Recovery Week – What’s a Girl (or guy) To Do?

Highway sign with "Road to recovery " textIn our program at Fitness Revolution, we take a recovery week every 12 weeks.  There are many reasons for this.  One of the main reasons is to allow our clients that come to every workout, every day and give it 100% a chance to recover (not just take time off, but we will cover that later).  We find that if you never take time to recover, never have a mental break from the program, never get a week to sleep a little extra without feeling guilty then you might start feeling funky.

Another reason, not quite as important but still a reason, is for our coaches to recover.  I am being totally transparent here by telling you that giving our coaches 4 weeks out of the year to mentally and physically recover from the rigors of coaching is part of the deal.  This allows them to be a better coach, to be mentally refreshed and to avoid physical and psychological breakdown.

Nobody wants a burnt out coach or burnt out client.

Why should we recover?

Some of the things you might start to notice if you are ready for a recovery week (and this might not be every 12 weeks, could be more, could be less.)

  • You are not as excited as you used to be about working out…
  • You have chronic muscle soreness after your workouts….or some nagging issue that just won’t get better (insert…. That shoulder thing, or that foot thing or that back thing here)
  • You are really tired but maybe sleeping so well.
  • When you do workout, you feel sluggish, can’t perform as well as you have in the past…
  • You are craving sugar, caffeine and other crap more than usual….
  • Your immune system is busted and you keep getting sick or you just can’t kick that cold you got 4 weeks ago….
  • You have plateaued in your fat loss efforts or worse yet, you are gaining…..

If you have been noticing any of this or feeling this way, recovery may be just what you need.  And it starts with this week, but it is really something you should be keeping up on all the time.

So what is a recovery week?  Is it just a week, to have an excuse to do nothing?  Of course not.  Is it just a time to rest?  Close but let’s examine that a little closer. Rest is basically the absence of effort or movement.  Recovery is the restorative process by which you regain a normal state.  Does recovery include rest?  Yes.  Is just rest recovery? No.

Here are some things you might consider doing this week that will start the recovery process for you and hopefully get you into some habits that you can continue on a regular basis (these are listed in order of priority):

  1. Eat nutritiously. This is not the week to just blow everything off.  Make sure you are getting plenty of water, veggies and protein.
  2. If you are currently spending one hour per day in an intense workout, take that same time, and do your Self Myo-Fascial Release. Use your foam roller, stick or lacrosse ball. Here are some videos to help you with this:
    Healthy Feet and Ankles: https://youtu.be/CVytpTAOOYk
    Healthy Hips and Knees: https://youtu.be/Ocsj0jX4ook
    Healthy Shoulders: https://youtu.be/CNm2XvqB-yM
    If you have the means go and get a massage from a great therapist, I love Guadalupe and all the therapists at St. Pierre Massage and Spa
  3. If you have had a Functional Movement Screen, you should be working on your priority corrective, right after you foam roll and do your massage work every day.
  4. Get to bed a little earlier. Sleep in a little later if you need to.
  5. Practice some self-control and pass up the offer to workout with a friend or run a 5k….there are plenty of opportunities to do that, but this week, you should focus on r e c o v e r i n g.
  6. Pick a low intensity aerobic exercise like a hike. Here are a few places I like:  Lake Marie Road at Skyline Park, Alston Park.  Take a walk: Park at Century Theater and walk down the River to Kennedy and back.  This route also works great for a bike ride with the kids. Consider a Yoga class, not an intense one, but a restorative class.
  7. Take some time to plan all your workouts for the next 12 weeks in your calendar, so you can schedule everything else around them.
  8. Plan out your meals for the next few weeks.

Hopefully this helps you.  Actually, I know it will if you do it.

If you follow #1 – #5 you can expect to come back to workouts stronger and mentally refreshed.

I would love to hear your ideas.  How do you spend time recovering?

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