Recovery Is Misunderstood
The fitness industry like many other areas of life, usually comes in waves and history tends to repeats itself. Over the past decade the idea of “recovery” via supplements, massage tools and cannabis extracts seem to be the majority of hot products circling social media and experts everywhere. Although recovery is necessary in the pursuit of strength and a muscular physique, it's highly misunderstood.
The basics of recovery rely on the fact that we push ourselves with a stimulus so that our bodies are able to recover while we still progressively overload. In terms of weightlifting this means small increments of load and overall volume but this concept can be applied to anything from running to playing a sport. Systematically progressing our stimulus over time is what programming is all about. Which means 99% of recovery will come from that, the rest comes from what we talk about next.
Its been beaten into the ground and is almost cliche at this point but the best thing for our recovery is hydration, nutrition and sleep. Our bodies are incredible at adapting, and if your training is arranged to progress over time and isn’t just a sequence of numbers to get you sweaty and sore (yes this is a shot at all the instagram trainers out there) you will recover and adapt to your training.
The SAID, “specific adaptation to imposed demand” principle is something you might not have ever heard of, but it has been used in training and injury prevention for what feels like forever and still rings true today. This concept is basically saying that we need enough stimulus to push our limits, so we can then recover, but if too much stimulus is present we will either potentially regress or get injured. Sadly, articles, instagram timelines and even our friends flood us with the next best supplement or program to make our lives easier and recovery better. The truth isn't always the easiest route, it takes dedication, time and patience but nothing worth having is easy.
Hydration: General guidelines for hydration are simple(not always easy to implement), take your body weight and divide it in half and that is the general amount of ounces of water you should start with in a day.
Sleep: Sleep is tricky as it is an individual thing but 6-8 hours for most people is a good starting point, some of us will require more and some less to function well. Another key to sleep is keeping a schedule of when we fall asleep and when we wake up. Having this rhythm will allow us to rest deeper and have more consistent sleep and recovery.