Why “easy workouts” don’t work

Why “easy workouts” don’t work

by Eunice Chua 28 Jan 2019

We all love our recovery days where we do slow jogs, chill swim sessions or just don’t exercise at all. However, too much of these so-called easy workouts won’t do your fitness levels and performance standard any good. The same is also true if you engage in workouts that promise results that come with minimal effort. Hard training is necessary if you want to grow as an athlete, but it must also be balanced with the right amount of rest.


Why you need hard workouts

In a nutshell, training that is challenging is what drive progress and growth. If you don’t push your body through the agony of training, your body won’t sense the need to improve and get stronger or faster. You won’t be able to achieve your personal best timing or score the target number of repetitions without improving your fitness and ability through training. Proper training also helps to reduce the risk of injury because it maintains your baseline fitness level. Participating in intensive athletic activities that exceeds your baseline fitness level makes you susceptible to sprains and muscle tears and easy workouts sure won’t help you maintain the threshold, much less surpass them.


The need for balance

As necessary as hard workouts are, they can’t be solely relied on if you’re pursuing results. Easy workouts definitely have their place in your exercise schedule, though the proportion of hard to easy workouts really depends on the exact sport you’re involved in. For most sports and most people, physical fatigue from hard workouts limits your peak performance. This is why runners practice tapering in the weeks before a marathon, where they reduce the volume of their regular training mileage by a certain percentage. When you’re close to your season or event, easy workouts help your mind and body recover from the training fatigue which allows for a maximum expression of athletic performance. Easy workouts also reduce the chances of injury because a string of consecutive intense workouts can strain your body and lead to overuse injuries.


On their own, easy workouts certainly don’t work. To have a good game season or break a personal best means three simple things: improving your fitness level, sharpening your skill set and staying injury-free. Without hard workouts, achieving these are all but impossible. At the end of the day, light sessions are necessary in between to ensure that injuries don’t happen and waste all your training efforts. In other words, their usage is quite specific. You don’t have to forswear such workouts – just don’t depend on them too much.