Purpose and Rationale:
Active recovery days are intended to be a recovery day for the mind and body. On these days the intensity should be low and time spent in the gym should be less than usual. This helps aid in recovery while improving performance over time. Active recovery days are usually 20 to 60 minutes in duration. The recovery session can consist of light cardio, stretching, recovery techniques, and corrective/pre-hab exercises. It will provide a mental boost to maximize full training days. This will decrease the “burn out” effect in which you become tired, weak, and lose the desire to train. It’s impossible to train everyday for a long period of time without running into complications. The body needs to recharge and heal itself from the demands of training, life, and other stresses. Recovery days can flush out toxins from the body and restore tissues in the body.
Read More The Importance of Active Recovery
Without healing the mind it’s hard to continue to push through training days. Active recovery doesn’t always mean exercising but rather should comprise of stretching or meditation. Beneficial mental strategies that can be assimilated include SMR, stretching, cold therapy, heat therapy, meditation, and on occasion a complete rest day. Without these days you’ll most likely start overtraining. Overtraining can decrease training volume and intensity. This will dramatically increase injury rates and body aches. Energy levels suffer and the body will weaken physically and mentally.
With over 20 years of training, there is no way I’d be where I am today without my active recovery days. That’s why my program, the Maddox Method, has two foundational active recovery days built into the program. These days usually include light cardio in the form of swimming, running, biking, ski erg, rowing, and assault bike. In addition, these days also include long stretching holds also known as static stretching. I’m a big advocate of incorporating corrective/pre-hab exercises into the program to help stabilize the body and prevent injuries. There are plenty of people who say they workout everyday, but these are the people that usually burn out or don’t last. Staying consistent will establish the rest mentally and physically to keep your body firing on all cylinders.
Read More Borg Scale Rating of Perceived Exertion
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