It really is that simple. There is nothing complicated or scientific about this. You feel unwell? Exercise definitely isn’t going to make you any better.
It’s actually taken me years to realise this. Years. And years. And years. I understand how hard it can often be to rest up. Exercise is addictive. Exercise makes you feel awesome. Exercise is about the community of people you work out with. Sometimes it’s the only chance you get to see them. So when you’re already feeling down on your uppers, why on earth would you want to stay away from the gym when usually it’s the one thing to pick you right back up again?
It’s as good as a given that your recovery is going to be a lot slower if you’re attempting a work out when you’re plagued with a fever. You’re also going to bust out a totally rubbish session – sorry. Also, you owe it to your fellow gym buddies not to infect them / leave your snotty Kleenex about the place.
If you don’t believe me, here’s some facts and figures: this year I ran a marathon having missed six consecutive weeks of training due to a hip flexor injury; yesterday was my first CrossFit session back after nine missed work outs owing to the dreaded lurgy. At tonight’s session I hit a new 3 RM Deadlift PR at 92.5kg. Go figure…
So train when you’re at your best. If you’re not, take a rest. Don’t work out when you’re sick. Simples.
This post was inspired by friend, mentor and epic coach, StreTch Rayner who has been fundamental (during our many years of working together) in helping me finally see the “rest is quite often best” light – I also hope he’ll be proud of my new 3 RM DL PR :-)