Thursday, December 6, 2007

Recovery Time and Its Importance in Conditioning

Last week, I started doing some killer conditioning work-outs with my MMA coach. At the time they seemed brutal and inhuman, but I realized that if I stuck it out, it would get easier. I was amazed that by the next week, I could already feel a noticeable difference in my muscles’ ability to endure an even heavier work-out. But this didn’t come without proper recovery time.

After the Thursday work-out, I was sore for the next 2 days. I would have normally gone to do Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training on the Saturday, but decided to let my body rest another day, until my legs were no longer sore. It helped that there was a major snow storm that forced me to park my scooter until all the snow melted. There was still a little soreness left on Sunday, but I trained anyway. I did, however, focus more on skills training. By Monday, I was fully recovered and I was already experiencing the muscular endurance benefits of that recovery.

So many dedicated athletes train so hard that they end up doing more damage than good. If you don’t allow your muscles to fully recover, it actually causes them to weaken over time. And if you train with your muscles in a weakened state it leaves you more prone to injury. A recovery period is absolutely necessary in order for the muscles to rebuild themselves to provide the strength and/or endurance benefits that are sought. The average recovery time is 36 hours but it can be as much as 48 if you do a particularly hard work-out.

So remember: Pain is no gain unless you take time to refrain.


MARKS said...

Hi, I completly agree with you. Adequate recovery time is the missing key to most peoples training regime. Good Post!!

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Glenn said...

Many people do not realize that when you strength train your muscles Hypertrophy occurs (a scientific term for the growth and increase of the size of muscle cells)the body's muscles go through a process of tear and repair. So if you do not allow time for your muscles to repair them selfs you could be doing more harm than good. Strength training is not like cardiovascular training and your body does need time to recover before loading/overloading muscle again.

Lori O'Connell said...

Thanks for the additional explanation as to the science behind it, Glenn. :)