“It doesn’t matter how much work you can do – it matters how much work you can recover from.”
– Geoff Neupert
Read the above line again. Then again. Then ask yourself: Am I recovering properly after my training?
Or maybe even, Do I KNOW how to recover properly after my training?
Most of us aren’t recovering properly, and equally as many simply don’t know – beyond vague concepts – what they can do to improve their recovery after training.
If you’re training for the sake of self improvement and not just mindless, self-induced entertainment (which is still better than nothing, so ain’t no judging here) this is something to consider, particularly given the fact that training itself is a quest for adaptation, and adaptation = overload + recovery. There is no equation without recovery, period. This is why a lot of people haven’t hit a PR since Tom Green was still a popular actor. And you wonder why you’re constantly frustrated in the gym.
So what are your options? According to Mark Reifkind, Master SFG and actual LEGIT know-it-all (unlike those fake ones you’ll find on Reddit and other online forums), there are two types of recovery that you can focus on: active and passive. Here are a few examples:
Active: Massage, foam rolling, light workouts, stretching, etc.
Passive: proper nutrition, naps (and I’ll add sleeping more and better in general), improving your blood flow, magnets, hot tubs, water therapy, ice therapy, mental training, etc.
Some of these will cost you money; most of them will not. Ergo, you have no excuse not to utilize at least a few of them. My personal favorites are ice-cold showers (though those are hard to come by in the Middle East. Wonder why) and OS resets, both of which have worked wonders at improving my recovery time. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t include taking my sleep quality seriously, which has worked wonders in terms of my recovery on a day-to-day basis.
If you like to train hard and train often, taking your recovery seriously is non-negotiable. It can be improved, fortified, and allow you to become a force to be reckoned with, or it can keep you down and out and feeling like you’re facing an unclimbable brick wall standing in the way of you and your goals.
Implementation is simple. Odds are you’re already good with overload. Now just prioritize your recovery and you’ll be as good as gold and strong as an ox.