As I stepped up to the bar, I smiled to myself, I had this lift in the bag. Hey, I’d smashed it out multiple times in training in the lead up to this competition.
I knew in that moment I was going to dominate this 250kg and I was going to take home some silverware.
My hands found their familiar places on the bar, my feet felt good, I locked my lats on, pulled my hips in towards the bar, and locked on.
Then I pulled, maximum effort, the bar resisted, it was like the floor was mud and it was sucking the weights down, still I pulled, the bar moved, an inch, two three……then it happened, my body gave out.
It was in this moment I’d finally been taught one of the most important lessons in business that I would ever learn – rest makes success.
There was no muscle burn, no pain, my muscles just didn’t work and I was left wondering why I couldn’t make a lift I’d hit a dozen times before.
Complete Central Nervous System burn out.
We’ve all hit that wall and burned out at some point in our businesses and jobs too.
You know the symptoms – you’re so tired, you start making simple mistakes, maybe even wonder how you missed it, or in extreme moments of tiredness, wonder what task you were meant to be doing in the first place.
You feel like you’re in a daze, your head is full of fog and holding onto a coherent thought is like trying to catch sand with a sieve.
In strongman, even at the amateur level, we lift stupid weights, we train ridiculously hard, not just on the big lifts, but also on the accessory lifts that help train the muscles that support the big lifts too.
Then we rest, or at least that’s what we’re meant to do.
If we don’t, we risk injury, but we also risk fatigue on a level that is entirely something else.
It’s the same in business and life.
Rest is the only thing that allows the body to truly recharge, sleep especially is incredible. Sleep gives the body the opportunity to do a nightly “oil change” and clear out the used and now dirty oil.
If your car runs on dirty oil, it doesn’t run efficiently and eventually, the engine seizes up and stops all together. Your body and your mind are the same.
In heavy weights training, rest allows your body to repair, recharge and get back to running efficiently – but in the act of repair it also gets stronger.
In business and life, rest allows you to recharge, clear your head and come back to your work in a better, clearer headspace.
You’re able to operate more efficiently, more effectively and achieve far greater results (you might even say you come back stronger).
The problem though is guilt. We all feel guilty when we take time to rest – partly because there is an expectation that we should somehow be super-human and immune to the foibles of mortals.
But I think at least in part, we feel guilty because we see rest as time away from something we feel is vital to ensuring we succeed.
Often, our success is not about flashy cars, tailored suits and Rolexes, but rather ensuring we provide an amazing life for our family.
The guilt we feel for resting, may just be tied into the worry that by not being on task 24/7/365 we’re somehow letting down our loved ones. I know it was for me.
But the cold, emotionless reality is by resting and recharging, we improve our chances of success.
Try it for yourself, next time you hit the wall, invest in your success and rest, then watch how much more you achieve when you come back to it refreshed.