When it comes to Training, Sometimes More is NOT Better. However, in this case, More is absolutely needed!
How many athletes have you heard say that had to go to the gym to workout, or go for their run to get the needed mileage in? I bet TONS!
How many athletes have you heard say they needed to go to the gym to do Yoga or a Mobility Session? Hardly ever, maybe parents or coaches reminding them to work on their "flexibility."
Side Rant: Let's also make one thing clear about mobility, not everyone needs to do Yoga or Mobility 3x a week, in fact some need to go the other direction and focus more on creating more tensile tissue with strength training.
These individuals are hypermobile, larger amounts of ROM due to a variety of factors, but the most common is the subluxation of joints.
On order for athletes to be able to produce the same efforts or even better efforts, rest must happen.
This is especially through your working sets (depending on the training goal) to spending time on mobility. This would be considered active recovery and allows the blood to flow again, helping the removal of scar tissue created by the previous training session.
Let's take a look at the nervous system and why rest is important to increase work capacity.
In this overview, "After brief, high-intensity exercise there is typically a rapid restitution of force that is due to recovery of central fatigue (typically within 2 min) and aspects of peripheral fatigue associated with excitation-contraction coupling and reperfusion of muscles (typically within 3-5 min)." This would be an example of rest in a working strength or power set.
So what's the difference between these two systems?
The Central Nervous System is made up of the spinal cord and brain, consistently analyzing the body's organs, and receiving information from the Peripheral Nervous System. The PNS is comprised of two divisions, the autonomic and the somatic nervous systems. The ANS controls the involuntary movements, such as breathing and heart rate, while the SONS helps with voluntary movement such as reflexes.
Subdivisions of the SONS are the sympathetic (fight or flight) and the Parasympathetic (sleep and rest). If your body is consistently in fight or flight, including elevated levels of anxiety, your body takes longer to recovery, breaking down more muscle than needed, and subsequently, less likely to perform.
Using a less active approach to recovery should be the first step.
Active Recovery shouldn't be taken lightly or with the misconception that it's not doing anything. What you put in you will get out! We've made 300+lb lineman sweat profusely because this was simply something they were not used to.
Active Recovery efforts should include foam rolling, mobility exercises and light ~30% of effort of a jog, bike or my favorite, the pool. Anything that helps the nervous systems reset and be able to perform for the next training session, skill practice or game.
If you need some guidance on the best practical approach on how you should recover, schedule a evaluation with one of our trainers to come up with a training plan that fits your schedule!