“Training” is the definition of “pushing your body to its maximum limit but allowing recovery to perform at 100% in the next training session”. In other words, train as hard as you can but leave room for recovery so that you can go hard again in the next session. New athletes or trainees train hard then end up getting very sore, which prolongs their recovery into the next training session. Of course, preventing injuries is the priority, regardless how hard you train. 

In this article, we will dive into recovery methods and the reason behind them. In my opinion, recovery is equally as important as training, however, majority of people hyper-focus on training and neglect recovery. It is during recovery is when the gains come in. It is when you build muscle. It is when your nervous system becomes more in-sync. Lacking in proper recovery will only diminish your returns. Below is where we will talk about several recovery methods that will accelerate your gains. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond how they recover from training sessions. 

Get enough rest 

This is debatably the easiest method: do nothing. Just get enough rest. Let your body relax and get its proper rest. No, this does not mean lie in bed all day. It simply means you don’t need to lift weights or practice any skills. You may go for a light walk, mow the lawn or do some light house chores. Light movement is your good friend during recovery. The main purpose of this is for blood movement WITHOUT taxing your musculoskeletal system. Why is this important? We will discuss this in our next method. 

Improve blood flow 

This is where you need to put in some work – otherwise known as active recovery on non-training days. This is one of my favourite methods to recovery because it simply makes everything feel more “lubricated” and flow better. So why is blood flow important? It allows the body to deliver nutrients and remove wastes to and from recovering muscles. By accelerating this process, we are able to recover more efficiently and effectively. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond what types of active recovery they do. 

Professional athletes get regular massage for this purpose. The manual breaking-down muscle tissues allow more blood flow into the muscle, thus bringing nutrients to recovery areas. This may not be the most price-friendly for non-professional individuals because regular massages can be expensive. However, I would recommend an occasional massage (approximately once a month) to help facilitate overall recovery. 

For those who are on a budget, I would recommend self-massage/releases. You will need some equipment for this, including a foam roller, a rolling pin and a lacrosse ball among other equipment. I won’t get into the specifics of how to perform self-massages but this allows you to facilitate blood flow into muscles at your own convenience. There is no limit of how many times you should do this. Personally, I would get in a morning self-release session because of “sleeping stiffness” and once more before bed-time. Self-massage before bed time is highly recommended because massage and sleeping is a very good pairing for maximum recovery. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond what they do for self-releases. 

Hanging out with friends 

This one is a bit more unorthodox as it does not directly accelerate recovery like our previous methods. It does not have any direct physiological benefits. However, this method alleviates any stress and/or anxiety from training and competition. Sometimes, because we get so caught up in training that our minds actually slow down our recovery, and without recovery we can train or compete. Once we free our minds, recovery should be easy. 

Personally, when I am in competition prep, all I can think about is how to become better and how to win. This mindset, although very competitive, can be toxic to the mind and body. What is the solution? Do the reverse. Don’t think about competition. Don’t think about training. Take a day off to do something enjoyable. It is summer time right now and I took a day off training to hang out with friends at the beach. It was fun and took my mind off training. Now BOTH my mind and body have recovered so I can return to training to release the beast in me. 

Until next time, 

Coach Marco 

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