As a coach, both at the collegiate level and with my private coaching business, I work with a wide variety of athletes. Currently, they range from an 8-year-old budding football player to a 67-year-old woman training to qualify for the senior games. The training programs I write for each athlete are specifically tailored for their individual needs and abilities, so they vary wildly from athlete to athlete, but each training program focuses on one common key to enhance their performance. Want to know the secret weapon for your training program?
What's the secret weapon for your training program?
The answer is rest and recovery. Yes, rest and recovery are the secret weapon for your training program. I can write the best training program in the world, but it can be easily undermined if the athlete does not get proper rest and recovery. We hear so much about having to “outwork” our opponents and “go harder” with “no days off.” When I work with my athletes, we focus on hard work, but we also talk about “out recovering” our opponents, sleeping more and getting better nutrition. If you recovery better, you can get in a higher quality workout each session. Many of the people I coach are also trying to balance work, kids and other commitments, so finding that proper balance of training and recovery around a busy daily life requires some flexibility. When I get a text from an athlete at 5 am saying “coach, I am not feeling well, should I still do the workout?” I often advise them to take a rest day. I would rather sacrifice one day than have someone push through a workout and then become sick for a week. Chances are that workout they are trying to push through will not be a quality one anyway. The same goes for injuries. As my friend coach Greg McMillan says, “No one ever got hurt taking an extra rest day.” It’s only when you keep pushing through a minor injury that it becomes a major one.
Proper nutrition is also a huge component in the recovery process. That is why I am such a big fan of Nuzest products! I do not keep a “traditional” schedule, as my coaching practice has me running around from 5 AM to 8 PM most days, including weekends. After a long, busy day, I often make myself a shake with Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest right before bed to get some good protein synthesis overnight as I sleep. My current favorite is the Chai Turmeric + Maca!
So, no matter what you are training for, whatever your sport or endeavor, never underestimate the importance of rest and recovery.
Train hard, recover harder!