2nd post, consistency
Our bodies are meant to move. We are meant to walk, run, squat, jump, pick things up, put them down, rotate, thrust…you get the picture. Once we stop moving we are dead, literally. Lifting, playing, hiking, swimming, and love-making…all movement. All things people enjoy. Regardless if you move for sport or for pleasure, too much movement can do damage, “recovery” is incredibly important.
I get a lot of questions about recovery, I also see a lot of posts about recovery. This post is assuming that you, the reader, believe in the idea that recovery from things is important.
The truth is, recovery is different for every different individual, regardless of position, sport, or level. It is easy to understand that a weightlifter and a soccer player would have entirely different recovery methods. On the same point, an offensive lineman and a defensive back would have different issues to deal with after a football game. The energy expended, physical beating, and muscles used, are completely different for both of those athletes who play the same sport, different position. In addition, the 9-5 employee needs completely different recovery methods than the athlete or competitive exerciser.
The question comes down to, what is recovery to YOU! Many do not know and need to seek it out. Active-recovery (heart rate monitored aerobic work for specific time), yoga, light weightlifting (percentage based), moving in the pool+some stretching, acupuncture, massage, meditation, ice-bath, and contrast showers. These are all ideas of recovery, they all have a place and time it just depends on the individual. The powerlifter might do 2×10-15 of deficit RDL’s @ 20-30% of their max to elongate the postern chain and get some blood-flow throughout and some easy turkish get ups. The distance runner might might run or ride at an easy aerobic pace to reset themselves. A running back on a Sunday morning after a game Saturday night, might do some easy aerobic work, stretching, and a few 15-30 yard sprints at 30/40/50/60% effort to get some acid out of their body followed by a massage. Everybody is different.
For you the exerciser, what brings ‘recovery’ to you? A massage, acupuncture, sitting in a jacuzzi, a light 20-30′ bike ride (when I say light, all recovery should be easy aerobic work). Some may like yoga for the breathing. Some may like playing with their kid in the front yard. Whatever reduces cortisol, whatever releases endorphins and puts a smile on your face is recovery.
For me, and what I tell my athletes/exercisers is find something that allows you to ‘escape’. That doesn’t mean something where you don’t think and are completely oblivious, but something you enjoy doing where you can focus solely on the recovery activity that allows for a distraction. A distraction is important, a distraction allows the individual to reset and come back to their homeostasis.
Recovery can be anything you want, but make sure it is smart. I see too often people doing ‘recovery’ and trying to hit a heavy snatch single, or run themselves into exhaustion in the hills. Those are the type-A people that do not understand the longevity of training. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. You will not finish, you will not become stronger, faster, better, more elite soon; it takes a long.damn.time. Be smart, take care of your body and recovery. Pay attention to negative signs and don’t get too ahead of yourself. Enjoy the journey, you only get one of them.
The only muscle worth training is the one that sits inside your skull