By Andrea Lewin, L3, Co-Owner, CrossFit East Bay
Recovery takes place mostly outside of the gym. It’s difficult to model recovery and to improve your recovery techniques when they are often private activities. We don’t talk about recovery activities as much as we talk about technique or workout strategy, yet recovery determines a huge part of how your workouts go.
Recovery begins as soon as your workout ends. It is the process of bringing your body from a high-alertness/high-activity state into a period of low-alertness/low-activity so that you can build back to normal alertness/activity.
The more exercise you do, the more recovery activities you need to do. Keep your quality of life outside of the gym very high, and your performance in the gym will soar!
The BIG ones that EVERYONE needs are:
- Sleep, 7-8 hours per night for most adults
- Nutrition, enough food to fuel your workouts and rebuild tissues
Get your big three recovery techniques dialled and your workouts will go better and better, and you won’t feel wasted at the end.
Everyone has different lifestyles and needs, so the next list of recovery techniques are composed of activities that work for some people. Try them, see if they work for you.
Physical, such as:
- Active recovery: hiking, yoga, gentle activities that get you out into nature
- Mobility: Supple Leopard, yoga, pre/post-workout movement corrections
- Body work: get work that makes you relax, not tense up!
- Bathing: contrast bathing, ice baths, magnesium salts
- In specific cases (talk to your doctor), supplementation for deficiencies
- Time management
- Spending time with friends
And some that fulfill mental and physical recovery:
- Cross-training in a completely different sport
Use techniques with large and obvious effects. Be patient and give it some time to work, but don’t spend a lot of time on techniques with imperceptible effects: if you’re not sure it’s working, it’s probably not working.