Growing up, my mom used to tell me that less was more. I never listened. I always put on more makeup and wore more perfume or did more of things that I should have done less of. That same stubborn 14 year old still lives within me. Only now, I fail to listen to my body when I should.
Sometimes I take it a bit too far. I get way too greedy. I always want those ten extra pounds, or those three extra reps when my body is screaming—enough is enough. It happens at least twice a month. I do more damage than good because I’m too stubborn to sit out one day when I need it. I can hear my mom’s voice saying, “less is more”, and it drives me absolutely nuts because I know she’s right.
I like to leave it all in the gym. If I sit out a day, I feel like I failed myself. In reality, what I’ve done is allowed my body to heal and repair itself so that I can give 100% the day after a rest day. Instead, I often go in and end up giving 50%, leaving frustrated with a bad attitude. It pretty much ruins the rest of my day.
There’s a way to avoid this entire process. Take the wise words my mom attempted to instill in me years ago and put them to good use. Doing less isn’t failure. It might not even necessarily mean to take an entire day off. It’s realizing that not every single day is going to make you feel like a champion. On days when your body is begging for a break, use the time you would have spent working out to relax in a productive way. This could be taking a walk outdoors, stretching, or even meditating.
I hate to admit it, but my mom was right, and is still right to this day. Sometimes less is more. It’s important to put in the work and go hard in the gym, but being able and willing to listen to your body when it needs to do less is also vital. You can’t constantly expect to do more, more, more and it not to catch up to you. A low impact, relaxing day is just as important as the heavy, intense workouts.