Cross Trainer Day
Cross Trainer Day – my least favourite kind of day at the gym! It happens every so often. Sometimes it won’t be for a few weeks. Other times it will be a few times a week! During really bad periods, it might be EVERY day of the week! Yes, the dreaded cross trainer day. Let me explain.
No Scheduled Rest Days
I don’t have scheduled rest days. I am not saying that this is the best approach. Nor am I saying that this is the approach everyone should be using. But I don’t set aside any days off from training. This is for a few reasons.
Firstly, if I am feeling good and fit and full of energy, I don’t see it necessary to have a rest day just because it’s in the schedule. Secondly, I cannot guarantee for sure that I will be able to make it down the gym every single morning. I go to the gym most mornings, but just like everyone else, I have a life too. And sometimes life gets in the way. So these odd occasions that stop me making it to the gym tend to compensate for any rest days.
That being said, I am still only human. So sometimes all of the training and other stresses of life catch up with me, and I just feel drained. Absolutely drained. This might be when most people would take a day of complete rest, but I’m not most people! Again, I am not saying that this is right for everyone, but if I am really tired, I find I always feel better after some low intensity activity. This is where the cross trainer comes in.
I feel that low intensity activity helps speed up my recovery as opposed to just taking total rest. So this is what I do – a cross trainer day.
Usually my gym friends know when it’s a cross trainer day just by watching me walk to the gym entrance from the other end of the car park. The way I’m laboriously dragging my feet and struggling just to carry my gym bag is a tell-tale sign!
I’ll walk into the gym and my friends Jack or Chris will greet me with the question “cross trainer day?” And I’ll give a defeated nod as I stumble towards the changing room.
Sometimes I surprise myself, as I will feel like death as I enter the gym, but as I begin to warm up I actually begin to feel better. So sometimes what I thought was sure to be a cross trainer day ends up actually being a pretty good bag workout. But most of the time, no.
I used to get really frustrated with myself when days like this happened, but now I have come to accept it and embrace it as part of the process! You can’t train hard all of the time, and rest and recovery are important often overlooked elements of fitness! I tell myself that ANY workout is better than NO workout, so at least I have done SOMETHING!
This applies to when I am feeling a little ill too. Obviously if I am really sick I will stay well away from the gym (I don’t want to spread my illness to others!). But if I am just a little under the weather, then I am grateful to have still been able to do some kind of workout, no matter how light.
I don’t really have a specific cross trainer workout protocol. But generally I will do steady state cardio for anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes. Sometimes I switch it up and do intervals, adjusting the resistance level up and down every minute or so. But these are definitely NOT high intensity intervals (so not HIIT), just something to make it a little less boring really!
I hate gym music by the way – it’s like every gym worldwide purposely plays shit music for some reason. As if the struggle of exercising in the first place isn’t torture enough for some people, they have to endure crappy music too! I channel it out usually if I am doing a boxing or muay thai workout.
But when I am stuck on the cross trainer, it really gets to me! So this is why, when I remember, I will put my headphones in and listen to a podcast or something to help kill the time.
We all have cross trainer days sometimes. It’s all part of the journey!