Recovery and athletic performance is an important topic, and one that gets a fair bit of attention. However, information disseminated about recovery modalities often prioritize cumbersome methods with a poor return on investment. As is often the case the fundamentals take a back seat to elaborate strategies to improve athletic performance. When in reality optimization must start with and always prioritize the fundamentals. The objective of this article is to compile all relevant information on recovery and present a comprehensive analysis on the various strategies. From there we can develop a hierarchical structure to offer pragmatic recommendations for athletes to get the most out of their training and recovery and avoid prioritizing variables that generate a small magnitude of effect.
You want to drop down a weight class and you want to do it all within a 12 week prep cycle. You decide to drastically drop calories, throw in a bunch of unnecessary cardio to achieve any kind of weight loss, no matter the cost. Training starts off well, you’re dropping pounds but still getting stronger. Everything looks absolutely sunny.
Both powerlifting and strongman often offer 18-24hr weigh-ins prior to the start of the meet. This creates an opportunity for you to plan and manage your weight class with different objectives that cannot be realized when faced with a 2 hour weigh-in.
Fish oil supplementation has gained a lot of attention for their health benefits. Specifically supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids have demonstrated positive effects on blood pressure, triglycerides, and heart rate(1). Additionally, they’ve been shown to improve arterial dilation, possess antiarrhythmic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Most of the literature on sleep is regarding restriction and its impact on health and performance. However, there is a growing body of research on sleep extension and the potential implications it may have on athletic performance in particular.
The term metabolic damage has gained lots of traction over the years. Researchers initially observed a reduced metabolic rate in subjects who had lost a substantial amount of weight. This is far from shocking, since reducing an individual’s body weight will simultaneously reduce their energy demands. What was unique in this case however was the metabolic rates of some individuals were far lower than what the researchers projected.