restrecoverySo now that the New Year is here, so many of us are all geared up to get going with our clean eating plans and our workouts, and nothing will stand in our way, right? While it’s always inspiring to see so many of you super excited to get back on track, I always believe in safety first and BALANCE around our exercise and nutrition. I know that may sound totally boring, but it is SO true, and I always want my clients to get the most out of their diet and exercise programs so that they get great results. The point I’m getting at today is exercise RECOVERY! So often we focus on what we THINK we SHOULD be doing (i.e. working out every day or most days to total fatigue) that we forget to take care of the other side of the equation… Rest and Recovery (R&R) are as necessary as the workouts themselves to get you those outstanding results. While I could probably write a book on the many many different varieties of exercise and intensities and how they affect muscle & strength gain, we generally need 48 hours recovery from strength training for each muscle group before we go and tear it up again. If we keep pounding away, the muscles stay in a broken down state and never recharge or gets stronger, and further weakening ligaments and tendons. For example, most of us can think of that certain someone in the gym who is there every day, doing the same exercises over and over. So, how come we don’t see them getting any results? Most likely it’s because their muscles and central nervous/endocrine systems are in a state of constant recovery from the daily pounding. Don’t get me wrong, we can work different muscle groups on back to back days and add in active recovery days (another book…), but we can’t work the same muscle groups to fatigue on a daily basis without running the risk of plateauing and/or overtraining. By overtraining, we leave ourselves vulnerable to so many nasty things including hormonal disruption, insomnia, weight gain (yes, weight gain), mental burnout, and especially injury which can be sometimes very serious. Ok, I’ve had my rant, so now I leave you with a great article on the subject detailing 7 elements of Rest and Recovery by Coach Jeff Kuhland over at breakingmuscle.com. Read on for more… Be safe and be well and THEN go kick some ass!