Taking time to recover is often one of the more neglected portions when it comes to training. Training can be a bit obsessive at times and it can lead to having the tendency to want to train and pushing yourself further and further. That passion and fire are awesome, however, the actin and of itself can be detrimental to getting the results you want. Let’s go over why recovery is important and the signs you’re not recovering fully.
Why is Recovery Important?
Like I mentioned earlier, spending more time recovering is often easily neglected. However, recovery is the main time when you’re growing. Muscle grows during this time and your body goes through its natural healing process when it’s resting.
Training in tears you down and recovery builds you back up and more.
The only way you continue to get stronger and continue to make progress is to get adequate amounts of recovery.
How Do I Know if I’m Not Recovering Enough?
Even though recovery is important, some people use it as an excuse of just normal DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness aka being sore) and don’t train due to them being sore. That’s not overtraining and not recovering enough though. Due to this argument and some of the misconceptions of what’s considered not recovering enough, I’m going to go over some signs that may indicate you’re not recovering enough / overtraining.
One of the signs you’re starting to overtrain and not recovery enough is if you’re always fatigued. Fatigue from training is normal, but on a constant basis that it’s affecting your day-to-day for prolonged periods of time can be a clear sign that you need to possibly take more time to recover.
Not Making Progress
In addition to fatigue, let’s say your training program is properly designed in a way that you should be continuously making progress. Over 2 weeks if you’ve been plateauing or only gotten weaker, this can be a sign you need to start spending more time on recovering instead. For me, this is usually the first sign that kicks in me. I normally would take a deload week and that would start to fix my issues.
One of the more severe ways of finding out you’re not recovering enough is constant injuries. Now, injuries unfortunately are a pretty normal part of training. They’re bound to happen. Most people deal with minor injuries all the time within their training. However, coupled with the other points I mentioned above, if you’re piling on injury after injury in a short time frame, you may not be spending too much time recovering then.
Injuries piling up can also be from other things as well, like one injury leading to another and so on. If you’re getting constantly injured or have any nagging injury, you should go see a doctor/physical therapist.
What Can I Do to Recover More?
There are plenty of ways you can go about recovering. Let’s go over some of the more important ways you go about setting time for recovery.
If there is one thing we probably don’t get enough of, it’s sleep. Sleep is the main time your body is trying to recover and heal. Depending on your life schedule, you may only be sleeping 6 hours a day. For some, they can still get through the day, but more sleep in the 8-10 hour range can make a huge difference in your recovery process. Personally, I don’t sleep enough if I also don’t output enough during the day, which is why I like to wake up early in the morning to get my workouts in.
Lower Your Intensity/Volume
If you’re having trouble recovering you may need to lower your intensity and volume for at least a week in your workout program. This is usually known more as a deload week. You can get more information about a deload week here.
Add in Extra Rest Day
If you’re training 5-6 days a week and you’re having ‘active recovery days’ you may need to just add in a day of legit rest. A day you don’t do too much and if you’re doing active recovery, it would exercise like static stretching or yoga. Any type of resistance training should be avoided on these days.
Not taking enough time to recover can be detrimental to your progress and can prolong your goals. In the worse cases, you may even get injured more often and that can derail you even further.
If you’re following a good training program deload weeks and rest days would already be incorporated. However, that may not be enough. If your sleep schedule isn’t great, you may still succumb to lack of recovery and some of the issues we mentioned above. Take time to recover and I promise you’ll see better results.