“Leave me alone…just 5 minutes more…” he groaned from under the sheets.
I couldn’t believe it, this was the same man who just 2 days ago had been dragging me down to the beach at 8am. 8am when there was absolutely NO wind and no forecast of wind for another 5 hours, but he wanted to be there anyway, “just in case.”
Today at 11 am it was windy and we couldn’t get him out of bed!
It was something we’d see all the time when we ran kitesurfing holidays…
People would have worked their ass off, blown a load of cash and been looking forward to coming for the last few months.
They’d rock up at the beach like a kid in a sweet shop, take in all the sun-kissed bodies, the kites in the sky, the wind gently teasing them…
They’d rig up in seconds…often getting their wetsuit on backwards in their haste.
Fast forward 3 days…
That same person was now having to be dragged out of bed in the morning…when we told them it was windy a kind of terror crossed their face.
When we finally got to the beach they’d take ages to rig up, have forgotten 100 things in the car, need to buy water and a sandwich before they started. Once they finally did hit the water they’d be back and sunbathing in 30 mins…
What caused this incredible turn around in their attitude?
Exercise is a form of stress and time and time again we’d see our clients’ bodies were simply unable to to bounce back from that stress fast enough. “Ok that’s obvious,” I hear you say…bear with me.
People tend to split exercise preparation, exercise and then recovery into separate and distinct activities.
BUT…effective recovery starts way before we ever start doing exercise.
Think of your ability to deal with stress as a cup.
The bigger the cup the more ability you have to tolerate stress.
- The faster you can drain liquid form the cup the quicker you can recover from stress.
- The more liquid you have in the cup the more stressed you are.
- Now exercise is a stress…so when you’re exercising you’re actually adding liquid to the cup.
So if you can ensure, before you even start to workout, that your cup is the size of a trophy and is as empty of liquid as it can be. Whilst having great systems in place to empty liquid out when it accumulates. Then you’re going to do a lot better on your next activity holiday or just the next time you hit the gym!
Here’s the key…it takes time to set these things in place, you cannot increase the size of the cup overnight or empty the cup in a few hours. So by the time you rock up on your next activity holiday, if you don’t already have them in place…it’s too late!
So we want to be doing things ALL THE TIME which increase the cup and drain liquid out of it effectively.
What Are Those Things?
Well I’m sure you’ve heard them before…
- Low inflammatory, high nutrient diet
- Young muscles which can receive oxygen and remove waste
- Great sleep
- Cold water
- Systemic enzymes
- Omega 3 fatty acids
I go into these in more detail in my free Ignite Young Muscle Challenge where we reduce your biological age by 8 – 10 years. You can get it here >>
But really we’re talking about one thing, I call it the Secret Sauce:
Lowering stress IN ALL ITS FORMS: It’s important to realise that stress comes from many places and not all of them are immediately obvious. Sure there’s the ones we all know about, financial stress, work stress, relationship stress, but what about bad diet? That’s causing stress on your system by forcing it to deal with toxins and poor nutrition. Sitting in front of a screen all day under artificial lighting? That’s another stress. Don’t laugh enough or are lonely? Another stress.
All these little things add up and effect your bodies ability to effectively recover.
For this reason it’s crucial we don’t focus on recovery as a separate activity, distinct from the pre exercise preparation and the exercise itself.
Because after exercise, there’s actually not a lot we can do to recover faster (at least if we don’t want to spend lots of money or need fancy equipment)
So What Can We Do?
Well there’s the usual stuff:
- Compression garments
- Hot/Cold (there’s a reason athletes spend so long in the jacuzzi)
- Red light
- Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)
As a really simple hack, try taking 50mg of zinc with some green veggies alongside carbs and protein with a bit of salt after your next big workout.
The zinc is an insulin mimic and so opens your muscles up to take in glucose and thus recover faster. Cyclo is a peptide (present in raw vegetable matter) which has been shown to have potent glucose clearing ability again helping those muscles to take in more glucose and recover faster and the sodium is a myostatin inhibitor. Myostatin inhibits muscle growth, so by suppressing it we allow our muscles to grow larger.
But to be honest even if you’re doing all these things but don’t do the PRE work…you won’t notice a huge difference…
Recovery is a lifestyle…its about prepping your body to perform at its best so it can recover at its best…consistently.