By: Chris Saliba
With nearly six years of gym attendance statistics to ponder, one interesting piece of data that stands out like the proverbial is that Thursday is our quietest day. This got me thinking about the psychology/physiology behind so much of our membership deciding that 3 consecutive days of training is their limit and whether with the right information our athletes may be able to break this routine/mental barrier and train more often and with better results.
You might be surprised to find out that our aim is not to thrash you every day but rather to balance the various aspects of the program (strength development, skill work, intensity, volume days, etc.) intelligently over the course of the week. If you look over a week of our training you’ll find that the workouts are carefully laid out so that they don’t create a compounding effect on one another and if you do the right recovery work, anyone should be able to train most days. Whoa, six days per week I can’t handle that! Calm down, I am not saying that you should all be training six consecutive days each week; what I am saying that is that 1. if the training programmed on a Thursday is something you need to work on, then don’t let some self imposed and possibly unnecessary routine get in the way of your progress, and 2. if the you feel beaten up after three days of training you’re probably not looking after yourself properly.
This is where recovery work comes in to play.
Did you know there is a difference between rest and recovery? You should all know that exercise is not what makes us fitter, it is the rest and recovery from the exercise. Without rest and recovery we would end up beaten down and no better off for all of our efforts in the gym.
So what’s the difference. Put simply, rest is where you don’t exercise for a day or more whereas recovery is where you actively go about practices that are restorative of your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s not that there is anything wrong with rest, it’s just that at this point in time I would be willing to be that most of our membership does a lot more resting than recovering!
So what do I need to do to recover? There is no single path and nor does there need to be. So long as the activities you undertake play a role in restoring the physical and mental wellbeing of the athlete. Some good examples include, Yoga, swimming, going for a hike, foam rolling, general stretching, massage, magnesium baths, meditation or any combination of these.
Get yourself the basic tools of recovery (foam roller, lacrosse ball, resistance band, magnesium) and you’re at least equipped to get started. Then, start to do something aimed at recovery on each training day and see how you go!
Yes this is going to take some effort and discipline but you’ve already shown you’ve got those attributes by turning up to train at our gym, so why not compliment your training with the right recovery work.
Here is a great resource to get you going – Mobility WOD