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Give Your Body A “Shemitah Workout”

Filed in Exercise, Fitness by on 10/27/2019 Comments • views: 4702

My workouts consist of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Circuit Training. The combination of these exercise methods (along with healthy nutrition and high quality sleep) has enabled me to burn fat, torch calories, build muscle and maintain six-pack abs over the years.


However, as I’ve aged I’ve noticed that there’s been an increase in muscle strains. These muscle strains are an impediment to my workout (and overall health) because they force me to stop working out for two or more weeks to allow my muscles to heal. Unfortunately, during this “off” time I have a propensity to put on weight as a result of not exercising and I’m deprived of the endorphins (“feel good” hormones) that come with exercise. Months after resuming my workout, the muscle strains reoccur forcing me, once again, to stop exercising. As a result, these nagging muscle strains began to regularly disrupt my workout routine as I’ve aged.


One day I was reading the book of Leviticus in the Bible. In chapter 25, GOD instructs the Children of Israel to give the land “rest” every seventh year. During this seventh year, referred to as a “Shemitah”, the Children of Israel were instructed “…you will neither sow your field nor prune your grapevines. You are not to harvest…or gather the grapes…it is to be a year of complete rest for the land.”-Leviticus 25:1-5 (CJB). Since GOD created the earth, He knows how much the land can endure and how much it cannot endure. He knows that by giving the land “rest” the land will become even more productive.


I figured, since GOD knows how much the land can endure and that it needs time to recover, then the body (that He also created) needs sort of a “Shemitah”. So I decided that every seventh week I’d do a “Shemitah Workout” by reducing the number of reps and intensity I typically complete during a regular workout. For example, I normally do three sets of Pull-Up-Knee-Raises at 25, 24 and 23 reps respectively. During my “Shemitah Workout” week, I take the reps down to 10, 9 and 8, respectively. Normally, I do three sets of Bosu Push-Ups at 25, 24 and 23 reps respectively. During my “Shemitah workout” week, I take the reps down to 10, 9 and 8, respectively. Instead of the High Intensity Interval sprints on the treadmill, I do a slow walk on the treadmill at a low incline and slow speed during my “Shemitah workout” week.

Here are the benefits I’ve discovered as a result of doing a “Shemitah Workout” every seventh week:


  • Muscle recovery- the “Shemitah week” allows my muscles to heal and recover.
  • Little to no muscle strains- as a result of allowing my muscles to recover, I rarely (if ever) experience muscle strains.
  • Stronger muscles- allowing my muscles to recover makes them stronger and more productive.
  • Higher personal record best reps- the increase in muscle strength has resulted in me hitting higher personal record best reps for chin-ups, push-ups, squats, HIIT treadmill runs, etc.
  • Less disruption of workout routine- no need to take off two or more weeks from my workout routine because of nagging muscle strains.
  • Mental relief- the lower reps and reduced intensity allows for a week of mental relief and recovery.
  • No weight gain- I don’t gain weight during the “Shemitah Workout” week because I’m still exercising, albeit at lower reps and reduced intensity, while still maintaining a healthy diet and high quality sleep.
  • Endorphin maintenance- the lighter “Shemitah Workout” still allows my body to produce “feel good” endorphin hormones.


Whatever your personal workout may be, whether you’re aging or simply want your body to be stronger and more productive, allow your body to recover with a “Shemitah Workout”. It will renew your muscles and strength.

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