Rest and Recovery

Do you feel as though you are not meeting your training goals as quickly as you would like? Are you fatigued or injured? Have you hit a plateau with your training? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be missing one of the most rolex replica watches important components of training: REST and RECOVERY.

In an effort to better understand why recovery is important, it can be compared to the cyclical patterns of our day-to-day lives. For example, we wake up, eat, commute, work, workout, sleep and repeat. With training, we cycle through our athletic career, through annual training plans and through weekly workouts all including periods of activity and periods of inactivity, known as work and rest. It is the balance between this work and rest that keeps us healthy and strong but finding this balance can be difficult for many.

In order to achieve the right balance between work and rest the following diagram from Bompa and Haff 2009 helps to illustrate that our bodies undergo positive changes when we place just the right amount of stress (i.e. training, work, sports etc.) combined with the appropriate time to adapt (rest) to the stress stimuli. The Y axis represents your fitness readiness and the X axis is the timeline post intense workout.

Figure 1: Phases of Adaptation (Bompa and Haff, 2009)

As illustrated above, fatigue is at its highest immediately following an intense workout. This is when our bodies are at risk for injury and require adequate rest to restore the chemical imbalance, mental fatigue and the depleted muscle glycogen stores that resulted from the workout. The diagram also shows that recovery starts at 24-48hrs post workout and any positive adaptive gains that the body is making begins at the 36-72hrs timeframe.

Using this research as a basis for training would suggest scheduling your intense workouts 3-4 days after each other but not allowing greater than the 3-4 day timeframe to lapse. This allows appropriate recovery time, returning your body to its highest fitness level readiness without allowing your body to return to its original state, resulting in losing any positive adaptations you had gained from your previous workout.

Understanding this small window of opportunity is very important with respect to rest and recovery. Too many intense workouts in a row will be more detrimental than a positive one on your body. Training hard at your highest intensity does not allow your tissues enough time to adapt to the stress stimuli from the previous workout and will eventually lead to overtraining, injuries and/or fatigue.

What is the best way to include rest and recovery to your training schedule? Time off is probably the most obvious and the easiest way to incorporate rest in your training schedules, however, it doesn't mean that's all you need. There are many additional tools and self-techniques you can do that will aid recovery as well. The variety is endless, but some well-known recovery techniques include: massage therapy, self-myofascial techniques, i.e. foam roller, mobilizations, active recovery, restorative yoga, ice baths, compression socks and overall nutrition. Recovery techniques will be personal, some may work for you and others won't so trial and error is the best way to go to learn what works best for you. Some of these techniques will be discussed in further detail in future blogs- stay tuned!

Scheduling time for rest and recovery is just as important as scheduling your workouts so making a conscious effort at directing your attention to your recovery will assist you with both your short-term and long-term goals. Understanding the phases of adaptation will allow you to train smart and program the appropriate rest period between intense training sessions and exploring different recovery tools and techniques to aid recovery will certainly be a positive addition to your training regime.

To learn more about rest and recovery techniques talk to your M2M experts.

Train smart,

Julie Lamontagne M.A.Kin, CATC, CSCS


Rountree, S. 2011. The Athlete's guide to recovery: rest, relax, and restore for peak performance. Boulder, CO: Velopress

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