I’ve often heard the terms recovery and adaptation used synonymously, and from a human performance (even weight loss and aesthetics) stand point this couldn’t be further from the truth. A simple analogy I’ve been using lately is, recovery is the road between the stress (damage) of training and the adaptation is the destination the road leads to. With that being said, you can stay on the road (recovery) and never get to the destination (adaptation) if you’re doing one of two things with your training, 1. Under training, 2. Over training. Let’s start with under training, because it just makes sense that if you don’t train at all and you’re sedentary, or you simply just half ass your training your not going to elicit an adaptation. Too little training should go without saying because without enough stress physiologically and mechanically on the body, you won’t make yourself more optimal from a performance stand point, or any stand point for that matter. On the other end of the spectrum, over training can elicit the same response as under training, just in a different way which is what this post is mostly about.
The fitness and performance industries are saturated with the narratives “Beast Mode” and “No Days Off” when it comes to physical and performance training; and, if you’re one of these individuals I have news for you, your actually doing more harm than if you were to under train yourself or your client(s) as well. Let’s just use overloaded resistance training as an example, when you weight train you are going to damage your muscles and stress your body both mechanically and physiologically. However, once you have done this your body goes into the recovery phase to repair the damage that just happened from the training; once the recovery phase is complete than you go into the adaptation phase and become stronger to prevent injury for the next time. There’s a dichotomy though, if you’re the type that works out most days of the week and stresses your body pretty significantly, and continue to do so consistently throughout multiple weeks, it’s just a scientific fact that you’re not giving yourself the proper amount of time to recover. With that being said, more than likely you’re adapting very little if at all from this amount of volume. You see, what we forget to mention about the training process is that adaptation takes time, and if you’re constantly stressing your body and not being patient with the process you stay in the recovery phase and never reap the benefits of the adaptation phase. Now, let’s not forget the important variables of proper nutrition and sleep, which can help speed up the recovery process a little bit to help you adapt to that previous stress. As previously mentioned, even with adequate nutrition and sleep the recovery process still will always take time and patience. To put it simply, if you’re overtraining you’re consistently damaging your muscles and actually making yourself weaker and more susceptible to injury than if you were to be slightly undertrained. All in all, a simple formula from the book “Peak Performance” STRESS + REST= GROWTH.
In order to apply this to your own training here are a few quick tips:
- Take full days off and completely rest, maybe foam roll 5-10 minutes and go for a 20-30 minute walk and that’s all you do.
- Train at a maximum of 4 days a week and use the other 3 days to just completely rest and perform the above mentioned process.
- Now there are different types of bodybuilding splits that you can do that allow you to train 5-6 days a week because your not targeting the same muscle groups on back to back days. If you’re more interested in that type of training I will direct you towards mindpumpmedia.com, as this is more their niche of training style. However, if you want more athletic performance benefits I would stick with my programs that will be up soon and are only 3-4 day a week programs.
- Spend 45-60 minutes in the gym per session, and that includes some foam rolling and good priming at the beginning prior to performing your power, agility, and strength training work
- For mental purposes focus on progress and not perfection, training isn’t clean that’s why we have to be consistent with our practice.