Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Recovery is filling the hole

One of my favorite training quotes is about recovery, and it's from John Meadows (who runs Mountain Dog Diet).

As far as I know, I first came across it here:

"Training is like digging a ditch. Recovery is about filling that ditch, and adding a little bit more." - John Meadows, quoted by Jim Wendler in 2012 in Review.

I've heard a few variations of it. Usually it gets simplified to "Training is digging a hole, recovery is filling it."

It's a fantastic way to look at training, especially as you look older.

You need to build your recovery into your workouts. Not in the "rest between sets" sense but in the "rest in your workout schedule" sense.

It's a slow-and-steady approach, at heart. Don't do anything you can't recover from. If you push extra-hard, leave in some extra space to recover.

What I like about the metaphor is that it also tells you that minimal work with maximal recovery isn't going to cut it. You have to work. But you can't crush yourself day in, day out, and expect results over the long haul. You just aren't spending any time filling that hole.

I use this metaphor a lot with clients these days. I keep it mind myself. Work, get your training in, make some progress toward your goal. Then rest and recover. Don't mistake digging for filling and vice-versa, and make sure you do enough of both - in balance.

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