Do you recover like The All Blacks or like your local rugby team?
Monday 20th August 2018
If you were to ask a rugby fan who the ultimate team in world rugby is the vast majority of them would say the All Blacks, even if they wanted to argue it.
New Zealand has winning down to a fine art, and their culture, strength in depth, backroom staff and systems must be thing's that positively affect their win/loss ratio. Richie McCaw is one of my heroes, but the thing that made me so interested in him is not his ability to play rugby, it is his mindset and commitment to making himself the best All Black he could be.
I'm sure all players take all aspects of training seriously but none more so than the realisation that they must recover well to be able to perform at their very best.
This is something that is overlooked in many health and fitness programmes.
Now more than ever we have senior leaders in corporations who are burned out, stressed, not sleeping well and clearly not recovering. Recovery is one of the cornerstones of our Alpha Approach and is something we take very seriously.
You should too. It will reduce the chances of burn out, putting on fat mass and decrease the likelihood of injury. There is also a good chance it will help take some stress off your shoulders and improve your decision making.
So what can you do about it?
Take time to exercise at least three times per week but preferably more. Though, remember that HIIT style training can really increase the total amount of stress in the system. So if you know you are stressed go for a more gentle approach. That could be a light jog for 30-45 minutes or mobility based work.
Take time to meditate and practice mindfulness. This might have been seen as wishy-washy a few years ago but the research is extensive now, and we know that it helps shrink the part of the brain responsible for our more primitive actions.
Use a performance coach. Find someone who can help you come up with and stick to solutions that help you to recover and become a better human. They will help you adopt a growth mindset.
Get good quality sleep. This is so underutilized as a recovery tool. I know you are busy but take your sleep seriously and you're likely to see fat loss and improvements in the gym.
Understand that moving is in our DNA. You must move to keep yourself in good health, especially your joints. Even if you aren't exercising try and move every day.
Drink more herbal tea and not so much coffee. Coffee is like having a credit card for some people. They accumulate a significant debt but struggle to pay it off at the end of each month because they aren't recovering well. Reduce your coffee, you might just reduce your stress and improve your recovery.
Do something that makes you feel relaxed. I hear that during the war Winston Churchill used painting as his preferred recovery mechanism, if that is not your thing, find something that helps get you into flow, learning a new task is often just as effective.
Fuel your cells for better performance by working with a good quality dietician or nutritionist. It's simple, the better we eat and drink the more likely we are to have the energy we need.
Measure your stress.
My current line of thinking is 'you don't know you are stressed untill you know you are stressed.'
You could use something that measures stress like a Heart Rate Variability device for example, but I would recommend checking your blood pressure and resting heart rate as well. There are many devices available for this.
In short, start recovering like the All Blacks, not like your Sunday league rugby team. You'll see the dividends pay off quicker than you might expect.
If you're interested to find out more details about how we structure recovery feel free to drop a comment below or send us a private message.