We all know by now, I hope, that the key to performance is recovery. When we recover optimally we can train harder and not feel like dumpster fire. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors out there and a lot of murky information or scams like oils you rub all over your body to help you “recover”. People push all kinds of things to boost their recovery, but a lot are not backed data or research and most you come with a social media influencer’s discount code.
I have always been the “show me the data” kind of person, but in the case of recovery, I think getting back to what we have always been told gets left behind. I am no scientist or expert, but I can tell you what I think is important. If these things are honed in on, your bodies ability to recover better will increase and therefore allow you to train harder...win win. take it or leave it:
If these aren’t fine tuned, your epsom salt baths and CBD oils don’t matter fam.
1. Snooze Hard. Not just getting the quantity of sleep you need, but the quality of sleep you need. Once you find your sweet spot of hours, it is critical to dive into other things for your routine such as temperature control, I like 66-68 degrees. As we know, blue lights can be detrimental, a dark room with no screens is great. I use blackout curtains and a white noise sound machine. Whatever you do: drink tea, meditate, journal, yoga, pray, read, just make sure it is YOUR schedule and your body vibes with it.
2. Diet & Nutrition. Let us make one thing clear, I am NOT a dietician or nutritionist, but I know plenty that can help. But I do know that PROPER nutrition (quality and quantity) is queen when talking about growth and recovery. I won’t go down this rabbit hole, but just know that this is a game changer and there are GREAT sources out there, but also phonies.
3. Programming. Can I get an “AMEN”- Proper programming people. We all have different goals, experience, and bodies, so please have a program that is sensible for you. You are only able to accrue so much volume and intensity before injury comes and slaps you across your jowls. Forget injury, too much training can cause burnout. If you aren’t enjoying what you do...then maybe the program isn’t for you. And we can’t forget about programming deloads/rest days.
4. Parasympathetic TLC. Humans always seem to be idling in a sympathetic state. Don’t get me wrong, this is great walking up to a barbell, but we shouldn’t be cruising in this state all the time. If you are always in this state, it will take more and more to get there during a workout which will lead to diminishing returns. What this looks like for each person is different, so a few examples are: taking a few minutes to walk and stretch after a workout and turn off the Five Finger Death Punch after, breath work throughout the day,getting bodywork/massage,taking a REST day, and a hot bath and a good book
5.Work Capacity. Well, what does this actually mean Sara? This is your body's ability to produce work over different durations, intensities, and using different energy systems. Tap into other energy systems and grow your thresholds over different modalities. GPP. Read and educate yourself in these areas.
Again, these are not novel ideas, I hope it sparked something in your head of what you are currently doing and where you can tweak some things to live a better life, train hard, mitigate injuries, and actually recover. Shift priorities, especially now that we have the time.