I Refuse to Train on The Weekends, Here’s Why
I used to train six days a week. No if’s, and’s or but’s—thinking that the only day of rest could ever be Sunday. No matter what my body felt like, no matter the weather outside, six days a week you could find me inside the four walls of a gym hammering away on weights, cardio machines, and not leaving for a good two hour chunk of time.
Somewhere along the way, I began to detest those hours on Saturdays spent inside the gym. I began to hate training while the sun was out because there were places to go, and so many other ways to move my body outside of the gym. Somewhere along the way, training on Saturday’s stopped serving me, and it took me a long time to realize it was that and not me thinking I was being lazy. There is a big difference between being dedicated and letting something control your life. I never want training to take away from my life; it should never feel like something I detest from the moment I wake up in the morning (which is what was happening on Saturday’s.) So now, I have a rule: No Saturday’s. I don’t care what I’m working towards; I want it in a five-day split.
Sometimes it doesn’t work if I miss a day during the week, but the large majority of my weekends are spent outside hiking, playing at the park, kicking a soccer ball, playing Ping-Pong and not touching a weight because it makes my training on Monday that much better. It’s like the saying, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.” Distance from the barbell makes my heart grow fonder for the iron. When I continue to hammer away at it on Saturday’s and Sunday’s, I detest the iron, I detest the grind, and I detest the hard work and attention I must be able to give my training in order to be successful.
The point of training is not to detest it. Yes, sometimes training is hard, not enjoyable, and resembles a chore, but that is just the process of accomplishing any type of goal. You don’t always want to do something. The motivation isn’t always there, but there are times when you can cut yourself some slack to get back in touch with why you started in the first place, and sometimes that requires taking away instead of continuing to add.
I like to think about it in the way I think about my writing process. When I can’t write and continuing to be diligent in front of my computer screen isn’t working, I take a step back and do anything else creative. I color, write calligraphy, create a graphic—anything with my hands to be creative and eventually I find my writing flow again. When training inside the gym just isn’t serving you anymore, move your body in different ways, perform other activities, and take a step outside of the gym. Eventually, your love and reason for walking into the gym in the first place will come back.
My weekends are spent being outside (because if you put me outside for even five minutes I won’t shut up about how much I love it), completing a craft, reading a good book, and getting back in touch with things outside the gym that I love. Having hobbies that manifest around fitness are great, but that doesn’t make us well-rounded and balanced individuals—something that took me a long time to understand.
I’m by no means saying that you need to give up training on the weekends if it works for your schedule, or if you enjoy it, or if the extra time enables you to get better sessions in. I’m simply saying stop trying to beat a dead horse or continue to push something that clearly doesn’t work—like I tried to do for far too long. Don’t spend all your time within the four walls of a gym without getting outside or into other environments that allow you to put those hard-learned gym skills to use in real-world application.