(Written by Josiah Kauffman) Struggling with low energy, prolonged soreness, or stuck at a training plateau? You might not be recovering fully after your training sessions.
Under-recovery can take merely a few days to build but possibly months for your body to recover from.
Here are some things you can do to help your body recover after your training sessions or on your rest days.
Cold Water Immersion: An ice bath helps blood vessels constrict, flush waste products, and reduce muscle swelling and tissue breakdown. (a favorite of guys in my SOF prep training program!)
Deep tissue massage: This works wonders for helping your muscles recover.
Acupuncture: This can be helpful for injury rehabilitation, reducing inflammation, and supporting the immune system. Find a qualified practitioner.
Sleep: Strive to get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. Neglect this and you will notice drastically lower performance, fatigue and lack of energy.
Recovery Shower: Helps flush the byproduct of muscle energy production and assists with relaxation – Start with 5 minutes of HOT water – relax and massage your muscles. Slowly turn the temperature cold, as cold as you can handle. Blood vessels will constrict. Once well-cooled, slowly turn the water back to hot; the blood vessels will dilate and flush the muscles. Repeat the process 2x or as needed. Add some Epsom salt to the recovery shower or bath for a more significant benefit.
Additionally- foam rollers, lacrosse balls, sauna, and massage guns are tools you can use to help your muscles and body recover. Just don’t overdo them.
Do not neglect your warmup and cooldown routines before and after training. It's easy to want to go full-send into your workout, but doing so can open yourself up to injury.
Take 1-week completely off every 10-12 weeks of training. The only activities allowed during this time are active recovery methods, walking, stretching, massage, and de-stressing activities.
Focus on what you can control: Diet, Sleep, Rest, and Stress.
Strive to limit outside stressors in your life. Take ownership of your day and what you can control. Keep your ego in check and train smart.
Stay on top of your recovery and you will be able to train more effectively for longer.
Let me know which recovery techniques you try and if this information was helpful!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. Please consult a medical professional for your specific needs. I am sharing with you what has worked for me.
*Photos are from TWC Training Events (Tyler Nelson Photographer)
About the author: Josiah Kauffman is a former Navy SEAL operator and BUD/S Instructor. He brings his elite performance training and tactical leadership experience to the civilian sector and founded The Warrior Calling. He holds a bachelor's degree in leadership and a master’s in cybersecurity. He is certified by Extreme Performance Training (XPT) Performance Breathing Coach and Mental Performance Mastery (MPM). Currently residing in North Carolina, he spends most of his free time with his wife and two boys.