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Recovery Tips After a Hard Week of Training

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Recovery Tips After a Hard Week of Training

Congratulations!  It was your last training session this week and you have tomorrow off.  So many possibilities!  But before you dive headfirst into your weekend you might want to consider a few things to maximize your day off and have you feeling fresh for another hard week of training.  A lot of articles have great advice on how to rest and recover between training sessions on consecutive days, but how do you get the most out of your rest day? Today we'll find out!

REST (but not too much)

Your first instinct is going to be to convince yourself that you don't need a day off.  You're a champion with a champion's mindset, you're ready to go hard 24/7.  However, you might be too tough for your own good.  Sometimes it's the smart thing to do to pull back a little bit to make sure you're not in danger of injury, burnout, or decreased performance.  You want your best performances to be on competition day, not on training days.  It's a good idea to have rest days built into your program, that way it's a part of a system and you're not just winging it which can lead to too many days off, not enough days off, or inefficient uses of training/rest days.  Another good piece of advise is to move a little on your rest days.  I'm a big fan of being outdoors as much as possible on my rest days with light activity, usually walking or swimming.  Getting as much sunlight as possible while doing light exercise is a great way to keep yourelf moving while allowing your body to repair itslf.

Eat Smart

Your first inclination is going to be to look at the beautiful 24 hours you have off and imemdiately start planning what back to back buffets you're going to hit.  Aside from the fact that you're in a sport that requires you to make weight, your food choices may leave you feeling worse off.  As tempting as it is try to keep your diet as relatively clean as you would on a training day.  Since you're not going to be doing any strenuous physical exercise the next day it's ok to be a little less disciplined than usual, but keep in mind aded junk leads to more inflammation which might delay recovery.  Instead, try to make smart choices on the things you're craving.  Have a hankering for sugar? Try eating a fruit smoothie bowl.  Salt on the mind? Beef jerky might do the trick.  Get creative with satisfying your body's craving without going off the deep end.

Take Inventory of your Mental State

You should be excited and hungry to train again when you're on your rest day.  You should be looking forward to getting back in the gym and working on things you're not good at.  If dreading going to the gym is uncharacteristic, you might be suffering from burnout.  A journal is a great tool to keep track of how you're feeling.  It can be as simple as writing down a sentence or two about how you're training paired with what your training load was like that day.  After a period of time you might start to see trends that could be beneficial to your programming.  Don't get me wrong, you're going to be miserable at times especially during a training camp when the monotony of a fighter's life begins to wear mentally, but outside of that training should be something enjoyable.  There are days you're not going to want to go to the practice room for various reasons but those are the days that make a champion.  While it takes confidence to take a day off when needed, it takes discipline to stay on the grind.  "The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win" - Bobby Knight.  Everyone wants to win and will do whatver it takes once they're out on the mat, but how many can say they did everything they possibly could to make that happen?  That will often be the deciding factor.

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