I want to take some time this week to talk about recovery and its overall effect on your well-being. Simply said, we all need to recover.The problem is, recovery isn’t always as easy to quantify. With a workout, it’s quite simple to multiply the sets by the reps by the weight and get your overall volume. Recovery doesn’t quite work the same way.
Here’s a good question to ask: why recover? Why not just workout every day of the week regardless of being sore? It’s actually a valid question. Here’s my attempt at an answer. One, if you’re going to do that, you need to spend at least half as much time on mobility/prehab as you do working out. This means if you work out an hour each day, you’d need to spend at least thirty minutes giving your body some love. Two, your fitness isyour recovery. When you’re in the gym squatting, pulling, pressing, you aren’t getting stronger. You’re actually, in that moment, weaker than when you came in. In a word, catabolic. Gains in fitness come during recovery. There are a host of mechanisms behind this, and they boil down to the fact that you need to be properly fed and rested for growth. Three, it’s important to understand the difference between what’s working and what’s optimal. Too often we get by with what’s working. Answer me this: is squatting heavy four times a week better than squatting heavy two times a week? Here’s the crossroad. If you squat four times a week, you’re going to be tired. It’s just human physiology. Your neurological system is taxed, your muscles are taxed, heck, mentally you’re probably taxed too. So are you really getting the most out of your four squat sessions? What’s better: four decent squat sessions or two out of this world, everything focused, everything firing on all cylinders squat sessions? For most of us (the none genetic freaks of the world), the answer is less is more. More recovery equals better workouts equals better results.
So take a look at your workouts and your recovery. Here’s the rule: put as much thought into your recovery as you do working out. Get your eight hours of sleep. Eat what you know you’re supposed to eat. Foam roll. Use a lacrosse ball. If you are unsure of any of this, set up an appointment with a coach. We are here to help. By doing this you’re setting yourself up for long-term success.