Rest and Recovery are two key components utilised by the best athletes in MMA, yet it is almost never done at an amateur, club or recreational level. Below I will explain why it is important to rest and recover from hard training and I will log some of the best recovery techniques (Free and Paid).
Rest and Recovery.
Rest is fairly easy to understand, it is essentially the time when your not training, be it sleeping, lounging or “recovering”. During this time your body employs many unconscious mechanisms to repair and recover from the training it has just endured.
Recovery is the techniques you employ to get the best results from your rest period. There are lots of techniques available , the basics should be implemented by everyone! Beyond the basics their are expensive techniques used by professional athletes.
In the recovery phase your mind, body and energetic systems automatically begin to repair and balance your inner world. From hormonal balance to muscle repair, your amazing machine gets on with the task at hand and with no prompts required, however with the correct techniques (mental and physical) as well as the additional nutrition you can assist the body in its repairs.
These should be done by everyone after training, be it professional or casual junior, the information is cheap to apply and can easily be put into action.
Almost never talked about by health experts, professionals and industry specialist, none the less it is the most important aspect of your training life, as well as the most important part of your recovery. Oxygen is the key unit of fuel your body needs for all aspects of recovery, learn to breath correctly.
Water is the best and the cheapest way to hydrate, stay away from the chemical slop sold as ‘sports nutritional day glow juice’. Your body needs oxygen and water for almost every process, so make sure it has enough to use. Evidently if you have been working hard at the gym then you will need to replace the fluids lost. The simplest measure is your urine colour, dark urine indicates you need more water.
The nutrition, ie vitamins, minerals, fats, carbs , proteins etc that your body intakes comes
directly from the food you eat. When your body is recovering, it is repairing, you must give it the building blocks it needs to be able to rebuild. Again stay away from anything with a day glow label and advert and stick to natural whole foods like, fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans, unprocessed meats etc. Give your body the essential building blocks it needs to rebuild your machine and it will do the rest.
When your body is fully relaxed and your mind is occupied with dreams, your bodies automatic repair team get to work. There is no set sleep pattern to follow, the only key here is to get some, relax into a deep sleep and let your body repair.
After a hard session your body can feel tight. Your muscles, tendons and ligaments have been stretched, pulled, worked, ripped etc. A good stretch can work that tightness out and preserve and extend your range of motion.
Relaxing the body and the mind is an excellent way to promote increased oxygen intake, as well as relieving stress, anxiety and unwanted tightness from the body. Stress relief and prevention , ie relaxation is shown to promote and aid in the speeding up of bodies natural ability to recover.
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Below is a some of the techniques and technology that the top tier of professional martial artist and athletes use to speed up and maximise their recovery. Some of the techniques can be replicated at home but for best results contact a expert in your area for the best results.
Cold therapy constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. Whole body croyotherapy treatments involve the client entering into a vertical chamber, where they are exposed to extremely cold dry air for up to 4 minutes, the air is super chilled to around – 100 °C. It is reported to alleviate delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), speed up recovery and increase athletic performance.
Ice baths are the original cold therapy and are essentially the pre cureser to WBC, they claim the same effects, the major difference is the temperature used. Ice bathing can be done at home.
Has been used in martial arts for thousands of years, it helps the muscles relax, repair and grow and it feels pretty amazing at the same time, helping your mind to relax and release stress. Win win. Massage improves the circulation of blood, increasing uptake of fresh nutrients and oxygen, as well as expelling toxins via the same blood flow. There are many different kinds of massage treatments available, deep tissue and Thai are my personal favourites.
Also known as Hyperbarric Oxygen Therapy is a system that delivers 100% oxygen to the athlete whilst they are sealed in a pressurised chamber, the air pressure in the chamber is pressurised to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions the lungs can take in more oxygen than normal. More oxygen helps you body repair everything quicker.
Also know as a sensory deprivation tank, is a method used to get profound relaxation results. The tank is a light less and sound proof, the client enters naked to float in a six inch deep bath of salty ,body temperature water. The effects are profound and quick acting. Relaxation reduces strees and allow the body to heal, recover and repair quicker.
Bi Naural Beats
An auditory illusion that can help the listener enter extremely deep and profound states of relaxation fast. Brings on all the benefits of relaxation.
Bed of nails
Modern adaptations of the original yogi bed of nails are now available, these fabric mats are studded with hundreds of plastic spikes. The bed of nails is a unique acupuncture like treatment that focuses the mind and body promoting relaxation and the flow of oxygenated blood.
Above I have categorised some of the key components that will help you speed up your recovery post training. Hopefully you can see the benefits that aiding your bodies natural recovery practices will have on your training.
Enjoy life and train hard.
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