Eat, eat, and eat
Move – After a devastating workout or a long week of difficult workouts, the most important thing you need to do is, move. Anything as simple as walking the dog, or going to the park with your kids, and as extreme as playing a game of pick up basketball or tag football, all of those are acceptable and a mandatory part of reducing soreness and increasing your athletic and physical adaptations. Sitting on the couch all weekend will guarantee that, come Monday, you feel awful. Your muscles will still be swollen with lactic acid, and blood, and they will have become tight from not being put through the same stimulus they’ve become used to during the week.
Stretch – Do mobility daily and, if possible, go beyond what we do in class. The mobility we do at the end of every class is a nice start, but you will most likely need to work on mobility for whatever is still sore at the end of the day. So, do your best to do mobility at home. If you need inspiration, go to YouTube, they have literally millions of videos dedicated to mobility on any body part that might be tight and in need of being stretched out. All the stretching you do will not only loosen the tight muscle, but it also promotes blood flow to that area while bringing nutrients and fresh oxygenated blood, all of which will assist in the repair time and recovery of that muscle.
Eat, eat, and eat - Simply put, you have to eat. Everyone’s bodies are different and require slightly different nutrients to achieve their optimal physique. Thus, you must experiment with your diet. The best place to start is eating good whole foods – mostly, non-processed meats, fruits, veggies, nuts/seeds, fats, some dairy, some starch. Try to limit your intake of breads and sugars. From a baseline of 2-3 weeks, keep a journal to gauge how you feel while also experimenting with increasing calories, taking away certain foods or adding certain foods. If you need a more specific guideline, follow the simple zone prescription of 40/30/30 -- 40% of calories coming from carbs, and the other 30% coming from fats, and the last 30% should come from protein. If you have any more questions or need advice, feel free to ask.
Sleep – I can’t emphasize enough how critical sleep is to your body’s natural repair process and without adequate sleep you will never feel recovered. So, do your best to wind down earlier in the evenings and to limit your electronic use at night. This will help get your body and mind prepared for sleep and do the repairs that you need to continue to achieve your fitness goals. Everyone is different and as we grow older, our bodies actually require less sleep. So, make sure you can get anywhere from 7-9 uninterrupted hours of sleep and come ready to get better every morning.
There are three basic principles that I believe encompasses most above average Athletes and if not most, at very least myself. First having a strong hate of being average, second having a solid athletic base and possibly a little bit of talent, third is definitely having an extrinsic motivation or a motivation that's outside of yourself. So give me a moment of your time and weigh yourself against these three requirements and see how you stack up.