Massage, Recovery and Easy Weeks Can Boost Performance Improvements
Humans love to test the limits of their body. In our drive for personal achievements we tend to push ourselves beyond our limit regularly. Our bodies are built to handle load, however, we need to make sure we appropriately recover after hard training. We often forget that adaptation to training occurs with rest. The stress-rest relationship is what builds our performance improvements. You can’t have one without the other and an overload of one can lead to injury or no adaptations. This is why it’s important that we add in massage, recovery, and easy weeks into our training. By doing this, we can maximise our training and decrease our injury risk.
With use, our muscles can tighten up and require some manual therapy to loosen them off. Massages are an important factor in recovery. You should be getting a massage at least once a month in order to stay on top of your body. Massages are great because they decrease our perceptions of muscle stiffness, increase blood flow to muscles, and help remove waste products. Massages are also a good pre-exercise tool to use as they can help prime your muscles for activity. When we are feeling tired and sore, a massage can go a long way to improving our mood, muscle soreness, and fatigue. If you’ve never had a massage before it is highly recommended that you add this tool into your recovery belt and optimise your performance improvements.
We can’t be putting out body through hard sessions every single day. That would be a great way to develop injuries or burnout in a very short period of time. In a standard week we should only be doing 2-3 hard exercise sessions and the rest of the week should be split into easy recovery sessions. These sessions may still raise our heart rate and work our muscles but it’s not at the same level as our hard sessions. Recovery sessions are usually placed in between hard sessions to allow more time to adapt to those hard sessions. You’ll often find that you’ll feel better after you do an easy session.
Steady performance improvements come from a mix of stress and rest. Most training programs follow a cyclical period of load over the year. The most common loading cycle is the 3 weeks of progressive build and then 1 easy week. This easy week allows our body to adapt to the training from the previous 3 weeks and feel more fresh for the following week. There are many ways to cycle our loading but you must always make sure you you incorporate easy weeks into your training. An easy week is as important as a more strenuous week. We need the adaptations that occur with these easy weeks. Not only will they help you adapt to training, they will also make you feel more energized and fresh.
If you have any questions about massage, recovery, and easy weeks or would like a recovery plan contact a sports physiotherapy or exercise physiology expert at Pivotal Motion today. We provide physiotherapy Brisbane wide and are always happy to help answer your questions. Call us on 07 3352 5116, email firstname.lastname@example.org or book in today.