Active Rest, Recovery, and Boxing?!

IMG_20140415_103628We wrapped up a phenomenal lifting cycle 11 days ago and I haven’t touched a weight since.  It may seem strange, but it has been a practice of ours for years, that when we physically and mentally come to the end of a program, we take a good week or week and a half away from the gym.  I find it is great physically to let my muscles and joints recover, heal, and fully recharge.  Mentally, the break is good for the same reasons and to renew my focus on my goals.  Tonight we head back in to they gym to start a new set of exercises, rep schemes, intensity techniques, and I am rested, recharged, and fired up to get back in there and lift the place off its foundation.

In the off week, I still have goals and plans that I hold myself to and complete.  I stick to my meal plan and nutritionally everything stays on point.  I do, and I did plan in a few treat meals.  For example, I spent part of this time off back on Long Island where I grew up, visiting my sister and family. I prepped and packed the meals I needed ahead of time to bring with me, but I planned in a few meals ahead of time.  I don’t go back to LI without having pizza at some point.  I knew one night instead of my planned chicken and vegetables I would be downing some delicious and “real” ny pizza!  I ate it, I loved it, and with my next meal I moved on to my planned meals again.  I didn’t worry about it, beat myself up, or punish myself doing endless hours of cardio.  It is life.  While there may not be any real off season, I still stick to a very calculated and precise plan year round.  However, there is still a time to enjoy some foods and not think twice about it.

Also during this off week, or week and a half, I still do some cardio.  It keeps me focused and recovering and to be honest, I feel good when it is done.  Usually for the first few days after a training program ends I may not do any cardio as typically at the end of the cycle, rest and recovery are very much a priority.  But after a few days and for the remaining off time, I will get in some cardio.  I was prepared even while traveling to LI to complete some cardio.  I packed my jump rope, and also a p90x plyo dvd.  Nothing too intense, but both are useful with no extra equipment needed.  However, my sister, suggested I head on over to her gym, Impact Boxing MMA.  She has been going there for some time and raves about it.  I, on the other hand, have never done any sort of boxing or mma, or conditioning.  I have great respect for boxer’s exceptional conditioning and the training involved, which is why I began incorporating jump rope into a few of my HIIT cardio routines.  I was looking for some good conditioning workouts and wanted to challenge myself with something new.

I was not disappointed, and in fact have not stopped raving about my workout and experience in my first ever boxing gym.  I met some great people, both in the class and at the gym.  This gym was a family run business and they were outstanding.  The trainer for the class, Brittany, is a female boxer. Getting to meet and work with an athlete in another sport is always awesome.  The discipline and focus in preparing and training for fighting is something I can respect and relate to as I think it is comparable to training for a bodybuilding contest. I am sure I provided Brittany a few good laughs, but I wasn’t there to look good, I just wanted to work my ass off and get in a great workout.  For the first time, I got to use battle ropes, strap on some gloves, and hit a series of heavy bags.  I don’t think it could have gotten much better than that.  I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but my mission this year has been to push myself out of my comfort zone whenever possible and as much as possible.  I accomplished just that with this workout.  If you are in the Long Island, Center Moriches area, definitely look up Impact Boxing MMA.  I know I will be going back whenever I am down there and in fact have started looking for a local boxing gym here that might let me come in and do some conditioning workouts at times just to keep up with it.IMG_20140415_092819

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