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Creating The Need For Rest

Working out, what exactly does that mean? Some of us have been exercising for years doing the same things, with the same effort, and not seeing results. We feel frustrated and it becomes easy to let a workout slip by without feeling like were really missing anything.  We say we’re “working out,” but in truth we are wasting an opportunity to change our bodies and change our lives.  When we finally give ourselves over to that place where change exists, that person we imagine ourselves to be, we have to understand what I like to call Creating the need for rest.

Sounds easy enough right? Just sweat a little, get a little out of breath, feel like you did something. Oh no, it so much more than that!  Creating the need for rest is about having the right to say “yes I put in the work today”. It is you looking in the mirror in amazement of yourself and sometimes feeling so exhausted you can barley lift your arms to wash your hair in the shower. It is feeling so sweaty and wrecked after a workout that people can tell you worked out and say as you’re stretching or leaving the gym “wow, you really pushed it today!”

I was introduced to this way of life a few years ago and have lived by it ever since. If you look at a seven day period, and you work out 6 of those days, you should be so darn tired on that 7th day that someone could offer you a million dollars to work out and you could NOT do it, you would have to decline!

Now you may say “that sounds like some kind of crazy exercise freak who loves pain and works out all day long.” I am only telling you what I know to be true. I am telling you with my 20 years of experience what it takes to get to the next level. When you think about your goals, it is like you are on one side of the divide and your goals are on the other. What separates you is a valley of discomfort. You can look at that valley your whole life (and some people do) and never do what it takes to cross it. It IS cross-able!! It is a process and it won’t happen in one day.  It takes constant commitment and courage to remind ourselves of our goals and what we truly want, and what it takes to get there!

Creating the need for rest includes 5 components:

#1 Commitment – Don’t let anything get in the way of your workouts. Sit down and make a plan of action. Think about the things that could derail your plans, that could hinder your workouts.  Don’t let negative self talk and taking the easy way out stop you. Get up, go out and DO!  Get those tennis shoes on and fire up the engines!  Make it known to those around you, THIS is a priority and this is who you are!

#2  Focus–   Workouts are not a time for going over the to do list for the day. It is NOT a time to read, text, talk on the phone, look at a magazines, catch up on TV shows, or even talk (except for a few words here and there). Doing “cardio” and reading a magazine should be outlawed in gyms around the world!! Basically a bomb could be dropped right next to you and you are so focused on those lunges, getting proper form, and feeling that mind-body connection that you would not even know that a 50 foot crater has just opened up next to you!  It is you and the workout, THAT’S IT!!

#3  Intensity– There is moment in the workout where we sometimes hold back. We feel the discomfort creeping in and we give up a little bit. We know we could work a little harder but the instructor isn’t looking and we can skimp on form just a little. This kind of thinking is what I call “comfort pauses”. The comfort pause is that little moment where you can push just a little more and you know it and you DON’T DO IT!  We are more capable than we think.  We have to bring our intensity to a level that will bring about change. It is uncomfortable, but DO-ABLE! Increase your speed, strength and intensity a little each time. After a while you will be amazed at how much you’ve increased your intensity and that much closer to your goal as well!!

#4 Lift Heavy – Now I know the moment your eyes saw those words you thought, “oh no, not me. I don’t want to get hurt, or get big.”  There are so MANY misconceptions about lifting; about women and how our bodies react to lifting weights. One thing that is without a doubt, is that we lack the testosterone that men have to get “big.” If you have ever seen a woman who is much bigger than the average lady and looks a little too manly, she probably took some sort of supplement or steroid to achieve that look. On our own we CANNOT get that way. Even if you lifted everyday, all day, it will NOT happen!  Women have more body fat on our bodies than men, they have more muscle. That’s why they loose weight faster than us (darn them)!  So, we have to work hard to get that muscle, and the more muscle we have the less body fat we have. Think of it this way: men get bigger when they lift heavy, women get shrink wrapped. Everything sort of gets pulled in, tighter and more condense.  As long as your diet is 90/10 you will only get SMALLER by lifting heavy!

 #5 Do what you do not want to do-alot! –  We all have those days, those moments when you just want to do the same workout, the machine at the gym that you like because it is what you know. You know you should go do hill sprints, but they “hurt.”  You know you should go grab that 20 pound dumbbell and put back the 10, but it will be “harder.” There are so many moments in your workout when you will have the opportunity to get better or stay the same. By choosing to do what you do NOT want to do, you are choosing change; you are choosing to achieve your goals. I don’t care what it takes, if you have to grunt, grit your teeth, or even curse (quietly of course), but you have got to do the things that you KNOW will bring about change. When it is the day you should do sprints on the treadmill and you know it will be hard, do not back out of that moment and get on the elliptical. Once you start backing out of your commitments it gets easier and easier to not do it. Just put your game face on and DO IT!!

When you create the need for rest, your whole outlook on exercise changes. You become a new person, people around you know you’re serious and it commands a different type of respect. When you get done with a workout you feel accomplished and powerful. It becomes a way of life for you, not only in exercise but it starts to happen in other areas of your life as well. Your desire to work hard will become a part of who you are and what you’re about. You got to keep fighting for it; it is not going to come to you! So let’s see you get after it ladies! Create that need for REST!!!


Janet Bertrand, a personal fitness trainer, started her love of fitness while still in high school. After starting her family and increasing her own personal knowledge of health and fitness, a passion to help other people became a natural next step toward a career. While attending San Diego State University for their personal trainer course, she met instructors familiar with Fitness Quest 10 and their phenomenal reputation. She began her internship at FQ10 in 2003, after receiving her Personal Fitness Trainer Certificate from SDSU and PFT Certification from American Council of Exercise (ACE).

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