6 ways to recover better:
Achieving optimal performance in sport has been something that I have been trying to hack all my life. Just as each day of training or each competition is different with new challenges, so is preparing for what I will need to put out and achieve.
Constantly going back to the drawing board has become common place, trying to decide what to tweek and change. Over the past 8 years or so I have developed a recipe for success that does not begin on the competition floor but rather in the hours, days and months leading up to competition. It is not lifting weights or speed work, it is Recovery.
Developing the tools for optimal recovery has been a game changer for athletes world wide; Balancing nutrition and supplementation, with timing and consistency. Here are 6 key ways that you can hack optimal recovery so that you can obtain optimal performance
1) Magnesium Supplementation.
In today’s convenience culture our foods are consistently depleted of vital minerals including magnesium. Although it is just as vital as other minerals like sodium and calcium, magnesium regularly gets overlooked. As a recovery mineral, it is utilized by the brain to maintain receptor cites. Inside muscle cells, magnesium plays a role in the metabolism of nutrients and works to relax the muscles after training. And of course, eating leafy greens, nuts and seeds are good for the gut; providing needed repair and fuel for our bodies after training.
2) Vitamin D Supplementation
Training and competition really beat your body up. Not only does is break down muscle and nerves but also your immune system. Making sure you are taking in adequate levels of Vitamin D will ensure that the vitamins and minerals you get from nutrition get metabolized. What's more, Vitamin D plays a big role in keeping you from getting sick after heavy bouts of training. Not just sunlight is going to give you enough. I suggest getting on a high quality Vitamin D supplement that is encapsulated in an oil like olive or fish to help with absorption.
3) Finding a Whey Protein that works for you!
Whey Protein is going to give you and entire Amino Acid profile that you will not find in plat based products. Your BCAAs are essential for muscle re-growth and repair after training. The other important aspect of finding the right Whey Protein for your Gut is Hormonal balancing. So many athletes think that it is all about muscles and bones… its system wide! Hormones are what drive your muscles and performance. Whey Protein types offer different benefits so test out a few and find what makes you feel good!
4) Creatine Supplementation.
I fought Creatine.. and creatine won. As a young man I put it off, only because of the negative things that I heard about it. And exactly the opposite thing happened when I began using it. Performance, intensity, strength gains all were heightened as well as my ability to recover. Creatine acts as a delivery system of sorts; moving vital nutrients to your muscles for repair and uptake before, during and after training. I consider it one of my essential recovery tools and it travels with me wherever I go! Find a creatine that works for you and your gut. Additionally, it is a very inexpensive way to boost your performance and metabolism without breaking the bank!
Yes… I know you have heard it before. And still you like to brag to your friends about how LITTLE sleep you need and how you can just keep going. Well my friends you are dead wrong. Sleep is the time of our training day that matters more than your hours slaving on the training grounds. Muscle Recovery, hormone rebalancing, neurological rebuilding all happen during our sleep cycle. You should aim to get more than 7 hours in a pitch black room, cooled to around 68-73 degrees, and absolutely no computer or TV’s around.
6) Anti-inflammatory nutrition.
Your nutrition is your FUEL for the days workout. Today in our culture, food is more about convenience than it is about quality. Carbohydrates in the form of processed grains and sugars are destroying our guts and creating a systemic inflammatory response from the brian to the organs. Recovery is not going to happen if we dump these things on an already stressed body. Aim for whole foods like Organic and NON-GMO Proteins, Veggies, Leafy Greens, Nuts, seeds and oils. Keep your nutrition simple and feel better in the long run.
Hacking the recipe for recovery comes with time my friends. There is not one exact amount of each that will work for everyone and everyday. One thing that being an athlete for a long time has taught me is how to listen to my body. As I said before timing out Supplementation and being consistent with things like nutrition make it so you are not playing catch up.
Keeping your focus on the goal helps. Hit your training hard and your recovery harder! Begin with this list and keep evolving. I will see you on the winners podium!
Banded Hip Distraction/ Banded Hip Flexor Stretch
15 Barbell Thruster
10 Reverse Lunges
5 Weighted Pull Up
3 Front Squats @ Body Weight
:25 Front Rack Hold
5 Rounds Of:
Min1- :30 Thruster @ 115/75
Min2- :30 Chest To Bar Pull Up
Min3- :30 sandbag Shuttle Run
*score is going to be total laps or reps in each exercise. Match or beat your baseline!