Fitness Gains Require Recovery (Video)

Signs that you may not be getting adequate recovery and/or your training volume is too high include: (but are not limited to):

  • Decrease in performance.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Loss of interest in your activity.
  • Headaches.
  • Inability to handle stress.
  • Gastrointestinal issues.
  • Increased frequency of illness, especially upper respiratory illness.
  • Loss in ability to concentrate.
  • Changes in resting heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate.

Strategies to Get Adequate Recovery
(Adapted from American College of Sports Medicine Recommendations)

  • Take at least one recovery day every week.  More may be necessary based on your activity level
  • Apply periodization to your training plan.ƒ
  • Incorporate variety into your plan.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Make sure that training volume and training intensity are inversely related.  In other words, if you are exercising at very high intensities, the volume (sets, reps, time, etc.) is low.  If your intensity is low, than volume can be higher.
  • Avoid too great a relative intensity (percent of 1 Repetition Maximum) for extended periods.
  • Avoid too great a training volume (number of sessions, exercises, sets and reps) for extended periods.
  • Avoid performing every set of every exercise of every session to absolute failure, with no variation.
  • Make sure that when you are selecting exercises you aren’t overusing particular joints or muscle groups.ƒ
  • Avoid excessive use of eccentric muscle actions.  This refers to those exercises that require your muscles to elongate while you are creating force.  Ever wondered why you’re so sore after lunges?
  • Take into account the cumulative training stresses from other forms of exercise (in other words make sure you are taking into account ALL of your training including cardiovascular training, sport-specific training, etc.)

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