by Paul Dexter, North Providence, RI
All of us trainers have heard that statement from our clients from time to time. Our answer for why you shouldn’t take a break sometimes falls on deaf ears. Whether it’s because they think we are just being a salesman or making up excuses, some clients choose not to listen to us and still take a break.
We tell you not to take a break 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 what happens when you take a break for just 1 month.
Beta-endorphin and adrenaline levels drop. Mood is affected negatively.
Muscles lose elasticity. Aerobic capabilities drop 5% by 5th day off.
Body’s ability to use oxygen drops by 10%.
Body’s metabolic rate begins to drop.
Max HR and cardiac output decline by 15%. Start to see first appreciable loss in muscle tone.
Mitochondrial activity (energy production) in cells begins to decrease rapidly. Loss of muscle, strength, and metabolic rate occurs.
Blood becomes less efficient at thermoregulation. Forced to spend excess energy cooling off.
VO2 max drops by as much as 20%.
10-15% loss of muscle mass. Lost muscle mass is replaced by fat.
Muscle strength drops by as much as 30%.
Be aware of your body. When you are consistently on an exercise program, routinely ask yourself how you feel. If you do happen to fall off the wagon, eat badly, and take a break, also ask yourself how you feel. Is there a difference? There will be. You probably already know that; maybe you 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; the time is there. No one looks forward to brushing their teeth every day, so 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.— but also your energy levels, mood, work productivity, etc.. Those are all things that you cannot 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 an hour later they are walking out the door 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 cannot get every client we see to embrace that same passion towards exercise, but we try our best to get them to see how it can be fun, rewarding, attainable, and, most importantly, necessary.
Paul Dexter, with his wife Laura, owns Dexter Training Concepts in North Providence, and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. Dexter Training Concepts celebrated its 10th Anniversary as New England’s Largest Private Personal Training Studio in March of this year. DTC prides themselves on designing tailor-made fitness and nutrition programs for every type of individual. No matter what your goal may be, Dexter Training Concepts will design a program that not only delivers results, but ensures that you have fun while doing it.