One of the most overlooked aspects to your training and fitness goals is recovery. You’re only as good as your ability to recover. You push and push as hard as you want during your workouts, but if you’re not adding in proper recovery strategies, then your results will suffer. Each successive workout will have a little less behind it, and sooner or later it is going to catch up to you. This is why we tell our clients to take rest days to allow their bodies to rebuild.
Results don’t come during your training, they come from what you do outside of your training. Nutrition, SLEEP, stress management, mobility, SMR, and massage are all part of the recovery process.
Make sure your nutrition plan is solid. That means that 80-90% of your diet is made of of lean protein, lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid striving for perfection, you’ll just drive yourself crazy. But if you’re able to stay in that 80-90% range, you’ll be on point.
Good rule of thumb with each meal is to make sure there is at least one serving of protein and 2 servings of vegetables. You can’t go wrong with that. Nutrition also includes hydration, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water every day.
In our busy lives, it seems that sleep takes less of priority than it should, which is a shame because our bodies CRAVE sleep. The bulk of recovery occurs during restful sleep. Muscles rebuild, soft tissue repairs itself, and the nervous system has a chance to recharge for the next day.
6-9 hours of sleep is a good place to start, with 6 being the bare minimum. It would be better to see that number up around 7-8 hours, but life gets in the way, especially with kids and work schedules, so do your best.
Set yourself up with a nighttime routine so that you fall asleep with ease. This means getting into a dark room, eliminating distracting lights like phones and tv.
Everyone has stressful lives, but managing that is the key. Exercise is stressful on the body, which is why you want to take recovery days and not add to the stress you already have. But life in general is full of stressors that test us. Come up with strategies to combat stress in order to keep sanity. This could mean a 5 minute meditation process where you just focus on breathing or writing in a journal.
Mobility, SMR, Massage
After all that, our muscles and soft tissue still need a little TLC. Tense muscles still need attention whether its doing some self care or going to see a professional for a massage. AMP has a foam rolling sequence for that very purpose, to aid in relieving some tense muscles. It helps you feel good and move better.
Progress doesn’t come from how much you do, or how much you beat up your body. It comes from how well you can recover. If you’re not recovering, you’re not progressing. So if you’re struggling to see results, try to avoid looking to add more to your routine till you reflect on how much recovery you’re doing. Chances are you need LESS work, and MORE rest.