If You’re Going To Work Then You Have To Rest
When it comes to improving your fitness the work outside the gym is as important as the work in the gym. The work in the gym is only a piece of the puzzle. If you are truly interested in improving then recovery must be taken seriously.
Remember that “Training = Work + Rest”. Without adequate rest and recovery the training will become less effective and you will plateau.
In my experience when people have hit a plateau it is because they are under-recovered and can’t train with the proper intensity to keep making gains.
With that in mind here are a few of my favorite recovery practices. You can’t do too many of these. There is no such thing as being over recovered. Engage in these practices as much as humanly possible and reap the rewards of being rested and fresh.
Think of yourself as a smart phone and your bedroom as the charger. If you leave the house in the morning and your phone is carrying a 20% charge how useful a tool is it really? It will be shutting down by noon. You can’t text, you can’t talk, you can’t play on Facebook, get directions, or check your email. The phone becomes useless. On the other hand if you leave the house on a 100% charge you have a useful tool all day until you get home at night. Your your body works the same way. Get enough quality sleep and you leave the house fully charged and ready to go. If you leave under slept and undercharged then how well do you really expect yourself to perform?
Try for 8-9 hours of sleep a night in a completely blacked out environment (You’ll produce more testosterone and Human Growth Hormone). If you can’t get that much sleep in one shot then learn to love naps. Bottom line is to get more sleep.
There is nothing more anabolic than an extra hour of sleep a night.
An essential home massage tool. It will help your muscles to relax and it will help your muscles stay in proper working order. Bound up tissue doesn’t function properly. It is great for the glutes, quads, calves, low back, and hamstrings. I would recommend using the foam roller for 15-20 minutes every single night.
Ice Baths have been used for years and they are regularly used by the best athletes in the world. Place 50-70lbs of ice in the bath tub and get in. Sit for between 15 and 20 minutes. When you get out let your body warm up naturally. This should be done after any difficult workout.
A 20-30 minute walk is a great way to get the body moving, flush the muscles, stimulate an appetite, and unplug from the world. It should be relaxing and done at an easy pace. Go to a park, walk around your neighborhood, or go somewhere relaxing. Leave your phone at home. It is also a great way to spend quality time with your spouse, kids, or walk the dog. You could do this every day.
Find a good one and see them regularly. Regular massage is a way to keep the muscles working properly, treat current injuries, and prevent further injuries from occurring. It is also an excellent way to relax. Finding a good therapist is essential. I would aim to get a massage every 1-2 weeks.