2009 Gent–Wevelgem: Maarten Wijnants (left) an...

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Rest & Recovery is equally important to athletic & functional performance as is the actual strength & conditioning component.


What is printed below is from the Gym Jones website:

Commenting on a disappointing performance at the 2010 World Championships Mark Cavendish said, “It takes balls to rest and do nothing and I didn’t have the balls.”

The hard work is easy, but it takes courage to rest. In an era when everyone thinks that more and harder is better few are brave enough to step back, to tell friends, “I’m taking it easy today.” I can hear the jibes from here. But one of my maxims is, “when in doubt, rest” and I admonish with it frequently. Perhaps the reminder on this t-shirt will help remember:

Work + Rest = Training,

Don’t Do The Work If You Don’t Have The Balls To Rest.


Photo: Mark Cavendish, 2009


  1. Hi There! I found you on BR and love your blog and all of your articles- truly inspiring. Regarding BR and resting, I have always wondered why it’s deemed “okay” to do these intense, full body workouts 6 days a week? I have always allowed a day of rest between working out muscle groups and it seems BR doesn’t agree? I mean, if I follow the routines, I am doing squats just about every day of the week. That may have worked when I was in my 20s but being 35, my knees just won’t have it anymore. Do you feel these full body workouts, even though they are short, should be spaced apart (every other day?). Thanks for the input 🙂

    1. Hi Karmalife,

      I think BR is a great site and am so thankful for what they do. Their enthusiasm and concept is what got me back on my feet. I stand by my philosophy – what works for some may not work for all – we are all an experiment of one. It would be impossible for BR to cater to each persons specific needs, so we must analyze their information and apply it to ourselves; in the process, however, careful to not get caught up in all the excitement and friendly competition.

      I can only comment on what works for me: Initially when I came to BR, I did the workouts five days in a row – mostly because they were so short and I was accustomed to longer workouts AND I was still unconvinced that these shorter workouts would do the trick. As time wore on I started listening to my body more and less to my ego. Yes, I can use brute force and push through and be fierce like the next guy, but that’s not the point of what exercise is about (in my opinion). I’m not as young as I used to be and my goals have changed…

      I tend to choose a new or archived BR workout from the site or from my workout log for alternate days combined with a Yoga practice. In-between BR days, I do 30 minutes of swim drills and stretch. And make sure I get one to two days of active rest from a “workout” each week. When I choose my BR HIIT workouts, I effort to vary the the workouts based on the exercises. I try not to do too many workouts in the same week that repeat the same exercises.

      Sundays – 30 min. Swim + stretch
      Mondays – BR HIIT (avg. 12 minutes) + 30-45 min. Yoga
      Tuesdays – Rest
      Wednesdays – 30 min. Swim + stretch
      Thursdays – BR HIIT (avg. 12 minutes) + 30-45 min. Yoga
      Fridays – 30 min. Swim + stretch
      Saturdays – BR HIIT (avg. 12 minutes) + 30-45 min. Yoga

      Each week is a little different depending on the shift in my household and family responsibilities, but this is the template I follow. Some weeks I rest two days, and only swim once or twice. Some weeks I will do two days in a row of BR HIIT workouts and sometimes three days in a row, it varies.

      Without exception, I stretch in bed upon waking, do my 4 minute morning (week 3 – DAY 7) and lately have been doing a modified Sun Salutation prior to my 4 min. morning. I can’t get Gil Hedley’s message out of my head: “Every cat in the world gets up in the morning and stretches its body…you have to stretch and move and use your body.”

      Believe it or not, that was the short answer! My son says I’m the chatterbox-QUEEN!

  2. I love this!
    When Lisa’s first vid for the 12xmas workouts came up, I made it a challenge to workout everyday for those 12 days!
    After day 6, I got a cold. Ugh, but I could not stop even though I knew my body needed healing!
    I needed to finish my 12 days.
    When I woke up on day 12 (Christmas Eve), my chest hurt so bad I could not get out of bed.
    I finally rested on Chrismas eve and day.

    Well, I started going hard on Monday and also started the Push Up challenge.
    Today, Thursday, after my workout, I know my body needs rest. My hamstrings and butt are really hurting.

    That chest pain scared me.
    I feel I have read this a sign that I really do need to have the balls to rest, if I want my body to continue working for me.

    1. Since the holidays, I’ve been a little behind on keeping up with the latest on BR…I just caught a glimpse of the push ups challenge but hadn’t the time to read more about it.
      It is ironic because I’ve been working on a post about how doing too many push ups or downward dogs can be counter productive (for some people and definitely for beginners). Seems like you have figured that out for yourself in the meantime. I hope to give a clear explanation as to why and how this can happen. Obviously, everything I write is a generalization and each person has to figure out their own program.
      Thanks for your comments!

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