Anvil or Hammer


Posted in Rest and Recovery by Mike on May 11, 2007

Something that I think has been brought to all of our attention by Stephen’s arrival at TS and his own blog is that Recovery is more than just a day off. In fact, if you are doing this thing right, there are no days off. Even if you don’t do it right, there are no days off.

You can’t tell your body, “ok, we’re not training today so don’t respond to what I am doing”. Everyday, in every way, we shape our bodies.The effects of sitting on your tail feathers at a computer all day are probably one of the most common topics of the day. T-nation recently dead an article on it. Tons of cash is thrown at the problems of repeatative stress injuries every year.

With that in mind I hope to change my recovery process for the coming months. I want to train at a higher volume but lower intensity. To do that I need to recovery better. The way I see it, there are two aspects to recovery: What you do and What you eat.

  • What you eat

    • Supplements – I take a multivit, fish oil and glucosamine condritine. When the condritine runs out, it’ll go away, I found no benefit. The fish oil and multivit seem to help though. I was taking one caesin protein shake per day. I think that will come back. I considered, althugh briefly, creatine. I have used it in the past and felt like it allowed me better endurance and recovery. It seems like everytime I change my socks there is a no study: Creatine helps recovery, Creatine helps weightloss, Creatine cures cancer, Creatine did my laundry. Still I just can’t bring myself to go back on what is basically a bodybuilder supplement. I think instead, I’ll try to get more red meat. Of course that calls into question the whole protein shake thing. It’s a good question too. I’m gonna go with the protein for now, but it’s “on the bubble.
    • Diet – Over the last few months I have had relative success playing with diet. I think I’m going to stay with that. I’m gonna stick to a bunch of smaller meals and not larger. I’m going to stick to a protein centric diet. A lot of guys are carb haters these days. I can’t quite get on that bandwagon. I think carbs are important too, for one thing, they tend to come along with most the fiber you consume. Without getting into details, if you eat protein, you better eat fiber. So I’ll keep my cut oats and my flax seed, if anything I may try to figure out how to get more flax into my diet; fiber and Omega-3s a gift from the angels.
  • What you do

    • Heavy training – It’s pretty much been established that I can’t leave heavy training totally behind. That doesn’t mean it’s gotta be the majority of my training. Heavy training the way I do it isn’t conducive to my goals at the moment. This is also what I am recovering from most of the time.
    • Volume training – this is a generic term I just made up. It has conditioning type training as well as strength endurance type training. This is where I hope to spend most of my time. This kind of training requires a little different recovery than heavy training. This kind of training though, breaks down the muscles more. This means the cumulative effects have to be watched.
    • Recovery training – This is really what I am talking about here. This is most forms of yoga/pilates/piloga as well as walks and the easy bodyweight stuff ( I know how hard bodyweight can be but things like a few push ups and sit ups aren’t that hard). There was a time when this was a bigger part of my program. I did yoga often. Now I just walk, which is kind of recovery but doesn’t really get he whole body going the way that yoga does. I don’t know that I have the time to bring power yoga back, instead I am thinking about Yoga for Regular Guys or I could work one of Pavel’s programs.
    • Nothing – This is what my current recovery program consists of. Frankly it doesn’t work. If anything, it reinforces any problems I may have. This is what I hope to get away from.

The package deal
So what this long and winding post is getting at is that I plan to have real recovery, real diet, real plans to help me go from one workout to the next. It will encompass the total package. In short, there is no “off” day, just recovery.