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Should I Skip My Recovery Week/Days?

I’ll make this simple: NO.

Activity, pushing hard and torching calories all day every day is great but all sweat and no rest does your body more harm than good. There’s a reason P90X, Insanity and even The Asylum include Recovery weeks. Rest is when your body rebuilds. Rest is when you recover. Rest is where you repair. Leapfrogging these “rest” cycles makes you more prone to injury and over-training.

Why Do I have to Rest?

At the core of Recovery Week is this simple fact: When doing intense exercise (especially anaerobic), you’re catabolic, meaning your body is using what it can (muscle) to fuel your workout as your body and muscles are taking punishment from repeated movements (hence the Recovery Formula, warmups, cool-downs, stretching and nutrition). When you rest and refuel, you’re anabolic, meaning your body is growing and repairing. As you know P90X and Insanity aren’t wimpy programs– they’re higher impact and require rest for recovery.

I know it’s tough after having plowed through three weeks of intensity but keep in mind, your recovery week isn’t taking a week off. You’re in “Active Rest”– meaning you’re still working and sweating and keeping your body active, you’re just not “Killing It”. That said, it’s not like “Core Synergistics” is a moonlit stroll down the beach, either.

What About All My Progress?

Your strength and weight loss gains won’t go anywhere during your Recovery Week– especially where you’re still required to be active. After all, it’s not like you’re sitting around doing nothing. You’re still eating right, still working out, sweating and challenging yourself but it’s not quite as intense, nor does it use the same movements day in and out. You’re recovering, which allows tendons to strengthen and stretch and muscles to grow. Chances are, you’ll come out the other side stronger than you were before… and stronger than you would have been if you’d skipped your recovery week.

P90X and Insanity are programs designed by some of the top trainers in the country using cutting edge fitness know-how. Be patient, trust the program, take your rest and you’ll come out stronger and better than if you hadn’t.

Make P90X, Insanity or any Beachbody program work like my experience with even more personal nutrition tips, help and focused support. Don’t get caught guessing in your programs– if you have any questions, feel free to email me at or make me your coach

2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Kristine says:

    I’ve just begun the recovery week of the Insanity program and I’m wondering how much I should adjust my caloric intake. I’m loving the workouts and have made great progress…I’m a bit worried about gaining weight back during this week since the workouts aren’t as intense. (although the exercises do burn nicely :) ) Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hi Kristine! Fist bump from HDIGF to you– thanks for stopping in!

      Your question is a good one and something that’s asked a lot. The answer is… you don’t need to adjust. The fact is, it all “comes out in the wash”. You won’t gain weight back during this week and will continue your progress as you’re committed to the nutrition. But with a program as intense and high-imapct as Insanity, the rest weeks are needed, if not required. It’s all part of the “periodization” process as the program build you up then gives you recovery before it makes it more intense with the 60 minute workouts. It’s all by design and this rest week will help catapult you into week 5.

      If you MUST reduce your calories just to keep sane (again, you don’t need to as your metabolism is, by now, processing this stuff very efficiently), only do it by 1-200 if that. But again… no need to. :)

      Shoot me an email at and we can dial this in even further.

      Talk soon and thanks for the great question!

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