It’s all about HARD WORK!

That’s what we hear when speaking about weight loss, performance, strength, rehab, etc.

Let’s take that statement as gospel, engrain it in everyone with a training goal and see what happens…

The short answer is: fatigue; over training; injury; stress; declining results; decreased self-efficacy, motivation and adherence.

What is missing? OK it’s no big secret… RECOVERY! Everyone does inadvertently do some form of recovery by, for example, eating and sleeping.

The human body is great at giving feedback that informs us if something isn’t right and needs some attention. Hunger, tiredness, soreness, tightness, swelling, pain all the way through to passing out.

Unfortunately, these signs and symptoms do not directly change ones behaviour. This is usually a conscious effort, and requires you to acknowledge those warning signs and recover appropriately.

We all know people who live by the “No Pain, No Gain” motto, but that is very easily taken out of context. If the brain is programmed to power through any physical and psychological barriers that appear, they will just continue to accumulate and intensify.

Eventually, the body will take over and force the issue. Think of a common cold or infection, it can knock anyone down no matter how hard they want to work through it. Recovery is all that remains.

Hitting the gym for a hard session 7 days per week requires more recovery than training 3-4 times a week. Training at a high volume or intensity will require more recovery than low volume and intensity. Common sense? Then why do so many people overtrain?

Putting stress on the body without appropriate recovery will not allow sufficient adaptation, the process your body naturally goes through to rebuild any cell damage and improve its resilience to that stress.

This process requires time and energy. If the damaged cells do not fully repair before the next bout of stress, the accumulation of these stresses will gradually lead to excessive fatigue, resulting in loss of muscular strength and endurance, reduced performance, increased risk of injury, etc.

Train Smart

So much effort goes into programming. Rightly so. Having a specific goal such as hypertrophy, strength, speed, and power, so on is a smart way to achieve a desired result. Having the best program but not including a daily recovery plan is not so smart.

Optimal performance during each training session should be a top priority. Performance is a product of both physical and psychological factors. Programming considerations need to be made for factors such as time, financial and work stresses.

How do you feel today? A very simple question that can dictate whether you train easy, hard, or not at all that day. Training hard when your body is telling you to rest can just put you deeper in the red zone.

Applying all of this recovery time into a training program can equal less training with more results!

It’s simple… Train hard. Recover well. Then train harder

Recovery modalities to consider include any of the following:

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Active Recovery
  • Sports/Remedial Massage
  • Self-Myofascial Release
  • Ice Bath
  • Contrast therapy (Hot/Cold)
  • Cryotherapy
  • Compression Sleeves/Boots
  • Floatation Tanks
  • Electro Stimulation
  • Laser Therapy
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy


Luis Santos

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