Nov 15, 2011

Rest & Recovery: More is better . . . NOT!

"I need a day off, I have to give my muscles a day or so to recover!" 
How many times have we heard this?  Or, maybe said it ourselves?  Well, your muscles actually recover fairly quickly, it's the rest of the body that doesn't.
"It's not JUST your muscles that need to rest and recovery. It’s your entire body as a whole. From your joints, to your tendons, to your central nervous system."

I'm sure we've all heard the expression, "More is BETTER!"  Well, you couldn't be farther from the truth.  More is NOT better.  In fact, as we get older I like to say, "We don't train harder, we train smarter!  However, as we get older our mindset changes to, "Oh, I have to work harder to keep up my fitness level like I had in my 20's!"  With this mentality, we push and push. "You can hit your head against a cement wall only so long before it cracks open!"  Pushing your body day in and day out can lead to chronic fatigue and/or overtraining.
"Overtraining" is a common word used in the training vocabulary, but instead of using this word, let's use "Under Recovery".  Different words for the same outcome . . .

If you’re wondering if you are currently under-recovering, here are the most common signs:
  • You get sick and/or catch colds more often than usual.
  • You feel tired and run down all the time.
  • You are losing motivation (or interest) in working out.
  • You’re experiencing occasional muscle and eyelid twitches.
  • You’re having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and/or your overall sleep quality has just gone to crap in general.
  • Instead of getting easier, your workouts are getting harder.
  • And most important of all, you are making NO progress and getting NO results for an extended period of time (no new strength, no new muscle, no new anything). In some really bad cases, it’s also pretty common to notice that you are actually LOSING strength and/or muscle
So if you find yourself saying, "that's me" to a few of the points listed above, assume that you may be "under recovering".  Give yourself a week to rest up and heal . . . you have nothing to lose.  When you come back, you'll feel refreshed, excited to workout and feel much, much stronger and happier!

~ Coach Heather

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