How are you feeling this week? Are you feeling motivated and keeping the determination up? Or are you feeling tired or lacking focus? We’ve talked a lot about taking time to recover this week...remember that it is equally important to your training guys. You can’t get fitter if you’re running on empty.
So this week team I’m talking about your Rest & Recovery.
When learning about training, almost everyone initially misses out on getting to love recovery. It’s just as important but not obvious at first.
So how does clever training improve your physical performance? I read a great page from one of my fitness books that explains this very well...
“It’s 10,000 years ago and you are wandering across the plains in your designer leopard-skin with your club over your shoulder and a bad haircut! A sabre tooth tiger jumps out from a rock and chases you. You run as fast as you can, manage to get away and hide in a cave.”
While your mind is saying “That was close!” your body is saying “Yeah too close! Next time I’m going to run faster.” And so your body adapts by increasing its capacity to escape big cats with attitudes.
This is not rocket science. But the underlying principle is important. Your body adapts specifically to a stimulus you place on it to improve. It’s a physiological survival mechanism. Here’s how it works.
After you exercise, your body gets tired. If you exercised for 30 minutes your performance would drop compared to when you started. If you rested long enough to recover, your body would respond by preparing itself for another bout of exercise. This makes sense. But the clever part is the way the body responds.
Your body overcompensates for the stress (training) you exposed it to, so that the next time that stress or training comes along it can cope easily. This is how we get more fit.
If you did 30 minutes of training, you would get tired. If you then had five minutes recover, had a cup of coffee and a cookie, did another 30 minutes of training, you’d get more tired. And your performance would go down.
If you then had five minutes of recover, another cup of coffee and another cookie, then did another 30 minutes of training, you’d be even more tired. And your performance would go down even further.
And (running the risk of getting boring now), if you had another cup of coffee and (lets change it up this time) some chocolate, then did another 30 minutes of training, you’d be even more tired. And your performance would go down even further.
The pattern in clear – every time you train, you get tired and your performance gets worse. This is critical to understanding how you exercise but it does seem a bit backwards doesn’t it? We mostly think “when I train I get fit!” – This is not TRUE!
When you train you get worse (more tired). It’s when you recover from training that you get more fit. The recovery part is just as important as the training part.
If you don’t recover, you don’t get any better, and you will probably get worse.
People say to me in the gym “I’m going to train even if I’m really tired because I feel guilty if I don’t”. But the training/recover balance is all important – Never train more than you can recover from. You want to walk out that door and get a return from all your efforts, otherwise it’s pretty much a waste of time (if getting fitter is your goal).
So the flip side to this is this. If you went out and did 20 minutes of exercise, then let your body recover and adapt you would achieve a certain level of fitness. Then the next time you went out and did 25 minutes of training, your body would adapt to a higher level. If then the next time you went out and did 30 minutes, your body would then, (as long as your recovered) adapt to an even higher level.
So in a nutshell this is how our training works. This is how I try to get you to improve. We have to have recovery so that you are constantly getting return for the time you spend working out.
You train and then recover to absorb the training so we don’t waste time and energy!
Fitness Fact of the week
Sitting down is not great for your body - As soon as you sit down the electrical activity in your leg muscles shuts off, your calorie burning drops by 1 per minute, the enzymes that help break down fat drop by 90 %. People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs. Get up and move!
Quote of the week
“The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body and polish the spirit!”