If you are like us, resting is something you have to force yourself to do. However, even when you don’t feel like it, rest needs to be mandatory. Not only does this article come from our education and on-going research, but the importance of R&R was never more evident that when the lack of the following steps nearly prohibited us from reaching some of our biggest fitness goals (we literally went on a few four to six week plateaus of minimal to no progress from not practicing good rest and recovery practices).
If you are following our fitness and nutrition program, there are scheduled rest and active rest days for a reason. This is to maximise growth, recovery and to preserve a healthy hormonal balance. The combination of our smart training practices, exercises and nutrition will help one not only obtain their fitness goals, but dominate them. You can take our word for it, and the plethora of clients and members who have unlocked this “fitness master key,” and achieved their fitness dreams.
Continue on to discover what may be holding you back from fitness excellence and how to overcome it.
You might be wondering, what else can be done to support good R&R?
The ultimate fitness formula should resemble a pie graph. With a portion dedicated towards, diet, exercise, motivation and rest & recovery. Rest and recovery is combination of several things, including mobility and range of motion exercises. Good nutrition plus supplementation and sleep.
After a vigorous workout, the injured muscle goes into a state of recovery to repair and build up more muscle tissue. This is the basic premise of how one develops new, stronger lean muscle tissue. Breaking down, to build back up. With constant breakdown (which even the most mainstream and hyped programs tend to overdue), real issues and injuries can arise such as Overtraining Stress Syndrome (which ultimately delays and prevents positive results).
To avoid Overtraining Stress Syndrome, follow these rules!
Do your best to take these key points to heart:
- As long as you make rest mandatory, you can participate in active rest or just pure rest days.
- Active rest activities are much lower intensity than your typical workout regimen. Something completely different, low stress and low impact, such as: walking, yoga or light cardio with stretching and foam rolling.
- Sleep close to or beyond 8 hours a night. New sleep etiquette post coming soon.
- Follow our nutrition guidelines and meal plans for best results and give our favorite protein/recovery shake a try (below).
Post workout nutrition can be a game changer. One’s insulin is hypersensitive at this point and needs protein + a simple carbohydrate.
Protein is most readily absorbed as liquid post-workout (generally, limit liquid shakes to just one or two meals a day. Although shakes can be loaded with nutrients, liquid meals can make one’s metabolism lazy and ultimately sluggish when body fat is a concern). This plus a simple carbohydrate, post-workout, can enhance recovery and keep one’s metabolism on track for incinerating body fat.
Plus, protein is an essential macronutrient for supporting muscle growth and tissue repair. As well, the use of a post-workout simple carbohydrate can create an insulin spike that aids in shuttling protein and nutrients into the damaged muscle bodies. (For most of our meal plans, simple carbohydrates will only be recommended post-workout).
Our favorite protein supplement used to be Progenex!
Our favorite protein supplement used to be Progenex. We were under the assumption that Progenex was made with all-natural ingredients and only a few high quality, pronounceable ingredients (be sure to check the label of your current protein supplement. Most, and I mean like 99% of supplement manufacturers will use the cheapest ingredients available, plus fillers), provides the ultimate training advantage for our fitness goals.
In addition, most supplement stores in Spokane, the Northwest or around the nation will sell just about anything that has a high profit margin. Although Progenex is higher end in quality (we thought) and price, supplementation is definitely a “Pay for what you get,” kind of business. We’ve had close to 15 years of trying different supplement brands, and If your health and wellness is of value, this is the brand for you. Plus, the taste and low sugar content (5g and under depending on the product) is a big win!
However, there’s been a ton of speculation in regards to whether or not Progenex is as pure as advertised. This, has led us to a new, higher quality and more pure alternative known as Onnit Nutrition.
Onnit is a newer brand, band aimed at providing supplements of only the highest ingredients. In addition, they are endorsed by a plethora of health minded professional athletes and stars who are widely known for their fitness and health habits.
Plus, now’s not a bad time to try Onnit:
After fitness and nutrition are on par, don’t forget to SLEEP!
As both a positive and negative, we have had the first hand experience of dealing with erratic sleep cycles, which can in turn diminish one’s hard work. On a positive side, we have learned how important sleep truly is. Sleeping an adequate amount of sleep, on a nightly basis will literally unlock the door for weight loss and lean muscle growth. One’s body struggles to do anything efficiently in a unrested, stressful state (especially weight loss). A well-rested body will metabolize body fat efficiently and refuel, rebuild and replenish damaged tissue.
Eight hours of sleep is optimal for anyone, especially while training intensely and dieting at a calorie deficit. Eight hours is the average, but some need more. If your sleep patterns are erratic, let us know and we can share what has worked for us personally and for clients.
Keep training hard friends!
If you liked this article and feel like some changes can be made in your R&R cycle, please comment below. Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family too! Rest and recovery is one of the most underutilized training practices, but can often be the difference maker in your results!