Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Importance of Recovery

Are you overtraining?

Maybe.. probably not..

Could you use some extra time to recover?

Most likely.

People often get confused between overtraining and overuse.  Generally speaking, most people are far from overtraining.  It takes an excessive amount of physical exertion, combined with a lack of rest and proper nutrition to become overtrained.  However, many people are suffering from a conglomeration of overuse injuries.

When people implement a program that has little variety, and refrain from periodization (breaking your training up into specific phases), they begin to develop neurological and muscular recruitment patterns.  Continuous stimulation of these recruitment patterns can become detrimental because we over-develop these muscles, and under-develop the antagonist muscles that work in contrast to these recruitment patterns.

The result: An imbalanced body.

When we become imbalanced, we begin to rely on our over-developed muscles, and continuous reliance leads to overuse.  If we consistently use the same muscles each and every workout, each an every day, we do not allow the muscle to recover.  The micro-trauma that these muscles endure through a tough workout begins to accumulate, and you will eventually wind up with muscular strains, tendinitis, or even a muscular tear. 

Aside from the muscular detriments of inadequate recovery, an overworked neurological system spills over into all facets of our daily living.  Neurological stress can lead to a supressed immune system, a variety of sleep disorders and a host of other mental/physiological issues.

What can you do?

Rest!  Even if you feel like you can crush it everytime you gear up for your workout, it doesn't mean you always should.  IF you're REALLY training HARD, then you WON'T be able to hit it HARD EVERYTIME.  You're body won't allow for it.  You'll either wind up burntout, injured or in some other sad state of physiological distress.  So take some precautionary meausres by getting adequate sleep as often as possible, taking in the proper nutrients and calories to compensate for your activity and expenditure, and taking an occasional break (1 week OFF every 3-4 months or so) from training to allow your body to heal up and recharge. If you don't, you will regret it, I promise.

Check out this video for some basic tips on speeding up your recovery 
(plus, a great protein-rich smoothie recipe):

+Wesley Claytor

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