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How Do You Manage Load and Recovery?

Hi friends,

I was wondering what measures and tactics you guys implement to allow for recovery.

Like many of you, I love to lift, bjj, and the occasional hill sprint. To fit all of this in means I’m working out 6 days out of 7, and once or twice a week I’m often doing a morning and evening session.

I’ve come to the conclusion I’m not recovering, and often suffer from reoccurring injuries (dodgy lower back).

I’m thinking of giving myself a limit of 6 sessions total per week with a mandatory 24 hours off, with no 2-a-days allowed.

Discuss how you manage recovery and avoid over training?

My goals by the way is to look like I lift, have fun, and feel and move optimally.


I live by the motto that there is no overtraining, just undereating.


I do 2 a days and sometimes 3 a days. People that like to workout don’t know how to control themselves. If there was a drug that would allow me to train injury free as much as I want, I’d be hooked.

All this to say I wish I could help you!

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I train 3-5 times a day and recover by eating like a lord.

I also direct my energy away from thinking and towards doing.


Granted, when Franco disparaged the possibility of overtraining vs undereating, I think at the time is just came across as trying to sound tough, BUT, nutrition is the key component of recovery IMO that 99% of people in the gym ignore.

When anyone asks me how I was able to make such good continued gains when I started competing at 35, after already 15 years of training, I always chalk it up to making sure I understood and employed as much accurate and up to date nutritional info as I possibly could. Not that the gym training is always a no-brainer, but if you’re doing anything not totally stupid (“what program should I follow?!” -lol), if your nutrition is good, you should see some progress.



Don’t push everything super hard, at the same time. Wave your different activities up and down

During your most intense and volumeous weeks of weight lifting do fewer hill sprints. Or less intense sprints. Or go for a shorter distance.

Schedule deloads from weights for the weeks you do extra long BJJ practices.

When you’re really getting after it sprinting just work technique and flow roll in BJJ without live, all out “sparring.”


A similar question’s been on my mind lately. I know all about RPE, deloads, “training vs. testing”, and all that, but once that bar’s on my back and I’m aiming for 4-6 reps, I’ll push until I hit six even if that means turning things into a cluster set. Needless to say, I dig myself into a recovery hole pretty quickly. It’s one thing to know better in the abstract, but it’s another thing to convince yourself in the moment to do what you know is right (thanks, dad!).

Does anyone have any strategies for convincing yourself to stop a set for the sake of recovery and progression?


I very much know ways to do the opposite

But I also know some great recipes for what to eat afterwards. In fact, I did that workout on Thanksgiving day.

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I don’t put limits on lifting, I push as hard as I feel like pushing on that day. If I push hard, I have more carbs/food. Make sure you’re at 1g protein per pound of bodyweight and getting adequate fat first of all. Then vary carbs based on how much work you’re doing. If you end a session laying on the ground trying to breathe, you’re gonna need a lot. Err on the side of caution in that realm, meaning eat too much rather than too little.

As far as waving intensity and things, it’s mentioned above to manage your overall intensity week-to-week. If you know you have a more ball-busting week of BJJ or a more stressful week of work coming at you, be prepared to back off of your lifting/sprinting intensity. Essentially, manipulate the variables you have the most control over (food, lifting/sprinting intensity) so that you can mitigate the ebb and flow of the variables you have less control over (BJJ, stress).

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You’ve just got to “Do It” a few times. Do the prescribed 4-5 reps and save one for next week, for a few weeks.

Once you Feel the sensation of never being crushed, always making progress and always feeling that there is still easy progress to make for next workout, you’ll Understand “why.”

From there, you’ll be able to chanel that extra “energy” or “recovery” into other physical qualities. Like you won’t be crushed by the weights all the time, so you’ll be able to work on some cardio and conditioning. If you can keep these workouts moderate and progressing they’ll improve your lifting workouts.


Also, you have to let your Lower Back determine the training load for awhile. If you keep jacking yourself up, your back isn’t making progress. It will continue to be a weakness holding you back.

You’ll have to limit the weights, the running and the BJJ to an amount that is OK for your lower back. “How much can I do and not tweak my back?” Or, “how much can my back recover from?” Once you figure that out, progress from That amount of work.

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Dude, don’t tempt me to do stuff like that!

So, do you track calories to stay lean? Or do you just eat like a beast and cut back if you start getting soft? Or do you base all that on performance?

Thanks, FF. Just doing it is that right answer, and I’m determined to follow that advice in a couple of hours. Going all out is really fun, but the morning after is a real kick in the teeth.

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I’ve never counted a calorie or macro in my life. I stick to clean foods, keep carbs very low and focus on proteins and fats. I don’t force feed but eat to recover from my training.

Check out this graph.

Imagine a theoretical “Optimal” workload. If you do that amount, you’ll make 100% gains.

If you do more than that (like you train “Maximally”) you’ll make like 90% of the progress, with the draw back of feeling beat up and broke down. You’re accumulating damage faster than you’re repairing it. Soon the gains stop.

If you do way less than the Optimal Amount you’ll make less gains and be bored by your training.

But if you do a little less than the theoretical “optimal” amount you’ll make the same 90% gains. With the benefits of always being recovered and feeling ready for more with a little energy for other stuff. So progress can go for a long time.

At first it’s a little tough to know how much to do, so you have to be a little cautious and go slow at first. As you get more and more comfortable doing a little more than last time, but leaving some for next time, you’ll find “the edge.” Once you know where that is, it’s easier to push towards the edge without going over.


At like 55:00 Ed Coan starts talking about sticking to the plan, week after week, and doing a 12 week training cycle to add 5 pounds to his lifts. Then repeating that 4 times a year, for 3 years. Locking in!

In this one Dave Hoff talks about going steady for 5 years just to start getting good.

This is great stuff, Double F. Especially this:

But if you do a little less than the theoretical “optimal” amount you’ll make the same 90% gains. With the benefits of always being recovered and feeling ready for more with a little energy for other stuff. So progress can go for a long time.

I’m definitely in the “diminished gains and feeling like crap” part of that curve. In today’s squat session, I stuck with 4 solid reps instead of 6 dubious reps. So far, the universe hasn’t collapsed. Here’s hoping I’m smart enough to stick to the plan all week.

But 12 weeks for 5 pounds!? That’s an intimidating (and enviable) level of patience.


I think you are doing to much. Work hard but brief and do it less often. It’s easy to train hard and a lot, it’s hard to know when to stop so you can recover. You can eat all day but that won’t counter act training to much.

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I would use a slightly different approach. Take a year to focus on lifting. Bulk up, get your numbers up, put on as much size and strength as possible. Go to an open mat once a week to keep your skills up. After a year or so, balance out the lifting, BJJ, and hill sprints.

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Relevant video