternoon where you break from everything. Personally I generally take Sunday afternoon; I turn off ALL social media channels and chill. Spend some time in nature, watch an old movie, whatever relaxes and refreshes you.
Begin the goal process. Take some time during the month to reflect on the past year of training; what went right, what didn’t, what are your training goals for the upcoming year. This is a great time for reviewing, revamping and rewiring your mindset for the upcoming year.
Last but not least –have some fun. Yes, it’s the holidays — connect with friends and family for sport or games, isn’t that one of the reasons we train?
Take these tips to the box, gym or playing field to make this holiday season your fittest yet and don’t be surprised if you find Santa leaves some gainz under your tree!