Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recovery 101: What You Need to Know

Whatever you train for, whatever goal you have, whatever your interest is, there is one key to success.  Recovery.  You can bust your butt in the gym, lifting heavy weight, rep after rep, or get on the track and run sprint after sprint, but the key to progress is recovery.

When I write workout programs, I start with the finish product, the goal, then fill in the days of recovery working backwards.  You don't get stronger lifting weights, you get stronger recovering from the lifting weights.

Stimulate, don't annihilate, recover.  Repeat.

Here are the keys to Recovery.
1.  Sleep.  Get 7-9 hours of it every night.
2.  Nap, when you can.
3.  Post workout meal  (get some carbs/protein 4-1 ratio)  If you're trying to lose weight, cut some carbs)
4.  Pre workout meal.  A little bit of protein.
5.  Stay hydrated.  Drink more water, then drink some more.
6.  Lot of fruits and vegetables.  What's a lot.  More then you're eating now.
7.  Foam roll.  Everything but the low back and neck.  Spend at least 8 minutes a day.
8.  Quality soft tissue work.  Pay for it, or eventually hurt.
9.  Supplement  (extra whey protein, creatine, rhodiola rosea, multi vitamin, zma)
10.  Compression.  I am testing some compression socks this week.  But we had a lot of bobsledders use recovery tights and like them.  I have had a few runners in the past month say they work.

This doesn't really talk about meditation or breathing.  While both these things can be of great benefit, I don't really have a great grasp or practice with them, so don't feel very qualified to talk about them.  But a few yoga practitioners I know, swear that breathing helps recovery.

Implement these ten things and it will help maximize your recovery, which in turn, maximizes your training.  Reach your goal.


Dr. Scott said...

Jay, I love the foam roller and have patients do it all the time. I was just sent this...what are your thoughts?

Jason Ross said...

Yea. I've actually emailed Mike a few times about some other things. I think we just disagree about pain. I can see pain reducing strength immediately post. But give the muscle a minute to calm back down and it's back to normal. I've seen with consistent rolling the adhesioned muscles ROM improve with consistent work in a matter of a few days.

It's proven that adhesions reduce strength output. I've only seen positive things with rolling.

Dr. Scott said...

I agree, All of my active patients are encouraged to do foam rolling, and have only seen positive we do it as pre-stretching after activity

Chase Karnes said...


I noticed you mentioned not foam rolling the low back.

This is the first I've ever heard of this. Why do you avoid this area?


Jason Ross said...

Chase, The goal of foam rolling is to create greater mobility through enhanced tissue quality. You don't want greater mobility in the lumbar spine or cervical spine (except for upper cervical) so you don't roll those areas. Roll the hips/legs and Thoracic spine. You want to strive for stability through the lumbar spine.

Thanks for checking out the blog.