The whole point of training is progression. Progression happens after a series of good training sessions, right? WRONG (or at least, not necessarily). Progression happens after a series of training sessions IF there has been adequate time for recovery and super-compensation to happen in between those training sessions.
So the real point of training is super-compensation. And super-compensation only happens after full recovery.
So the goal of training is to recover as fast as possible and then to super-compensate. This takes time.
This is a diagram of recovery and then super-compensation.
(Yakovlev's Law, 1949.)
It's interesting to note that if you train "ALL-OUT" then you are likely to inhibit supercompensation, as there seems to be a "honeymoon-period" where super-compensation happens, and if recoevry takes too long then you completley miss the honeymoon-period. So when you hear "we train harder than anyone else", then you can laugh and relax in the knowledge that you are super-compensating more eficiently.
This is not to say "NEVER train super hard". No. It just shouldn't be the rule, it shouldn't be regular "ALL-OUT" training, every day. After all, you have to "test yourself" sometimes in training... just not every day, or every week.
This is a diagram of how differnet training volumes/intensities affect the outcome of recovery and thus super-compensation.
(Yakovlev's Law developed version, 1973.)
The "train harder and longer" culture is often the red line in the diagram above, giving little or no super-compensation to the majority of normal people. Only the genetically gifted make gains. This means that you might get a few top athletes from your group, but most normal people will not be improving so much. (then they usually quit the sport, as they think they are not so good. But in reality, it's the training that is just not suited to them accordingly.) This is yet another reason why personal coaching, and fitting the volume and intesnity to YOU, works better. I've found that quite often the "train harder and longer people" do it this way because they just don't know how to "train smarter and more effciiently", they just lack knowledge, so they continue with "more is better", "harder is the better".
Another interesting point is that different energy systems (different types of training) have different recovery periods, and thus different super-compensation periods. (i.e. the honeymoon-period is different.)
The top graph is glycogen re-synthesis. The second graph is a "Complex parameter: Fitness level" (i.e. a generic component of many factors). The third graph is damage to the mitochondria.
So this begs the question; how do I match my volume/intensity to my recovery rate to optimise my training program? The key is NOT to try to get more super-compensation from ONE training session. (There is a maximum limit, a threshold, of how much super-compensation you can get from one session. Training harder will not increase this. It just delays recovery.) The key is to try to get more super-compensations per week, so; not training so long/hard, but recovering quicker and getting more "medium-size" sessions in each week. i.e. consistent, regualr, reasonable training sessions over a long period of time will give the best improvement.
Matching the volume/intensity to your personal recovery rate (dependiing on your physical state, age, gender, hydration level, history, etc.) is key, and this is where you have to be objective. Being objective is very difficult, because you live inside your head, and you are effetced by emotions, feelings, motivations, moods, glycogen, chemicals etc. This is why a personal coach is so improtant, they can see you objectively, and develop a relationship that over time we can see if you need to train more often, or train less often, or train higher volume per session, or less. Or train more times per week, or less. Or change the content, intensities, or switch from more anaeronic acitivty, to more aerobic activity. All in a normal days work at Sk8skool ONline :)
However, back to the origianl point of this article... All of this means that the recovery from training is the most important part of the training (if you've already got the volume/intensity right). so let's look at how we can recovery faster...
The most important thing you can do is REST after your training session. Many people destroy some of the benefits of training by recovering while "being busy" immediately after training. High quality rest is;
Eating within 30 mins of training
Starting re-hydration within 30 mins of training
Avoiding long travel
High quality recovery is not:
Travelling long distances
But many people ignore this simple fact. Every week they make the same mistakes following training, and then wonder why they don't improve as fast as other people. Lifestyle makes a big difference in your training, and the way you recover is a part of your lifestyle. PLAN 1 hour of relaxation after your training session, and progression will improve. To learn more about how to optimize your training, and improve faster, click here.
Let's go faster,