Recovery is without any doubt one of the most important thing to take care of during a program, whether it is for powerlifting or not, if you want to take your performances to the next level.
Almost every serious (or less serious) athlete do give his 100% during workouts. Everyone enjoy hitting PR’s, doing more volume then before, changing up the schedule with more frequency, more variations etc…But, how many are ready to do what others do not? How many are ready to make efforts outside of the gym?
We all have different lives, different responsibilities and different problems to deal with. We work, we are stressed, we waste our time…and you end up eating junk food or not enough food, going to bed ad 3a.m instead of 10p.m. In this society, it is hard to find the time to establish good and healthy habits.
If you are serious about your training, it is your responsibility to maximize recovery
First, you need to know what the fitness and fatigue paradigm means.
When we train, we are looking for adaptation to a specific effort (we want to get stronger, faster, more explosive…). However, as we train, while we do progress on the attributes we are working on, training do generate some sort of fatigue (acute, chronic, muscular, neural…this will surely be subject of a future article) that makes it impossible for us to express our potential. The goal of a sport is to play on these two factors, and then when it’s time to perform, succeed in bringing down fatigue and make our real potential emerge.
In a program, on the other hand, the danger is that it could be generating too much fatigue, which is counterproductive to progress. However, let us look at it from a different perspective. The problem these days is that we tend to say: “training is too hard”, “too much volume”, “too heavy”, “I will be overtraining”. No. You are in under recovery. You do not make the necessary efforts to recover from your sessions and prepare for the next ones. That is the truth. If your sleep, your nutrition, your lifestyle, if everything is on point, then the program may need some adaptations. Nevertheless, if only one of these factors is not on point, you do not have to complain, but to make more efforts (if training is n°1 priority in your life).
How much sleep are you getting a night?
Everyone knows that sleeping takes a lot of time in our lives, and that it is something fundamental for us in just everything in our lives (mood, strength, health…).
Many studies show the positive influence of hours of sleep on training performances. Guess what? The more you sleep the best your abilities are. Strength wise but not only. Tennis players were faster, took shots that are more accurate. Basketball players jumped higher. The general fatigue was lower; they approached training with a more optimistic mentality. In addition, of course alertness was not the same as before too.
Inversely, if you do not get enough sleep in, well it will affect in a negative way athletic performances, cognitive capacities, mood…
It is generally suggested for athletes to get from 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night (the best would be to have every day the same bedtime and to wake up every morning at the same time too).
But…How? Well, if you really want to be the best you can be at the gym or wherever, you will find a way.
We need to rest, repair and recover through our sleep cycles.
This, is essential and very often athletes really do not take care of this seriously enough, just because if they stay in good shape, or they feel good, well then there is no point in having a diet. You cannot run a Ferrari on low quality petrol just like you can’t fuel an athlete with poor nutrition.
What are the nutrition basics?
You need to take care of your calories intake; you need to be eating enough and eating good food. This will not only give you energy to perform in your sport, but also the energy required to recover from trainings. Ideally, a bit above your maintenance would be best to see improvements faster. However, even more importantly if you are in a caloric deficit, you have to make every calorie count, so do not eat junk food.
There are three main macros that we absolutely need to look at: Carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
For the micronutrients, there are vitamins and mineral.
Why are they important?
Proteins: It represent something like 20% of our bodies, and are composed of amino acids.
Their important for repairing tissues, making enzymes and hormones and many more biological/chemical processes.
Carbs: our body metabolises them into energy that will be sent through our body under form of “sugar”. This sugar goes in our blood cells the blood flows to every area (muscle, brain...) that needs energy to work. The surplus is stored under the form of glycogen.
We need as athletes to be taking carbs in good amounts because it is the main source of energy in our trainings, no matter if we are sprinter or football players. Because yes in strength/explosive efforts it is the ATP – PC the main source of energy, but I do not think that your workouts are 10s long, and yes for low intensity work we can oxidise fat. However, for any other type of effort, carbs are essentials.
Fats: They are fundamental for hormones production, cognitive functions, the nervous system… and much more.
Quick tips: I would advise athletes to be eating from 1.8 to 2.2g of proteins, from 1 to 1.5g of fats per kg of bodyweight and fill the rest of your calories with carbohydrates.
Eat as clean as possible, no processed foods, not low quality foods that may contain hormones, pesticides, and that won’t be as interesting from a nutritional standpoint. Eat lots of seasonal vegetables and fruits. Meat, fish and eggs of the best possible quality (especially if the animal cause is dear to you). Dairy products are not to be banned if you digest them well. As for carbohydrates, rice, pasta, potatoes... you have the choice.
For fats, you can eat nuts, fishes as salmon or mackerel…oils, avocados. These indeed are great fats.
Oh, and before I forget…DRINK A LOT OF WATER. This is crucial.
I will not go any deeper on this subject because it would be excessively long. If any question comes up, feel free to do your research or ask any question right below.
This argument, as I have already said, will be subject for another article!
Beside sleep, nutrition and fatigue management, well, if you want to recover faster it is simple. You need to get your blood flowing. What does this means? Just move. Get in some movement in your days; do not stay at home sitting on your couch all the time. Go for a walk, go biking, do yoga, stretching, foam rolling, respiration exercises…You get it, just move.
You could even plan on going to the gym and do light stuff just to keep your body going, stay active. This will tremendously help and you will feel it.
Something helpful is doing meditation or visualisation first at morning or just before going to sleep. Even if you are not physically active, this is nowhere near a passive method.
Your brain must be considered as important as your body.
This includes many methods, and they are all effective. Of course, not every recovery method will work for everyone, as an example, cold showers do nothing to me except make me feel better when it is warm outside.
Here is a list, try them out and find what works for you:
So here we are, this is everything you need to be aware of if you want to maximise you efforts in the gym instead of wasting them because of laziness, bad habits or just lack of discipline.
You want to become the best you can be, start acting the best you can.
- This article is courtesy of Overload Process Training. If you are looking for a coach who can really improve your performances, look no further -
Les commentaires sont approuvés avant leur publication.
First, why should we warm up before training?
In the gym we can see all kind of people, those who do not even know what warming up means, and those who do 1h warm ups and are exhausted before even starting the workout.
The warm up is an essential part of training routine; it allows performing and staying healthy at once. However, why is it so important for powerlifters?