Last week we posted about the exciting (disgusting) AM Performance Sickbucket Saturdays. A different type of high intensity conditioning session each week which aims to put us (me… Adam is yet to actually attempt one) through our paces, keep our hand in the old fitness game and provide a different kind of challenge for us and anyone else who dares to give them a go.
Week one was great. Check out the video we posted last Saturday which details the session and shows me giving it my best shot.
I’ve been looking forward, albeit with slight trepidation, to Week Two all week. I felt amazing after last week’s and loved the response we got from others giving it a try. Conditioning work is a whole different type of challenge and whilst it’s nehhhhhrsty, it’s so rewarding.
So, Saturday rolls round. But suddenly I’m not so excited. I didn’t sleep last night. I kind of needed to sleep well too, we had a long day yesterday and Sickbucket Saturday is a bright and early 6am session. I also woke up with a sore throat, bit of a headache, and just feeling a bit ‘meh’.
We got to the gym and by that time I had some food in me and had woken up a bit, so I felt… ‘okay’. Not exactly raring to go, but ‘okay’. Yeah, I could have done with an extra hour in bed, but I was ‘okay’. I got a bit of a shock when I looked in the mirror and saw how pale I was, but hey, I was ‘okay’. Anyway, it’s Sickbucket Saturday! I’d already posted on social media building up to today’s gruelling session! Yep, I was going to have to be ‘okay’.
Here’s the session:
Every Minute on the Minute for 10 minutes:
Even minutes: 10 x thrusters + 10 second airdyne (now not-so-affectionately nicknamed the Bastard Bike)
Odd minutes: 3 lengths overhead walking lunge + 10 burpees
Dumbbell snatch (each arm)
Plank press up
As anyone who’s ever done this type of work will know, you start off and think”this is WAY too easy”, then literally 30 seconds after that you feel like you’re going to die. Usually in a very strangely good way. You think “I can’t possibly do this for another second, let alone another 10 minutes” but then somehow, you do. You end up on the floor, gasping for air, but it’s done! You did it! And now you’re on a crazy endorphin high and can go home and eat pancakes. Conditioning fo lyf.
As soon as I started I was gassed. That’s not me. I’m also not one to complain - I get my head down and get it over with. But today I was totally up against it, my body wasn’t cooperating at all. Neither was my head, I was hating every single second and really, really struggling to complete any of the exercises.
We’ve probably all been there or at least had similar experiences. A session you fly through one day might finish you off another, no big deal. I’ve been there before myself. But today was different and I don’t know how/when/at which point it happened but all of a sudden I was crying my eyes out. Yep. 27 years old and I was absolutely sobbing because “I can’t!!” over a casual, supposedly enjoyable Saturday conditioning session. Big, maffis, can’t-speak-I’m-crying-so-hard, toddler style sobs.
Adam timed me out and we sat down. I took a couple of minutes and calmed down, then we modified the session slightly, removed the timing, and I did it at my own pace, then went home to rest.
So for anyone wondering why Sickbucket Saturday stopped being documented pretty swiftly today, that’s why.
So what’s the take home message?
Sometimes we have to push ourselves to “just get it done”, or maybe even push ourselves to dig deep and get in the gym when we really can’t be arsed. But that’s not the same as pushing ourselves too far when our bodies are crying out for something different, ie rest. “Go hard or go home” and “Team No Days Off” are all well and good, unless actually, you really do need to go home and, you know what, you really do need a day off.
Our bodies are clever. We become so used to pushing past the “good pain” and the “I can’t do it” moments in a GOOD way, that sometimes we become deaf to the quiet but important requests from our bodies to just back off a little bit. It’s important to learn the difference between silencing your own laziness/lack of motivation (which is great, keep pushing!) and silencing your body’s cries for help (not so great at all).
Sometimes even when recovery and ‘not overdoing it’ are your priorities (they’re certainly mine), your body can surprise you by needing a bit more. This week has been a great training week, I haven’t been too stressed, my calories are up, I’m recovering well. So I didn’t expect this, especially compared to the exhaustion that is prep. But just as progression isn’t linear, neither is recovery. Take it as it comes - if you need to rest, rest.
So there you have it. Even the people who live and breathe this stuff have days when they hate it so much it makes them cry, and forcing yourself through it anyway is just a sure fire way to make you hate it harder. Listen to your body, learn to know when less is more just as you learn when more is more, and most importantly, look after yourself.