On Recovery – The Physical and Mental: By Coach Jay Bourdeau
It’s end-of-the-week, and all you see is “keep crushing life” memes — but the only thing crushed is your body as you slowly walk down the stairs to catch your train home. Now you’ve missed that train, and you’re still clinging to the dirtiest railing in New York City to take the weight off your trembling quads.
Most of us are ready to attack Monday and our week of training, work, and life. But no matter how great you feel at the beginning of the week, eventually the batteries start to run low and your body needs to recover. We’ve all hit that point of dragging mid-week at work, dragging during warm-ups and WODs, and carrying on zero conversation at dinner as we just stare at our food like it should be saying something comforting to us.
There’s a lot that can be done to help us pump through the week and finish strong. Not only should we be recovering physically, but most importantly mentally. Post-workout recovery should include BCAAs, hands-down one of the most important factors in your recovery. Branched-chain amino acids are released and used during high-intensity training. Do we naturally intake BCAAs? Yes, they’re commonly found in high-protein sources like steak, eggs, etc., but replenishing immediately after training helps the recovery process begin as soon as you take them.
Being that most of us are training and moving on the go, supplementing BCAAs is ideal to ensure we are helping our body reduce muscle fatigue and soreness. We naturally want to reduce inflammation and pain, so finding a BCAA supplement that has products like tart cherry, a natural antioxidant, are great for your body and can be found in NF Sports BCAA. 😉
Sleep, food, and supplements like BCAAs and Omega-3 fish oil are ideal, but we can’t forget to recover mentally! It’s just as important as taking those supplements post-training. For example, the Open has been a 50/50 split for most of us. We’ve either had some magical moments like ripping through our hands like we’re shaking Edward Scissorhands’ for our first muscle-up, or we’ve ripped through our hands only to come up short and go home depressed. Truth is, these five weeks can be a huge motivation for some and a huge let down for others. But for those feeling let down, never feel discouraged on your fitness journey.
If we’re really honest with ourselves, have we really done all the work needed to achieve a specific goal? Have we made a conscious effort to get better or perfect a drill, progression or skill? Or do we just want the instant gratification and hope that we somehow achieve that goal with minimum work? Either way, whether you have put in the work or not, the beauty in this sport is that there is constant growth. Maybe you didn’t get a muscle-up this year, but how else have you performed? Maybe you’re crushing other workouts. Maybe you’re doing strict chin-ups for sets when a couple months ago you couldn’t do them without assistance.
No matter what, with consistency you are progressing and getting better. Maybe you’re not quite where you want to be, but you’re a lot closer than you were last year, last month, and last week. Try this after your WODs and general training (or just in your daily life) — when you finish, sit back and name two things you are happy with and reflect on them. Your pace, your time, whatever. Tell yourself you crushed them. Don’t compare yourself to anyone! You are your own athlete with your own goals, so celebrate two things you feel you did very well and keep building from there.
Recovering physically is great, but in the end it means nothing if the mind and body aren’t on the same page. Once they are, then we’re talking about knocking down walls and kicking ass.