Weak for a Week?

By Mike Warkentin

In Nutrition, Rest Day/Theory

December 24, 2013

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The period between Christmas and New Year’s can destroy your fitness. Proceed with caution.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is the Death Valley of fitness.

I’d wager more pounds are gained and more fitness lost in this period than during any other eight-day stretch of the year that isn’t spent on an all-inclusive cruise ship.

Many people simply stop caring about a lot of things when the mistletoe goes up, and between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, they treat their bodies like a ’93 hatchback that’s a week from being written off.

“Fuck it. It’s Christmas,” might as well be a line from Deck the Halls for the amount of times you hear it spoken directly before a Jell-O shooter slithers down the throat or a chunk of chocolate melts in the mouth, not in the hand.

To be sure, many athletes have earned the right to cut loose and behave like it’s Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street. A year of hard work certainly warrants a bit of time off and a respite from a strict regimen. But for others, the season is just another way to validate bad behavior that was probably happening in previous weeks, if to a lesser degree.

Wherever you fall on that spectrum, you have a choice over the next seven days: You can choose to party like David Lee Roth circa 1984, or you can hit the gym and then party as hard as you can while still planning to hit the gym the next day.

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