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We’ve all had those days where our game is just off. Maybe we haven’t been getting great sleep, maybe our nutrition has strayed further than normal, maybe we’re dealing with a lot of stress, or maybe we don’t even have a good reason but we just feel “off”. These days are normal, but today I want to propose a different approach on how to deal with them.

Most times when such a day presents itself we accept that we don’t feel good, and so there’s no need to go feel worse at the gym. Seems logical, right? However, how many times have you said that you always feel better after a workout? We hear it ALL THE TIME. Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re all about making the most of our rest days at Modern Monkey, and we know that the actual gains from our hard work in the gym really happens during these moments of rest. Resting when your body is tired and fatigued is a must, but taking a rest day because you don’t feel it mentally may be the opposite of what you really need.

Days when you’re feeling mentally “off” are great days for a “check-the-box” kind of day. A “check-the-box” day is when you come in to the gym and you do the workout but at a much lower intensity. That lower intensity can come in the form of less weight, slower movements, or a combination of both relative to your typical performance. You can picture it as going through the motions of the workout at a walk-through or conversational pace.

Some will say, “well if you’re not going to give it your all you’re just wasting time”, but we disagree. At the end of the hour you’ve still moved your body. You’ve still taken your joints through a full range of motions that they may not have otherwise experienced that day. In the grand scheme, the bigger picture of “getting healthy”, you’re still going in the right direction; more movement. Nutrition for the body. Mentally, you’ve had a break from thinking about whatever it was that was keeping you in a funk, and you get a nice dose of “feel good” endorphins and leave feeling recharged, or ready for some rest. Either way, your mind is in a better space.

When you come in and feel like you may be having one of these days, let’s talk. We can help you find modifications so you can still get the most out of the hour and leave feeling better than when you arrived. With only 168 hours in a week and only 3-5 of those making the cut for your physical practice, we don’t want to cut out even more, so come in and move! It may not be your best performance ever but it’s better than the alternative 100% of the time. If your “check the box” days start coming up as frequently or more than your “get after it” days, then that’s a different problem and we should talk.