recovery tactics these fit pros swear by
We’re focusing our efforts on all things recovery. Did you know, the work you put in for every sweat session doesn’t pay off unless you give your body time to recover? We’re not just talking about taking a rest day from the gym or stretching after your sets, we’re talking real, raw recovery that involves the same amount of work as your workout. Not sure where to start? We’ve asked some fitness professionals what recovery tactics they can’t live without to get you started.
The recovery tactic I cannot live without is acupuncture and guided meditation. I’m a big believer that your body will respond and heal best when it’s in a calmer state. As athletes, we are constantly beating up our bodies and our minds; we are subjecting ourselves to physical and mental stress. To keep pushing out bodies and our minds to the limit, both need to be treated.
"Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Increasingly, it is being used for overall wellness, including stress management. Often paired with acupuncture, guided meditation is a great way to soothe the mind and body. For those new to meditation apps such as Calm and Headspace are great places to start."
Recovery is 50% of your training success. Recovery protects you after a workout so you can train at your desired intensity the next day.
Recovery tactics Pat Gilles Swears By:
Ice Baths: “Ice baths can be extremely helpful in recovery. Following an intense workout or race during which the muscles have been overheated. There’s no reason to cook them more in a hot tub or shower, instead, take a cold shower or fill a tub up with ice and water. Try to accumulate a total of 10-15 minutes in 4-5 minute intervals."
Foam Rolling: "This is an essential self massage tool. Rolling muscle and fascia under pressure stretches, separates, and reorganizes. Any pain associated with this practice is due to bound-up tissue or muscles adhering together- making them inefficient."
Easy Cardio: "Several hours after training (3-4 minimum) take a 20-30 minute walk or spin on the bike at an easy pace. Dosing this boosts circulation, flushes muscles and creates demand for more glucose."
My favorite recovery tactic is getting quality sleep, eating plenty of nutrient dense foods and staying hydrated. All of the foam rolling, mobility work, aerobic work and stretching in the world won’t move the needle forward if these boxes aren’t checked.
"Hydration is key for proper recovery. Water flushes toxins out of the body, transports nutrients into cells and helps regulate body temperature and pH balance. Drinking plenty of water also helps with muscle soreness and tension. If you have trouble reminding yourself to drink water on a daily basis, apps like Hydro Coach can help. This app allows you to set your target intake, and reminds you when to take a sip to reach your goal."
I have a couple of tactics that WORK FOR ME! That’s the key! Yes, there is science and research behind recovery, but our individual bodies may respond differently to various modalities. Find what works for you!
"My go-to recovery tactic is what my trainer refers to as a “Strip-N-Stretch.” Shoutout to Robert Bateson founder of Body Blocks Training in Buffalo, NY. Bob, introduced me to this concept of rolling and stretching while utilizing the Power Plate®️.
Set the PrecisionWave technology to a low frequency, (i.e. 30- wavelength), allowing tiny wavelengths to send vibrations through the muscle increasing blood flood and activation, while promoting a state of recovery. We then roll out every muscle starting with the feet, working our way up to the traps and shoulders, all done while on the power plate!
We do this to de-densify, or “strip” the muscle from fascia - the thin lining that wraps our muscle groups. Thirty seconds (2x) for each muscle group.
Following the “Strip” portion of this recovery technique, we then “stretch” on the plate. Again, starting at the base, calves, hamstring, hip-flexors, piriformis. Working our way up to shoulders, lats, chest, etc.
If you don’t have access to a power plate, no worries. Find your nearest Bikrim Yoga studio. A form of active recovery that I’m firm on. It’s a great compliment to resistance training.”