As martial artists we thrive on our ability to train hard and often. We get into a mindset where we have to constantly be in the gym to get stronger, better, and faster. Sometimes we pull off hard three to four a day sessions, where we push our body to its limit. Sometimes when we enter this mindset we forget one of the most important aspects of fighting, recovery.
I am not saying that it is wrong to do multiple sessions a day, or that training to your limit is bad. In truth, it is a great habit for rapidly getting better. The more time in the gym the better you will get. There is no denying that. It only gets bad when you aren’t giving yourself enough time to rest in between workouts, or when you are not resting properly.
When you break down the muscle it needs time to rebuild and replenish its self. If we don’t partake in proper rest we run the risk of losing all of our gains that day. If we are trying to progress our body, mind, and technique we need to make sure that we are getting a good quality of rest between each work out. Here are some great tips for increasing your quality of recovery.
Rest: After a hard workout give yourself hours of rest before our next workout. Relax and let your body heal its self. Your body is a machine and it needs some down time to be at its absolute best.
Proper Nutrition and Hydration: Your body runs off fuel, and when we work out we burn that fuel. Make sure that your are fully hydrated following your sessions, and make sure that you are replenishing yourself with good quality nutrients. Do some research and develop a diet and lifestyle plan to make sure that you’re getting everything you need to make your body operate at a high level.
Ice: The last thing we want is to go into our next workout with nagging pain from our last work out. Ice you aches and pains after each session to reduce the amount of inflammation in your joints and muscles.
Stretch: Stretching can make your feel like a million bucks after a workout. It will also increase your flexibility, and reduce muscle soreness.
Ice Baths: This is best done after your last training session. A good ice bath will help reduce the inflammation throughout your entire body. It is great for soreness and for those nagging injuries that keep you up at night. An ice path will leave your ready for tomorrow’s hard training session.