Movement Monday: More Output, More Input

We ask our bodies to put up with a lot. We want it to keep up with us all day long, and most of the time, it does a pretty good job. One thing most of us fail to realize however, is that the body does need to recover. Sleep and couch time alone are not enough.

In this installment of Movement Monday, we give you some food for thought in terms of recovery. In the gym, we want to GO, GO, GO! Eventually this, "no pain, no gain" mentality will lead to a breaking point resulting in injury or a plateau.

Don't let your hard work get stunted by too much hard work. Watch the video, enjoy the outtakes, and take away a few tips from experienced coaches who help others navigate the murky waters of recovery.

Take Aways:

1) Asking more of your body in terms of performance or body composition means more recovery techniques have to be explored. 

2) Improve your sleep, nutrition or enlist the help of a manual therapist to keep you healthy while making progress towards your goal.

3) Take stock of life's stresses. Both good and bad stress can take their toll on the body. Understanding the stresses in your life can help you compensate for them.

4) Just because we're taking rest seriously doesn't mean we can't workout with intensity. We want people to make smarter choices to allow the body to recover.

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Strength Training 201: Recovery

Imagine you’ve been working out for a few months...


You feel motivated. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is your motto. Your life is moving along, too. You have a birthday. Work is tough gearing up for tax season (you’re an accountant by the way). You get home late, miss a meal here and there. Lose some sleep. You’re back in the gym the next day though.

These patterns persist for months. Less sleep. Less food. More stress. More exercise (gotta get that 6th day in). Over time, you start to lose your steam. An old elbow injury flares up. Why is this happening now? You were feeling so good!

Does this sound familiar? For those of us who make fitness the priority, this is a shared experience. Great bursts of motivation and progress followed by sharp crashes and frustration. 

How can we avoid this? Recovery needs to be prioritized as much as training. This doesn’t mean taking weeks at a time off to “rest,” it just means being smarter about your approach. You can’t run a car for 100,000 miles without getting the oil changed, tires rotated, etc. 

Signs you’re burning out:

Loss of motivation: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” changes to, “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Loss of motivation to exercise or eat well.

Injuries crop up: New injuries appear, old injury resurfaces OR an injury or tightness just never seems to go away.

Sickness: Are you sick when you’re usually not? It’s easy to blame allergies, but is there something more?

Exhaustion: When you get home, you need a 5’x5’ spatula to peel you off the couch. The sun comes up and you throw it the middle finger. “10 more… hours,” you mutter.

Mood swings: When you have the “Monday” face on, but it’s Wednesday. Mood swings normally mean low energy.

What can you do?

Respect Rest: Monitor your sleep and plan your days off. Believe it or not, with exercise, more is not always better. The nervous system is king. Stress, poor nutrition and too exercise/not enough recovery is a recipe for burnout. For fat loss, prioritize resistance training 3-4x per week and add in other things if you’re feeling motivated.

Buy a heart rate monitor: Fitbit. Polar. Garmin. MyZone. Pick your poison. At RD, we’ve adopted the MyZone system to help members understand the stress they’re putting their bodies through. To determine your max heart rate, take the number 220 and subtracting your age. That is your 100% max heart rate. Aim to stay between 60% to 80% of that number and you’re staying in an elevated cardiac zone without pushing the limits. Clients are able to track their heart rate through out the workout allowing them to stay in this zone for the best fat loss results.

Eat well and often: We all know the person who eats twice a day. We all know the person who just eats cereal and pizza. Are they healthy? Poor nutrition is an added stressor on the body and so is prolonged hunger. Eat every 2 to 4 hours and have a vegetable with every meal. Follow these two guidelines to avoid skipping meals and to bring your body back to life.

You are strong!

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