Recovery is such an undervalued concept in big box gyms everywhere.
I remember back when I first started lifting weights. I went hard in the gym a few times a week, hockey practice 3x/week, then games on weekends. Then I’d stay up late and get up early for school the following day. Overexertion and sans rest.
Rest is what allows your training effects to take hold and make you better. Without it, your performance plummets. This is why we ask you about your subjective stress levels because life events can also have an effect.
Take my client, Ann, this morning. She’s has family in town and they LOVE to bake. Now she’s left with a bunch of cookies to “handle”. Her body composition numbers are down, and her weights feel significantly heavier this week. She’s accumulated fatigue and we need to dial her down this week.
So how do we do that? Well, we keep the weights relatively low. She won’t be setting any PRs this week because her nervous system isn’t up to it, but we still go through the program because exercise is going to help regulate her body’s mechanisms. This time is especially useful for dialing in technique. We replace her difficult conditioning work with walking at a comfortable pace. This will allow her to get blood flow without taxing her fatigued nervous system. And we do some crocodile breathing after everything, using the respiratory system to “shut her down”.
We’ll repeat this stuff when she comes back in on Thursday, too, even if she’s feeling a little better. She killed it last week and I want her to be able to realize the strength gains she’s made recently.
If you’re visual, check out this beautiful picture I drew (it’ll get bigger if you click it):
Too many people just see one side of the dichotomy. If they’re feeling down, they dial it up. And dial it up. AND DIAL IT UP! They never think that maybe they should dial it down before their body MAKES them.
As a trainer, I love having the ability to make these decisions. We had a plan set, but when she came in, we realized that plan was no longer the best idea. So we modify. That’s what makes us at IFAST so unique, and I’m proud of that.
Recovery is a huge part of training, so don’t neglect it!