“Take a Break?!”

January 19, 2012
What Makes You “Motivated”?
February 19, 2012

“Take a Break?!”


by Paul Dexter, copyright dextertraining.com

All of us trainers have heard that statement from our clients from time to time. Our answer for why you shouldn’t sometimes fall on deaf ears. Whether it’s because they think we are just being salesman, or making excuses, some clients still “take a break”.

The reasons we give are because we have your best interest at heart. You invest in our services to help you achieve, maintain, or continue a healthy and active lifestyle and we want each and every client to get the most out of that investment.

The following is a physiological timeline of events of “taking a break” for just 1 month……

Days 1-2

Beta-endorphin and adrenaline levels drop. Mood affected negatively.

Days 3-5

Muscles lose elasticity. Aerobic capabilities drop 5% by 5th day off.

Days 7-9

Body’s ability to use oxygen drops by 10%.

Day 10

Body’s metabolic rate begins to drop.

Day 11-13

Max HR and cardiac output decline by 15%. Start to see first appreciable loss in muscle tone.

Day 14-16

Mitochondrial activity (energy production) in cells begins to decrease rapidly. Loss of muscle, strength, and metabolic rate occurs.

Day 17-19

Blood becomes less efficient at thermoregulation. Forced to spend excess energy to cool off.

Day 20-21

VO2 max drops by as much as 20%.

Day 22-25

10-15% loss of muscle mass and lost mass replaced by fat.

Day 27-29

Muscle strength drops by as much as 30%.

Be aware of your body. When you are consistent on an exercise program, routinely ask yourself how you feel. If you do happen to “fall off the wagon”, eat bad, and “take a break”, also ask yourself how you feel. Is there a difference?…..There will be. You probably already know that, maybe just need to be reminded.  When clients say that they can’t find 2-3 hours a week to exercise, I say that we always seem to find the time to do the things we really want to do – it’s there. No one looks forward to brushing their teeth everyday?! But why do we do it?….Because of the consequences of not doing it. We make the time, because it is a necessity. People need to realize that working out is a necessity.

So, when we recommend that “taking a break” or “skipping a workout” may not be in your best interest- we really mean it. Strength training is the number one “anti-aging” activity you can do for yourself. You not only improve every aspect of your health and appearance– blood pressure, oxygen consumption, cholesterol, blood sugar, flexibility, weight, skin,etc., etc. ……but also your energy levels, mood, work productivity, playing with kids, etc., etc. Those are all things that you can not put a price on. When clients say that they can’t afford to, I say that they can’t afford not to!

Action comes before motivation. You can’t sit on the couch and wait to be motivated, you have to force yourself to get up, and start moving…. The endorphins start to flow, and that is when the drive comes to keep going. Most clients come to see us after a long day of work, not feeling like working out…. But they are walking out the door an hour later with a lot more energy!

My wife and I devoted our lives to our passion- health and fitness, which is why we created Dexter Training Concepts. We both know that we can not transform every client we see to embrace that same passion towards exercise, but we try tour best to get them to see how it can be fun, rewarding, attainable, and most importantly necessary.