As athletes, we seek to better ourselves both inside and outside of the gym. We are the kind of people that push ourselves just a little further because that’s where we feel we should be. We also tend to do so in our training, which is great, but we should be equally vigilant about our rest and recovery. Adding rest and recovery to our training regimen can help push us to that next level. During rest and recovery, the body also goes through adaptation to the stress caused to the body. As the body recovers and adapts, it replenishes spent energy lost due to exercise.
Rest and Recovery added to any training program can greatly increase an athlete’s ability to see consistent progression. During exercise, we tear down muscle fibers which need time to repair. When muscles fibers rebuild themselves, they increase in size and capacity. This is the development of lean muscle mass which we all want, right? The additional lean muscle mass helps to rid the body of unwanted or excess fat stores that build up over time, which helps us shed that weight and get the results we have been looking for. Shirts or skins??
When we undergo the stress of physical exercise, our body adapts and becomes more efficient. Once these adaptations take place the body now requires more stimulus to continue changing. This allows us to continue to push that envelope in our training. Without it, training becomes difficult, progress slows greatly, plateaus are met quicker and frustration sets in. See how this can be difficult to deal with being that you are passionate about it? Adding rest into your regimen is essential to continued success and riding the gain train!
Rest and recovery also allows the body to replenish energy stores that the body has used during training. Glycogen stores are given time to go back into the muscles and prep for the next workout.
What can you do to add some rest and recovery to your training?
Getting the proper amount of sleep daily (6-8 hours we are all different).
Active Recovery (play a sport you like, go for a run or s bike ride) test your fitness in other ways.
Try using a 3 to 1 ratio of work to rest. If you are one of our 5 days a week folks try taking 1 active recovery day and 1 full rest day per week.
Eating nutrient dense, unprocessed foods
Staying well hydrated (8-12 cups of water a day)
Go for a walk outdoors and take in everything
Mobility: (ask a coach)
Soft tissue work and stretching post workout (foam roller, la crosse ball)
Banded Joint manipulation and dynamic stretching pre-workout.
If you read beyond this point I will be sending your taped glasses and your “I am a nerd” members only jacket in the mail.
Great way to keep track of how you are progressing as an athlete and with your recovery is by tracking your heart rate. Athletes tend to have a lower resting heart rate due to the efficiency of their circulatory system. Checking your heart rate as soon you wake up is a good indicator as to how hard you can push yourself in the gym that day. If after tracking your heart rate, under the same conditions (first thing in the morning while lying in bed) you begin to see that it is uncommonly elevated this indicates a not fully or well recovered state. The opposite is also true, if you notice your heart rate is consistently the same or even lower than before feel free to increase the intensity that day.