Recovery can change your life... I'd know because it changed mine.
After lying motionless on a football field in France, I was left with only one option: Embrace the recovery world. My time playing football ended with degenerative back disease, frightening disc issues and a grueling treatment plan revolved around Vicodin and other painkillers. In an attempt to avoid surgery, I embarked on a healing journey to repair my body without going under the knife (my wild recovery ride is documented in my book, The IMPACT! Body Plan).
My quest paid off as I managed to heal my back naturally thanks to the profound wisdom of recovery gurus around the world. I've since applied that knowledge to my own routine and the recovery rules below.
*View my Facebook LIVE on this topic — including Q&A — HERE.*
1. Cycle Your Workouts
You can't always go hard. It's a recipe for injury, regression and pain, which are just a handful of the many agonizing symptoms associated with overtraining. Split up your routine to avoid working the same body parts on consecutive days and be sure you're mixing in a variety of exercises, modalities and training tools.
2. Commit to Active Recovery
I suggest two active recovery days a week. Now active recovery doesn't mean complete rest. Instead focus on low-intensity activities like walking, yoga, meditation and stretching. These will encourage repair, regeneration and recovery, without further muscle breakdown and energy expenditure.
3. Take Time Off Each Week
Take one day off from all exercise per week. While active recovery is a great way to initiate recovery, your body does need time off (even if it doesn't feel like it!) During those rest days, be sure you're eating right and fueling up on fluids for maximal recovery.
4. Foam Roll Pre-Workout
All it takes is five minutes before your workout to lengthen your fascia and soften hardened tissue. And let's be honest: No recovery routine is complete without a foam roll. Hit your hips, glutes, IT bands, adductors, chest, lats and back. I assure you, this minor commitment will pay major dividends.
5. Stretch Before Bed
Increase your flexibility and mobility with a short stretch sequence before hitting the hay. There's no better time to lengthen and strengthen than right before bed. Poses like Down Dog, Up Dog, Pigeon Pose and Savasana (this one may actually put you to bed!) will relax your mind and prep your body for major recovery as you start snoozing.
6. Practice Breathwork and Meditation Daily
There's nothing better than quieting your mind, listening to your spirit and tapping deep inside your soul. That is why I practice breathwork for three minutes every morning and three minutes every evening—and frankly, that's all you need for success. *Don't get hung up on the word "meditation." Any quiet time with intention qualifies. So whether it's through prayer, meditation or breathwork, take three minutes minimum (more is better here!) twice a day for deep focus on YOU.
7. Soft Tissue Work Is a Must
I suggest receiving a massage or bodywork at least once a month. When it comes to soft tissue work, the more, the merrier! Heck, my goal is always one massage/bodywork session per week.
8. Use Recovery Hacks & Tools
Other elite recovery tools include infrared saunas, cryotherapy tanks, hyperbaric chambers, NormaTec boots and the tool I busted out above during the Facebook LIVE linked above—the TheraGun. The TheraGun is one of our most popular tools at Fitness Quest 10. A quick 10-minute session will work wonders!
9. Sleep Is Crucial
Did you know your phone has an OFF button? Ditch your devices one hour before bed, invest in blackout curtains, find the right room temperature, read and practice gratitude journaling for superior slumber. It's not about the hours. It's about the quality.
10. Follow My Nutrition & Supplementation Tips
As I mentioned in my Nutrition Tips blog, glutamine, protein, fish oil and CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine are all excellent supplements to expedite recovery and amplify performance. These are the techniques I practice, preach and have endorsed for years. Invest time in recovery and you'll feel and perform better than ever! #RecoveryRules
You can train hard and eat right, but if you do not recover, you'll never be your best.
If you liked this, you gotta see my 9 most powerful training tips plus the best nutrition advice I tell my athletes! If you can dial in your training, your nutrition and your recovery, you'll be near unbeatable.
This post first appeared on ToddDurkin.com
Photo Credit: Joel Sorrell/iStock