Recovery

If you have no time to rest, it’s exactly the right time

–Mark Twain

We are down to the last couple of weeks before the PHP Super Total Lift-off (check out the event with updated details on registration and how to pay) and from what I have seen, athletes are making the finishing touches on technique to come and put up some big numbers! With that in mind, I wanted to throw some tips and tricks up  to make sure everyone comes well rested and recovered to bring the best game possible to the meet.


Sleep

Of all the different aspects of recovery, sleep is among the most important. Yes, it is possible and even probable that you can come in with very little sleep, and in the right environment and mind-set, crush a training session. Now that being said, prolonged periods of heavy training without proper rest WILL result in a decrease in performance and output. This not only applies to weight on the bar or overall time, but will result in sloppy and potentially dangerous technique and form issues.

Best advice: Get as much sleep as you need. Take naps when you can and sometimes turn down the possibility of going out, especially of you are exhausted or destroyed from a training day. Remember, the good times will continue to roll in, but your competition has a set date and you don’t get those hours lost back..


Mobilize

I pretty much talk about this every time I post (and not just because it is the topic of this entire blog/website). This is what gets you better. This is what corrects movement dysfunction. This is what will take you from decent to good and from good to great. If you have the ability to move through the range of motion needed, all we have to do is instill technique and strength (both of which take far less time than trying to correct an injury you receive by trying to muscle through a motion your body physically is incapable of performing). When training, make sure and listen to your body. I am not going to tell you that pain is bad, because if you are training like you should be, it is going to happen. You are going to be sore, tired, and maybe in some pain; but know the difference between a little pain and “oh shit, I don’t move this way” pain (which usually results in a painful range of motion or swollen joint the next day or couple of days).

Best advice: Mobilize and mobilize often. Find 10 to 15 minutes in the morning and 10-15 minutes before you go to bed to add into your daily routine to work on issues specific to your sport and goals (or to help correct imbalances you might currently have). Make sure to include all of these movements in your warm-up and cool-down before and after your training sessions (if you need advice on these Facebook message us and we can get you some solid information or refer back to our Mobility post).


Vary intensity and volume

This tip can be found in any intro to movement science book (I figured if I put the word Kinesiology, no one would know what I was talking about). This is also a concept that applies to every sport and training regiment:
Intensity and volume (for the most part) are inversely related. Now, I am not going to go into which training plan for this and that is better, just know that you may want to rethink your plan if you have 12 sets of above 90% (one workout might be alright, but overtime this will destroy you). Also note that a deload week is a must, but also varies with most coaches between 4-8 weeks.

Best advice: Ask questions of your coach, do research, and push yourself to your limit (but know what that limit is). Make sure that you have a sustainable program for your goals and keep in mind that processes of changing the human body take time (lots of time) and patience, so trust in proven methods, but always know that everybody is different and there is no one size fits all programming, so give feed back!


Supplementation

This one is usually pretty controversial and depends on what Dietitian or coach/trainer that you talk to. I will say that the last thing you need to worry about if you are in the first 5 weeks of your lifting career is finding the right protein, creatine, ZMA, etc. to fuel your body. However, if you have been on a structured training regiment for a while (especially if you are training 4-6 days a week) having a little helping hand in recovery might not be such a bad idea. NOTE: I am not a doctor nor am I a RD, so make sure and check with such before implementing supplements into your diet. There are a couple of supplements that I definitely recommend once the time comes:

  1. High Quality protein source
    1. Make sure the company you get this from is reputable and has not come under scrutiny for nitrogen dumping (add Nitrogen groups into the protein to increase the reading of protein when tested). Some brands that I really enjoy are Dymatize, Optimum Nutrition, and Eat the Bear.
  2. Caffeine and Electrolyte Replacement
    1. If you are not sensitive to caffeine, this is a must when coming into the gym for the 4th of 6 training days (tired is no longer an excuse at this point in the game), so making sure you have something to help you focus and get the reps or miles in is a must. NOTE: This does not have to be some pre-workout concoction as coffee works really well and has all the caffeine you will need to make some great gains. Electrolyte Replacement is good to having during the workout to keep you hydrated and flavor your water just a little bit, NÜNN tablets are an awesome way to go (they even have some with caffeine in them if you are not a coffee fan).
  3. Sleep aids for recovery
    1. Most training nights I take a small assortment of supplements and powders that I found on a Catalyst Athletics post that seem to help my overall recovery time and soreness from session to session, they are as follows:
      1. ZMA
        1. This comes in pill form and is a Zinc and Magnesium mixture. Zinc helps support the immune system while the Magnesium helps with muscle health and sleep management.
      2. Magnesium Powder
        1. This can be found at Wal-Mart in a Lemon-Berry flavor and is mixed with water to drink with the handful of pills taken. As stated before, this is to help sleep management and muscle health (sleep tends to get iffy when all your joints and muscles ache, so anything that will help is a must).
      3. GABA
        1. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (yes, I had to look the spelling up) serves to calm/block nerve impulses and transmission in the brain, which acts as a natural tranquilizer (it will not knock you on your ass, but instead help put you into a calm state for sleep).

Food intake

This is by far the biggest issue when going from a normal exercise routine or weight-loss program to a performance based training program. YOU MUST EAT ENOUGH TO FUEL YOUR PERFORMANCE, END OF STORY!!! Gone are the days of trying to limit your Carbohydrates (which I would not recommend to most active individuals) and going on crash diets. You have to make sure that you are getting enough Protein, Fats, and Carbohydrates necessary for recovery and performance. The best way that I have found to make sure you are getting enough is to track your macros (grams of the 3 food groups). If you do not know how to do this, Facebook message us or come talk with us in person and we can get you started on the right track. Limiting your food intake (when I say limiting, I am not talking about for small weight cuts, I am referring to under eating and an unhealthy relationship with food) might work for a little while, and you might not see negative effects for weeks or event months, but know that they will come and they usually result in much greater disadvantages than advantages!


Read it, learn from it, and implement some of it into your daily routine! We have 19 days left until the competition so make sure and get registered as soon as possible (we want to make sure and have enough food and beer for all) and keep your recovery game strong! Keep track of what is going on with the event by checking back here on Mondays and Wednesdays and checking the Facebook Page a couple of times a week!

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