Making The Most Of The Recovery Zone
The great thing about being young is your ability to recover.
Remember the days you could hit the town, get utterly glazed, party till the sun came up then head into work for a skull crushing 12 hour shift?
Well anything less than 8 hours sleep a night and you’ve forfeited your ability to function like a normal human being.
The elixir of youth isn’t confined to just looking young – it’s about heading into any physical activity without that lingering fear in your mind.
The one that screams, “How in god’s name am I going to feel after this?”
The voice that never existed when that party was raging on.
The voice than you now can’t shake as that post watershed beer hits the back of your throat.
Unfortunately, recovery has never been something at the front of my mind.
I think it stems from my fasting phase, where I was doing a lot of circuit and high repetition based work.
I also started working out in some capacity, every day, chin ups mainly.
I must have done between 70-100 for six months solid.
I was experimenting with high frequency and to be fair I saw some great results.
Reality reared its pus-filled head, however, when I experienced a sharp pain on the outside of my right elbow during a workout.
A pain which has now lingered around like a disgruntled, unflushable ex.
The wise thing to do when such a situation occurs is to down tools and look at some other activities to take up your time.
The thing is, though, is that it’s hard to be all worldly and wise when you’ve overwhelmed your mind with the ethos that you must train X amounts per week.
Pain is a great leveller in that respect, and sometimes you need the proverbial kick up the arse to shake you out of such lunacy.
So, let’s look at the options available to get yourself back into fighting shape…
Sleep is the greatest recovery tool known to man.
How do I know?
I feel better when I have a longer sleep – and you probably do too.
Why is sleep so good?
I think it’s because waking up is so shit.
7-8 hours every night seems to be the sweet spot for most.
If you’re going to bed at 6am and arising from your coffin during the afternoon then chances are your hormonal profile resembles that of an 89-year-old eunuch sipping on a soy latte while watching Loose Women.
Struggling to sleep at night?
Ditch ogling the smartphone and having a social media bukakke session in your pit and read a book.
You know, those things made of paper and filled with ink?
Still no help?
Then watch this video for some ‘sleep hacking’.
Rest from Exercise
All the good stuff starts to kick in when you’re taking a time out from those ball crushing workouts.
Those muscles just soak up all that red meat and butter you’re eating while indulging in some well earned R&R, waiting to be called into battle for the next workout.
Working out places a lot of stress on the body, even though you might do it to ‘get away from shit’.
Combine this with the other crap that life throws up and it makes even more sense to find some time where you do absolutely nada.
Trees grow when it’s nice and sunny and not when it’s blowing a gale – that’s when they get strong!
Food is the most potent drug on the planet – it affects your quality of life.
And if it makes you feel good then chances are it’s good for you.
When I say good, however, I mean good as in how you feel after eating.
I mean, I love getting drunk but being drunk is a whole different story.
It’s the same with doughnuts – I love eating them but 30 minutes later and I resemble Pete Doherty having a picnic in an Afghan poppy field.
Bacon and eggs on the other hand… well they turn your sperm into frogs and have you breaking PRs like Van Damme breaks bricks!
Don’t be busting your cajones with legendary workouts then fucking it up with nutrient free food, just because it ‘fits your macros’.
Reward yourself with quality whole foods – your body will be thankful.
No, I don’t mean going to your local Thai massage parlour for a back rub with a ‘happy ending’.
Head down to a reputable masseur/masseuse, preferably one with a bit of strength and get a thorough massage.
One that will set about soothing those ripped and aching tissues and have you moving around with the grace of Elvis Presley, just before he took that heart attack inducing ‘death shit’.
Massage is a great way to encourage lymph and blood flow, preventing muscle soreness and fatigue.
Consider massage a luxury?
Well maybe lay off the beers and wine for a weekend and spend your moolah on something that will benefit you as whole instead of wasting the entire weekend in a sweat drenched bed, swearing to yourself that you’ll “never touch a drop again”.
Wrapping it up
So, there we have it guys and gals.
If you were looking for some space age guide to futuristic recovery techniques then you can’t see the forest for all the trees.
At the end of the day it’s all very simple.
There is no secret to recovery, no magic bullets, no freaky supplements that you have to spend your hard earned readies on.
Just get these basics nailed down and you’ll be heading back into your workout regime with a vigour unseen since Dave Lee Travis at a Top Of The Pops wrap party.
If you have any questions or further suggestions to aid recovery feel free to hit me up with a comment below!