There has been increasingly more conversation around the topic of recovery for increased performance and overall gains. The days crushing yourself day and night to maximize strength output and performance are pretty much over. We see athletes like Lebron James, Steph Curry, Brian Campbell, and Carly Llyod adapting their training ways and putting more emphasis on their recovery.
Here are my top 5 ways to recover hard and increase performance.
One way to increase performance is simply more mobility work and having training days dedicated towards just basic movement. Implement a daily stretch routine, foam roll, and add in low-impact cardio to get the blood flowing. Getting blood flow through the body will help heal broken-down tissue from our hard training days.
Drink plenty of water, rule of thumb, half your body weight in ounces of water per day. A good play here would be buying a water bottle, maybe a big ass water bottle, so you know you have the adequate amount and can monitor throughout the day. And yes, you will pee more, and that’s ok, use it as a break from your desk. You can even get some steps in and work those hips out of the extreme hip flexed position we are in so frequently when sitting.
Hit a Sauna
Or better yet, an infrared sauna. Saunas are great for a number of reasons. Infrared saunas specifically penetrate the body on a deeper level, some rays of light hit the cellular level and can aid in regeneration and longevity. If you’re local to New Jersey or just visiting, South Jersey’s original float center, Float SNJ, has an infrared sauna I use regularly!
Don’t skimp out here, our bodies recover as we sleep, so set that alarm clock to initiate shut down. What does your nighttime routine look like? Is it sitting in front of a screen blasting you with blue light? We should be minimizing blue light as the sun starts to set, get a pair of blue blockers, turn off the TV, set your phone to night mode, have a PM stretch routine, light an incense, get yourself a salt lamp, sit outside while the sun sets. Buy a tracker, something that measures your sleep quantity and quality, my personal favorite for this is a Whoop Strap.
In the gym, we are breaking down our tissues, and what we fuel the system with is what our bodies use to rebuild. You may have heard the phrase, you are what you eat, and it’s not wrong. If you want to build strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the building blocks are proteins. For muscle maintenance to building, the general rule of thumb is .8-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight. Experiment here, not only with quantity but with quality. You can go the whey route if you’re not too sensitive to dairy, but there are multiple sources here with different benefits. One of my go-to’s would be collagen protein, targeting strong tendons and ligaments, I go with Primal Kitchens.
Remember, the pendulum swings equally as far to the right as it does to the left. You must recover equally as hard as you train or you may find yourself with nagging injuries, pain, and discomfort. You can increase performance, feel better, live pain free, and get your gains without punishing yourself daily.