Recovery Week isn’t the toughest week, but there are still some very real dangers that could cause you to become over confident and ruin your workout. So pay attention as I alert you to the dangers! Here are the top three challenges that will urge you to quit and just stop trying so hard. Recognize them and avoid them!
- Taking to Much of a Break: Recovery Week still involves working out. Don’t think you can just stop altogether and skip a week. What do you think happens if you do this? With your routine broken, you’ll probably stop exercising, and when it’s time for Month 2, you won’t get back into it. So stay focused, realize that Recovery does not mean ‘Holiday’, and be sure to follow Shaun T’s schedule.
- Rewarding Yourself with Bad Nutrition: Have you guessed how important the nutrition side of Insanity is? Just as some people may think that Recovery Week means time to take a break; other people might believe that Recovery Week means they get to treat themselves with some fun and fancy food. Whether that means a huge pizza, lots of ice cream, or whatever else it may be, Recovery Week is not the time to crash out on your Nutrition Plan.
- Feeling Overwhelmed With the Prospect of Month 2: Some people get to Recovery Week by killing themselves. They’re barely surviving, and this break is so welcome and necessary that they almost want to cry with relief. But the thought of Month 2 is harrowing. How are they going to kick it up a notch if they are just barely coping with the intensity of Month 1? This is where you truly need to dig deep, search for your commitment, and realize that even though things are going to get tougher, you will rise to the occasion.
So those are the challenges, what are the solutions? How can you make sure you don’t crash, burn and quit like most people do during this week? Check out my tips below for advice:
- Be Aware of the Desire to Reward Yourself: Recovery Week is a psychological trap. People think that it means downtime, time to relax, to recover, to treat yourself with something nice, whether that means skipping a workout or eating some pizza and ice cream. Don’t fall for this mistake! The key to Recovery Week is to understand what it is meant to be. You are supposed to be actively resting and stretching out your body, giving it time to recovery for the intensity of Month 2. It’s prep time, not down time, and when Week 5 hits and you sudden go from Recovery to True Insanity, you want to jump from level 4 intensity (recovery week) to level 10 intensity (month 2), not from 0 intensity (holiday) to 10.
- Change What the Word ‘Reward’ Means to You: You need to realize that there is no going back to the way things used to be. At this point, you must begin to understand that Insanity is the beginning of a lifestyle change, that you are now moving into healthier habits for the long term, not for a short period. The very idea of ‘reward’ has to change. Your reward is feeling good and looking good, being healthy and strong and ripped. Thinking of a break as a reward or of bad food as a reward shows that you still haven’t made the transition. That is the kind of outlook that will trip you up when Insanity finishes and cause you to gain all those pounds once more. You need to think: what is Insanity all about? What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to change your life, or merely go through another exercise fad? If you are honest with yourself, if you realize that changes you are trying to make have to be permanent to have success, than you will indeed quit thinking about ‘Reward’ as anything but continuing to grow strong and healthy.
- Use Recovery Week as a Time to Adjust Your Routines: Worried about Month 2? Don’t be. This is the time to recovery, sleep a ton, drink a lot of water, make sure you are eating right and best yet, fine-tune your schedule and systems. Nutrition starting to slip? Use this time to set it right. Not enjoying working out in the mornings? Try some evening workouts. Need to get more sleep, or try sleeping earlier? Now is the time to push it. The secret to Recovery Week is to not only get back in fighting condition, but to use this time to truly fine tune your approach to Insanity so that you can hit Month 2 with maximum confidence and strength!
Esteban Bressan and Shaun-T