When does yesterday's workout become today's low level activity?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 13, 2013 at 5:27 PM

When does what was a difficult workout in the past become casual physical activity? It used to be that I couldn't even begin to do a pullup/chinup, but these days I regularly include 40lbs weighted chinups in my workouts. On rest days I like to keep the bar hanging from the door and just pound out a couple bodyweight chinups throughout the day if I ever feel like it - it gives me a nice little boost of energy.

Some would say that I am inhibiting recovery by doing these bodyweight chinups on rest days. But...it doesn't feel like a workout. I suppose an analogy would be telling a runner to not take a brisk walk today because they did a hard, long, run yesterday.

I certainly FEEL recovered by the next session, but are these rest day bodyweight chinups deleterious, regardless of how I feel? Could it be beneficial to keep up easier forms of the main workout on rest days?

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2 Answers



on May 13, 2013
at 06:23 PM

In distance running, regular "Recovery Runs" are part of almost every program. There are different schools of thought -- cross train in pool or bike to reduce impact on joints -- do it on the road to encourage running while fatigued -- do it on a treadmill to ensure proper pace and not mess with mental pace -- etc.

The basic premise is simple. Run for 20 - 45 minutes at 1-2 minutes slower than your long run pace (stay below 65% max heart rate for those with heart beat monitors -- run so you can have a conversation for pace runners). There will be minimal damage to the muscles while the additional blood oxygen being pumped to the muscles will help repair muscle damage (from the more intense runs).

Sounds like you are doing much the same -- There is a benefit to getting the heart pumping without incurring significant stress.


on May 13, 2013
at 05:49 PM

If you are not going to failure it is perfectly fine. In fact, you could get away with doing weighted chins, every day, as long as you do not go to failure in which case your 40lbs will increase to 50 60 etc.

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