If there’s two things that are overlooked in training more than anything else it’s rest and recovery. I find the more someone wants to excel at training or whatever sport their playing, the WORSE they are at getting enough rest and recovery.
Seems a lil contradictory right? The problem lies in the fact that rest and recovery usual means NOT training or going hard, which is the exact opposite mentality we have towards are our training.
I say WE because as I’am the worst example for rest and recovery, and I admit it, I sit here at my desk right now at 7am after my first 2 clients were at 5 and 6 and I’m forcing myself to sit and write (which I also love) but my mind is driving me nuts saying lets go train!!!
I feel like I’m experiencing a AA meeting moment right now with you where the first step is to admit you have a problem. Here’s the problem, without rest and recovery your body cannot adapt to the stimulus or stress your putting it through and can’t reach it’s full potential to grow. If you do this for too long you will reach a state of over-training where you will get sick or injured.
If you train HARD and rest properly and recover properly your body will adapt and it will get stronger and you’ll be way less likely to get injured or sick and you’ll make your trainer or Coach look really good 😉 I love how that sounds, don’t you.
So over the last year I’ve gotten way better at this rest and recovery business and I’ve seen some amazing results from it. Here are my favourite ways to get a little more rest and recover a lot faster.
Rest and Recovery Guide
1. SLEEP – This one I’ve heard every excuse in the book about. I could write a whole book on the excuses I’ve heard why people don’t sleep enough. How about ‘ The 4-Hour Sleep Night’ , lol I think I’d get sued by Tim Ferris. The whole healing process for your body happens at night, your hormones change, your mind and body relax and you re-charge for the next day. Those good hormones like testosterone and GH ramp up and get your body healing. If you cut this shorter than 7 hours a night regularly your losing on some major recovery. Get your sleep! This 99% of the time means going to bed earlier, for most people nothing productive happens pass 10pm at night. It’s just a lot of TV or YouTube. Spend that time sleeping and feeling a million times better.
2. Manual Therapy – Seeing a therapist does not have to be for when you get injured only. Seeing someone who is good with their hands whether that’s a Osteopath, Massage Therapist, AT, Acupuncturist on a regular basis will go a long long way in your recovery process. They can get tight muscles loose, they can spot troubled areas before you can which can prevent injuries, they can even help your CNS (central nervous system) relax which in turn helps you recover properly. Find a good therapist, become friends, enjoy their company on a regular basis.
3. Active Recovery – For those of you who just can’t handle the thought of not seeing me at the gym everyday, this is your best friend. Active Recovery promotes blood flow without the breakdown of muscles and joints allowing for speedy recover times between workout. You need to pick low impact cardiovascular exercises and spend 20-60 mins doing it at less than 50% effort. This is also a perfect time to add in your extra mobility work. Mobility is a discussion we had already but belongs in this guide, there’s just too much content so check out my Mobility Seminar on YoutTube for more info. If you can’t stand the thought of seeing me 2 days in a row get outside and go for a bike ride or a walk with someone you love, it makes all the difference in the world.
4. Prayer/Meditation and Naps – You may think this is just a bunch of fufu but I really challenge you to take some time out of your day in complete silence. Find a nice spot where your all alone and can just let your thoughts calm down and you begin to relax. For me this is prayer time, time when I can reconnect with God and see the bigger picture rather be stuck in my small world of thoughts and problems that is so easy to get lost in. On the physical side your nervous system begins to relax in these moments allowing your body to recover better.
I will be doing a Performance Talk in September on Rest and Recover with my good friend and therapist Enoch Wat.
Make sure you stay tuned for details.