Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rest and Recovery Basics

Getting Enough Sleep

Its highly recommend you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Sleep requirements are an individual thing. Some people need more rest while others need less rest. Weight lifting and cardio do require that you get a little more sleep than you may be accustomed to. You will soon learn how much sleep you really need. Do not underestimate the power of sleep! I’ve been there. The times that I’ve had trouble getting enough sleep are the times when my progress has stalled. Lack of sleep affects everything – your mindset especially. Lack of sleep can cause you to miss workouts, lose motivation, and more! If you work on getting enough sleep to recover properly from your workouts, I guarantee your results will improve. Take naps to catch up on sleep if needed. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal. Relax and sleep well. Wake up feeling refreshed each morning. Your body will thank you for the extra sleep by giving you even better results. You can sleep too much! If you are one of those people that sleep too much, get up and get going. This can lead to laziness. Get the sleep you need and stop there. Too much sleep can do something bad for you!

Decreasing Stress

If you want optimal results, you’ll need to keep stress at a minimum. High levels of stress changes the whole environment inside your body and can stop your progress immediately. There’s no need to get stressed out about things in life. Most of the things we worry about are nothing. We can’t even change many of the things we worry about on a daily basis. Ask yourself, “In 5 years will I even remember worrying about this? Is it really that important?” You will most likely answer no to everything you’re worrying about. Don’t let others bother you or stress you out for no reason! One of my biggest stressors is driving. I have a hard time driving through traffic each and every day with people that don’t even realize they’re driving. They don’t pay attention, they talk on their cell phone, they cause wrecks, and they don’t realize they are driving a deadly weapon. I have learned to not let it bother so much. I watch out for everyone and try to anticipate actions taken by other drivers. If you pay attention, you can actually foresee some drivers making some stupid decisions. Stay calm even in stressful situations. There’s no need to get upset. This will keep your stress levels low and will help you feel better throughout the day. And it may even keep you from doing something stupid. Take breaks from life throughout the day. Deep breaths always help relieve tension.


Overtraining is a very sensitive subject for many people. Most of the so called Internet “experts” have never learned the true meaning of overtraining. Some people will tell you that you’re overtraining by working out 4-5 days per week. Others will tell you you’re overtraining without knowing the intensity of your workout and without knowing your recovery abilities. If you ever see anyone tell someone else that they are overtraining simply by looking at their schedule and workout, you can immediately write this person off as a “want-to-be” expert. The person has no idea what they are talking about. Overtraining is an individual thing. It depends on your recovery abilities, the sleep you get, your diet, water intake, intensity of your workouts, frequency of your workouts, amount of cardio, genetics, and more! So no one can ever tell you that you’re overtraining. Only you will know that you’re overtraining. If you are making progress in the gym, you are doing great. If you are gaining strength in the gym, you are not overtraining. If your strength gains slow to a halt and you’ve been lifting for a few months, you are getting closer to the overtraining edge. You never want to reach overtraining, so the best strategy is to take a one week break from weight lifting and cardio when the strength gains come to a halt. Spend the week resting and eating the best foods. Never take a break from eating properly. If you do, you could lose all of the progress you’ve made over the past few months. The one week break will allow your body to fully recover. You can then start lifting weights and doing cardio again. Start with lighter weights than what you ended with and work your way back up.


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