Sometimes I think that when we tell people they need to give their bodies time to recover, to do more mobility and to rest, that we sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown, “Wah, wah, wah.” People, please, these aren’t suggestions designed to annoy or pester you, but rather to help you. When we tell you to keep the bar path close to your body on the Snatch, or to use your hips and shoulder shrug to get under the bar on the Clean, it is for the same purpose. To help. Not to hurt. During the Open season, the importance of recovery is made all the more important. When we tackle workouts that push us to a whole new level, in the same way we must consider taking our recovery to a new level.
As CrossFitters we tend to enjoy numbers and specifics (e.g. Clean & Jerk PR, Fran time, Back Squat max, etc.), so Breaking Muscle has a pretty interesting way to look at recovery in the article titled “You Don’t Need More Training, You Need More Recovery” written by Andrew Reed. Take time to read the article and try implementing the technique for a period of time. My guess is that you will see an improvement in the way your body feels, performs and recovers. Enjoy!
A while ago I wrote about training and recovery, putting it into an equation. The equation was simple:
Training Effect = Work x Recovery
In simple terms, if we take T (training) to be one unit for a typical session, then to make the TE (training effect) actually show the benefits of the training, the R (recovery) needs to be at least equal to one.
But most people aren’t adequately recovering. In addition, if you suffer from range-of-motion deficiencies, you should be focusing on those, first and foremost, as they have a massive impact on the rest of the equation. In fact, if you make the rookie mistake of just worrying about the training aspect, then you will never progress.
To make the jump to full recovery, you’ll need some kind of targeted recovery.
A Simple Tracking Tool
Here’s a simple chart to track recovery. The goal is to add your points up to one for each day during normal training:
In a given day, even getting eight and a half hours of sleep (likely broken into eight hours of sleep plus a nap) coupled with eating well still only gives you a score of 0.85. To make the jump to full recovery (a value of at least 1.0), you’ll need some kind of targeted recovery work such as a contrast shower or recovery flexibility work.
Don’t Underestimate the Small Things
If you start tracking your recovery like this, you’ll quickly see areas where improvement can be made. The more I have delved into this, the more interesting the discoveries have become.
Massage, for instance, even done once per week, is much more powerful than foam rolling and other self-release work. So much so that a single weekly session of massage is at least equal to daily self-myofascial release work.
“We all go to the gym and train expecting to see improvement. But with five hours sleep per night, poor diet, and no other recovery strategies in place, you won’t see much, if any improvement.”
In addition, meditation and other internal martial arts practice, such as qi gong, have actually been found to nearly double the results of all the other factors on the table except for sleep.
Read More (rest of article can be found by clicking on the left and scrolling half way down page)