There is a key element to training that is often forgotten.
Do you know what it is or have you also forgotten about it?
Any Ideas yet?
Recovery…It’s recovery that is often forgotten about.
The definition of recovery is the return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. When this relates to training that means that you are able to lift the same weight you did previously with the same efficiency, however if you have recovered adequately from the stimulus that you subjected the body to previously you will experience an adaptation/super compensation where you now are stronger than before, meaning you can handle more weight, more reps, more sets, less rest time or a combination of them. If you can’t then it’s arguable that you haven’t recovered.
There are some elements that will help improve your recovery:
– Sleep – You will be ideally getting 6-8 hours of sleep per night.
– Nutrition – Hit at minimum your basal caloric requirement but ideally a surplus of 300-500 calories.
– External Stress – Life… Just life. Work, Money, Relationships, all of these can affect your recovery if they cause your stress levels to be elevated on a constant basis.
In an ideal world these would be managed, it’s worth remembering that out of the three sleep is by far the most important. Stress isn’t far behind as it can affect your sleep, so you could say they are on par, ish.
Why is sleep top trumps in my book?
If sleep is disturbed you will find that homeostasis will be thrown out and your body will rapidly start to decline, even if your nutrition is on point and stress is well managed you will find that a lack of sleep will still take its toll.
Second on the list of importance would be stress. If you’re overly stressed you will find that can not only affect your ability to recover but it can also affect your sleep and your nutritional choices too (you will go looking for sugary foods to increase serotonin levels and lower cortisol).
If your nutrition is a bit lacking it’s not the end of the world, after all, nutrition is easy to sort with some simple tweaks and tracking. Obviously the quality of your food will also have an impact on your recovery, optimally eating the majority of our calories from single ingredient whole foods will yield the best macro/micronutrient profile, if you’re a fan of simple sugars then post workout would be the most optimal time to have these. Try to avoid foods that cause you gut irritation or gastric distress (this will vary from person to person, tracking what you eat and how you feel will help you find out what agrees and what doesn’t).
All in all it’s the management of your sleep and your stress levels that will have the biggest impact on you ability to recover.
To review the points above:
– Sleep – 6-8hour per night
– Stress – 10min daily meditation & 30min walks help lower cortisol.
– Nutrition – Eat mostly single ingredient whole foods at 3-500cal surplus.
Get these right and you will find your recovery is second to none.