THQ Trainer Posts – Stress – Recovery – Adaptation
By Matt Holloway
This is how our bodies respond to training and there is no way around it.
No shortcuts, no hacks.
When we exercise we stress our body and break down muscle tissue.
Then our body repairs and recovers.
Finally our body adapts accordingly to the initial stress and builds stronger tissue stronger as a result.
The body will always prioritise recovery after stress and never adapt before it has recovered.
I love seeing people in the gym four, five, even six days a week. Its great to see the motivation and desire of members to transform their bodies and achieve their goals.
However as a trainer I know the importance of that middle word in the heading….RECOVERY
Without adequate recovery from each training session the next one becomes less and less effective.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t exercise as much as you want to.
In fact I myself train five, six, sometimes seven days a week.
I do however vary the intensity to allow my body to recover and adapt the way I want it to.
For example I will lay out how my training week looks when I exercise seven days a week so you understand how I manipulate the intensity.
Monday – intense weight training workout
Tuesday – intense weight training workout
Wednesday – very light weight training workout focussed on movement, mobility and exercise execution. Also I’ll do an 90 minute walk in the evening
Thursday – intense weight training workout
Friday – 90 minute morning walk and 20 minute bodyweight abs workout at home
Saturday – intense weight training workout
Sunday – 60 minute morning walk and 20 minute mobility and stretching workout
Now you may look at that weekly plan and think I’m only training 4 days per week.
However I class Wednesday, Friday and Sunday just as important training days as the heavy weight training days.
That’s because I know how conducive they are to my recovery and the eventual adaptation that I desire.
Think about when you cut yourself. The cut is a stress, your body will then scab over the cut to repair your skin. A few days later the skin will be healed and it will have adapted to become stronger as a result.
When you train balls to the wall every session, 6 days per week all you are doing is ripping of that scab before the cut is healed.
If you keep doing this the skin will never be able to recover and adapt.
Think about how your weekly training regime looks. Are you getting enough recovery and are you training too intensely, too often.
More isn’t always better.
So if you are planning on being in the gym five or six times per week think about varying up the intensity.
Maybe push yourself hard for three or four sessions and then get in to the strength room and go a little lighter.
Maybe focus on practicing your squat or improving your form on lunges etc.
Remember you should always train hard, that’s a given…. but you should always train smart too.