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RECOVERY, PART 1 — GET THE BASICS RIGHT



No matter what activity you do, be it squash, muay thai, triathlon, weightlifting, or even curling, if you want to become better, faster, or stronger you'll have to participate in some sort of recovery. Luckily for you, you're probably already participating in the best methods of recovery already. But are you doing them to their fullest potential?


What you're already doing right

The best methods of recovery are, hands down, sleep and nutrition. Whether you like it or not sleep is something you highly love doing, the same goes for food, and you would die without water, so you do that as well. But there are always ways to improve.

Eat Sleep Drink Repeat

Get enough sleep

Although sleep is something we all do, who says you can't do it better? I know Arnold Schwarzenegger tells us to sleep faster, so talk to him if you need eight hours of sleep in a time span of three hours. Not my area of expertise. However, I can tell you this; the amount of sleep you get every night is what sets the good apart from the average. Research papers on sleep have been done over and over again and each and every one of them is saying the same damn thing; get a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night. Notice how I put "every" in italics. Getting an average of seven hours, where you sleep 5 hours on workdays and 12 on the weekend, is not good enough. By all means, get eight hours of sleep if you need it, darn it, get twelve! Just don't sleep any less than seven.


Why, you ask?

Instead of your body trying to repair all the damage from your previous workout while you're doing sh*t like playing paintball — running around all anxious for getting smashed in the face — it prefers doing the repair while you're past out in your bed in your superman knickers. At that point its' got everything it requires to be able to focus solely on repair, and other zen like stuff. The body is at work 24/7, but while you're asleep and not distracting its workflow, it gets into the zone and as a result gets much more work done. So the more time you allocate to sleep the more repair the body can get done and the faster you'll get back to full readiness. If you get this sorted you're on the right track to optimal recovery.

Eat more

Sleep is obvious when it comes to recovery, but too often do people forget the importance of nutrition! Now, nutrition is a HUGE topic so we won't cover everything. However, we can go straight into the basics. Which is; consume equal to or, preferrably, more carlories than you expend! If that simple advice is practised it doesn't matter what your macronutrient ratio is, if you have a protein shake straight after a workout, so you don't miss the "metabolic window", or the fact that you eat oranges every other day while sitting on the crapper. Calories is energy and the body uses energy to recover while sleeping, simple as that. Sleep and food go hand in hand. Only when this is the new norm can we dig a bit deeper into what types of food you should consume, when to consume it, and all the rest of it.


Drink more water

Drinking water must the simplest and easiest thing in the world, and it has a significant effect on recovery. Don't be that knob head who doesn't drink water and still complains of insufficient workouts. My advice for the ones who don't drink enough water and should drink more is the same as Shia LaBeouf's is; "do it, JUST DO IT". Drink a minimum of 2 liters of water daily and you're golden!