Recovery: How much and on what?

In any successful training program, rest and recovery are key components to maximizing your athletic potential.

The amount of time you spend recovering directly transfers into how effective your workouts can be.

How much time do you spend resting each week? Do you take one day off after three training days? Or do you work out 6-7 days per week and rest only when you feel like you need it?

Three systems are effected by recovery, including our hormonal, structural and neurological. This means we need to consider our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. It also means that you should be taking time off to recharge and to make sure that you aren’t overloaded with work while your recovery time takes a back seat.

Recovery is multifaceted and it encompasses more than just the muscular aspect.

There are many ways to get the most out of your recovery. My go to methods include self-myofascial release (foam rolling), massage, mobility work, stress management and release (take a yoga class), and naps. Yes, lots and lots of mid-day naps. 🙂

When it comes to rest, sleep is the most critical component. Many of us cut our sleep too short most nights, and it directly effects the way we feel, the way we train, and the way we perform. You need to aim for seven to ten hours each night to get the full benefit. This allows your body to repair itself- all of your torn muscle tissue has the chance to heal and lactic acid build up is slowly broken down.

Water is another key piece. It is essential that you stay hydrated throughout the day. Try to aim for at least two liters.

Your nutrition also plays a very important part in recovery. It is good to follow the 80/20 rule- keep it clean (whole foods based, no or minimal processed foods, avoid refined sugars), Twenty percent of the time, enjoy life. Have that beer after your workout or that slice of pizza on a Friday night.

Mobility should be an every day focus. Simply put, mobility is your body’s ability to move. Mobility increases your athleticism, your coordination and even your ability to do more complex movements. For example, if you have horrible hip mobility, chances are- you may be unable to break the parallel plane in an air squat. By focusing on lower extremity and hip mobility work, you will eventually be able to increase that range of motion to perform a squat correctly.

Check this out- ROMWOD is a program designed to help people increase their mobility. They have monthly memberships and packages. If you can’t make your weekly yoga class or just don’t know where to start- this is great!