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The Hard Truth About Recovery

Training without recovering

One of our mentors once said “The only reason we exercise is to create an opportunity to recover”. Let’s break that down. The reason we exercise is to get some specific result – lose body fat, gain muscle, improve aerobic ability, gain coordination, agility, balance – whatever it might be. We are looking for some kind of adaptation, right? Well, the only way we get that adaptation is through recovery. You challenge your body’s systems and break them down a bit, and through recovery and a process called supercompensation, we build those systems back up AND some so that we are stronger/fitter than we were before we did the exercise. Eventually we become more resilient to old loads and intensity.

That’s the goal right? To become more resilient. Maybe the weight you used to use isn’t a challenge, or the intensity you used to use is now easy. Either way, you got to this new point by challenging your body AND recovering from the challenge.

If you were to break yourself down, and failed to recover, you might actually end up in a worse place than where you started! That’s why recovery is so important.

The only reason we exercise is to create an opportunity to recover

What does recovery actually entail?
Let’s start with what it’s not – It’s not rolling around on a lacrosse ball, stretching for hours, taking an ice bath, using a massage gun, or getting stim done. Sure, these things are considered “recovery” by the fitness industry (mostly because they can sell you something) but they are NOT what most people should focus on.

What recovery really is is a bit less talked about. The foundation of good recovery is quality and quantity of sleep, stress management, and nutrition.

If you’re not sleeping 8 hours, you’re constantly stressed, and you eat crap food you’re wasting your time focusing on anything else. Dial these in and you’ll see some BIG changes happen in your life. Relationships will improve, your fitness will reach new levels, and you will feel a TON better.

It’s easier said than done, but sleep, stress, and nutrition should be the focus. If they aren’t you’re leaving a ton of progress left on the table, and working hard without getting the results you deserve for your hard work.

What is your lowest hanging fruit? Is it sleep, stress, or nutrition? Pick one and dial it in. Once you got that locked in, move to the next thing.

Need help with any of this? Thats what we have nutrition coaching for – not just for your diet but also for stress management and sleep techniques to maximize your recover so you get the most out of your training.

Email andrew@yankeecrossfit.com if you’re interested in nutrition coaching.