With the mass variety of endurance and strength training available to us today, I find myself questioning how people optimise time for recovery? Methods of training such as HIIT, Calisthenics, Bodybuilding and Ninja require a huge effort from the musculoskeletal and nervous system which can leave you feeling depleted and drained, especially if you’re overtraining.
In the fast-paced and competitive society that we live in today, we all strive to work harder and be stronger. With these demanding expectations of a healthier and happier lifestyle do we put aside enough time to look after our body?
Many people believe that all varieties of training have only positive impacts on your body. When looking for positive results it is best to be aware of cardiovascular changes as well as changes in your physique/muscle tone. Some people struggle with attaining results physically, no matter how many squats or push-ups they do. In cases like this, you should probably have a look at your nutrition intake. We can all agree these positive effects are great but if working out gives us a sense of euphoria and a drive for success, then why do we still feel all the uneasy, tense and exasperated feelings throughout our body after a hard workout? Well, I will tell you why – EXERCISE IS GREAT BUT RECOVERY IS KING!!
Answer the following questions:
-Do you get 8 hours of sleep EVERY NIGHT?
-Do you take magnesium supplements BEFORE bed?
-Do you incorporate anti-inflammatory products such as Turmeric?
-Do you stretch at least 10-15 mins a day or an hour 1-2 times per week?
-Do you roll out?
-Do you work on your MOBILITY?
-Do you get regular massage/chiropractic or osteopath sessions?
-Do you ice your muscles or spend time in saunas?
-Do you balance out all the high impact cardio/resistance-based training with low volume steady state training?
Let me guess, as you were going down the list of questions there was only a ‘YES’ Response to maybe 2/3 of the above things? If most of your answers were NO then keep reading below. If you’re answers are YES then you are killing it – keep up the great work!
The truth is, in order to maintain our training patterns and allow our body to have longevity in training we need to ensure that we are doing everything that we can in order to look after ourselves from the inside out, ensuring that we are building a solid platform in all areas.
Now I ask again, how do you recover?
Here are a few things I do to recover:
- I usually sleep about 8 hours a night, sometimes more! Sleep is such an underestimated tool for recovery, stress and much more! If you aren’t getting 8 hours sleep, you should try to prioritise this in your life. The research is out there now and states that sleep should be prioritised over training to get the best health benefits!
- I take magnesium for recovery every night before I go to sleep. Magnesium brings a tranquil feeling over your body. It helps the cells relax before bed meaning you will fall asleep easier.
- Incorporate a 10 -15 min stretch and mobility at the end of every workout session. The muscles I have trained will determine which stretches and mobility drills I do. I sometimes do these BEFORE a training session too – especially the mobility ones. If you don’t ‘have time’ for 15 mins then do 5 -10 mins. I also like to do an hour stretch at least once a week! ANYTHING is better than nothing!
- Roll out using a roller and a lacrosse ball twice a week. I only do this twice a week as the myofascial release needs time to adjust – sometimes 48 hours to ensure you don’t overstimulate those facial fibres. It is recommended that you leave 24-48 hours between each rolling session. Personally, I don’t like to do it every day and find it works much more effectively if I only do it a few times a week for about 20-30 mins. Research has actually shown that foam rolling doesn’t give you any long-term mobility or flexibility benefits but that it is just like a form of self-massage for short term relief.
- I am currently making a balanced training regimen a top priority of mine. It’s tough to find the balance between high intensity and high impact sessions and low intensity, low impact sessions. I would recommend balance in training for you too as it will help with your recovery time in the long run!
- I usually see my functional rehabilitation specialist (who is also a biomechanics specialist and a chiropractor and much more.) around every 8-10 weeks and get my body realigned and back in working order. Everyone is different so some people may not need to see a physio/osteo/chiro at all, but others will probably need more regular sessions.
- Jump in the ocean! A great way to get rid of the lactic build up or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is to swim around in the ocean. If it’s too rough out there or I can’t get to the ocean for some reason, I will go to my local leisure centre and do a swim, spa and sauna session, which is the ultimate recovery tool!
- Finally, My FAVOURITE recovery is an INFRARED sauna which I get at the PH clinic in Manly, NSW, Australia. I will usually try to get an Infrared sauna session every 4-6 weeks although I am aiming to try and get one in every 2 weeks as I feel greatly rejuvenated afterward.
So, there you have it! My top tips on recovery. I could definitely add some more tips and tricks for the optimum recovery but let’s not inundate you now! The above may seem like a lot but just start with one and build in a new step every 3-4 weeks once you have the first step down. For me, the top two to get started would be magnesium before bed and stretching/mobility. Try to incorporate these for the next 4 weeks and hopefully you will feel the difference. Once you have the habit of the first one, then try adding in a new one. You only get one body and one chance in this life. Your body is a temple, your vessel to get you through this life to the next. Use it wisely.
For more information on flexibility, mobility or anything to do with recovery please get in touch! I would love to hear from you!
Recover well my friends,
The Disco Ninja
The Disco Ninja is one half of the dynamic duo behind Strong Body’s Become a Ninja programs. She is one of Australia’s most popular Ninja Warrior Australia competitors and world famous for being the shortest competitor in the world to scale the formidable Warped Wall – which is 3 times taller than her!