REST and RECOVERY is such an important component of your training however, and one that many people neglect. We applaud people who are the gym for hours at a time, day after day, and call them “dedicated,” “on the grind,” “doing the job,” however is this really the best way to achieve results? Just as important as your nutrition and your workouts, rest and recovery is critical to not just your results, but to your overall health and your longevity in training.
I have seen so many people over the years – especially when embarking on 12 week challenges – go hard out, adding hours of extra cardio, extreme dieting and little rest. The results? Without fail, these people crash with either an impaired immune system, an injury (usually a knee or shoulder!) or dramatically rebound weight wise as their body hangs on to every calorie it can, having been deprived so harshly.
When I train myself or other people, I’m thinking long term. I want to be strong as possible for as long as possible and not crippled with osteoporosis like the other women in my family, so the foundation of my programming will ALWAYS be weights. For men AND for women, resistance training is a must, HOWEVER it too can be cause problems just like excessive cardio if not combined with RECOVERY – and if you still want to be training into your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond – then it is critical that you learn to RECOVER.
Much of the research I have been doing of late points to better results being made when people allow MORE time for recovery than what was previously realised, ESPECIALLY if you are moving into your 40s and beyond. It was this research that partially contributed to my recently changing my PT sessions and my own training protocol and after four weeks of my own trial, I am already noticing the difference!
Let me explain. For the past 6 years, I have trained consistently 5 – 6 days a week, and trust me, it has taken a lot of reading and research for me to get my head around the fact that I can still get results with less frequent trainings. I changed things up a few weeks ago by reducing my training sessions to 4 days a week, including a light walk or similar “active recovery” on 2 days and having 1 complete day off. The results? When I do train in the gym, my sessions are slightly longer, they are way more intense as I have more energy and my lifts are getting heavier. Mentally it’s great to know that I can recover the next day instead of pushing myself to get back into the gym when my body is fatigued.
Feel like you are stagnating or struggling with your training? Instead of going harder, try something different like I did and allow more recovery time – you may be amazed at the results you get!