So far we’ve preached consistent nutrition, class participation and overall discipline, but, the last component of everlasting success is working smart with your body. Yes, it’s important to work hard because without putting in those gritty hours, you won’t achieve that success. However, for the long run, understanding intensity, rest days, recovery and mental exercises will help sustain your success in whatever endeavour you are pursuing.
Understanding intensity and knowing how to turn it up that extra notch can be difficult to some people. So, how do we know how and when to push the pace? Usually, your body will tell you – if you slept well, don’t feel as sore and you just feel loose with that extra bounce in your step, trying pushing for that extra rep when you’re doing pushups. Double up on your speed and power when you’re hitting pads. Push the pace when sparring. There’s a number of ways to do it, but always listen to your body.
Speaking of listening to your body, you should definitely have a rest day once a week. This should be for your body but most importantly, your mind. For a majority of us, we have a day job and Muay Thai/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu won’t bring us a full fledged income. With that being said, take a day off from training and spend some time relaxing. If you’re feeling restless and still want to go to the gym anyways, we suggest to do a light jog with some stretching/yoga. If you’re brave enough, take a nice cold shower or an ice bath.
Tip: If you want to be a true martial artist, or the top in your practice whether it be in your career or you aspire to be a certain something – study.
Part of mental exercises is doing something stimulating for your brain – we alluded to studying. Why not watch some Muay Thai fights on YouTube? Watching UFC doesn’t count. If you’re a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, watch some videos on drilling a technique that you learned in class. Maybe you’re an aspiring entrepreneur and you need that extra motivation. Listen to some podcasts or read a book and see what leadership tips you can pick up.
Working smart isn’t only having well timed rest days, but making the most of your training sessions and making intelligent decisions with how to recover while being a better version of yourself everyday. Your body will thank you!