What if I told you most gains aren’t actually made in training? It may sound unsettling to you, but for of muscle growth that’s 100% the case. Muscles are constructed during rest periods, the more well rested the body is, the better it can repair and rebuild broken down muscle tissue. From looking at all the social media feeds, for #weightlifting, #fitness or #crossfit you would think it was all about personal bests or personal records (PRs) and maximal intense efforts. We’ve all known someone and if we admit it to ourselves, WE have all gone too far at one time or another and felt the throbbing pains the next morning.
Let’s take a look at a typical starting training program. Most programs start well, then as trainees’ progress hitting PR after PR, hit a plateau, get injured, then begin the road to recovery! That’s actually a pretty commonly shared story, isn’t it? We can all think of someone who has been that down journey, that person may be you as well. Push the body and it will perform, that is until it breaks down L. If anyone gets anything out of this, let's hope we can all commit to not injuring ourselves.
People are losing their BIGGEST GAINS by neglecting active recovery. YES, active recovery.
The epitome of all athletic competition is the Olympics. If we examine an Olympic level athlete, in say ..Olympic lifting. They compete in the Olympics once every four years. This means prime time for them only occurs 3-5 times in their lifetime and that is a generous estimation. A notable example is Michael Phelps, a 28-time medalist who would retire after 4 successful Olympic games. Even the best athletes have a window of just 3 or 4 games during their prime, that’s it. Olympic athletes are under THE most extreme pressure to represent for their craft and their country. Their training programs are designed and tailored with exacting long-term strategic accuracy, their medal will only be a testament equal to their dedication to the plan and their training. So if we can learn anything about how to make and train for gains, it would be from looking at their training programs.
Olympic level strategic planning is something we can learn from and adapt to our own specific training goals. For Olympians, the plan must be adhered to without setbacks or the athlete may miss their targets set by staff and coaches. Plans usually include active recovery exercises for off days to help boost recovery and mitigate injury. Just imagine, one minor hamstring pull can set off a 3-week detour training is now a mix of physical therapy and limited training time. After that 3-week period, you still have another couple weeks until you get back to the baseline strength levels PRIOR to injury – you’ve fallen 5 weeks behind if you’re lucky. Meanwhile, the competition is only getting faster, stronger, and accumulating more gains.
Injuries are the #1 stealer of gains. You take time off to recover and more time to get back to where you once were physically and psychologically. Don’t let your team, your coaches, trainers and most importantly yourself down - take preventative measures to decrease injury lock in your gains. This amounts to measurably higher athletic performance down the road. Elite level coaches build active recovery programs into their game plan. You should too!
DON’T MISS THE BIG SECRET.
STOP training without incorporating at least one of these on your off days:
Athletes who recover more effectively come back to each training with an extra the spring in their step. That energy going into the workout makes all the difference in training.
The best way to program is with the long game in mind, train daily to implement the right amounts of stimulus and actively recover. Each day you bring you’ll need you’re A-game, showing up and effort alone isn’t enough. A healthy respect for the body and its recovery phase is an important part of the gains cycle, you can either accept it or learn the hard way (you masochistic devil you).
In all seriousness..
We just want to support you in your aspirations, no one trains hard without a reason. We all aspire towards excellence in one way or another. Train smart, not hard.
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There is a smarter way to recover, here we go over the TOP 5 recovery hacks to get you back into peak athletic shape, recovering more effectively, and get the most out of your hard earned training!
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