T Nation

How Do You Recover?

Ice baths, epsom salt baths, sleep, food, stretching, massage, walking, sled dragging, yoga, saunas, kt tape, ibuprofen, more juice and so many other things.

Recovery… that thing that happens so you can keep training and growing… do you do it?

Personally Im a fan of minimalist recovery modalities. I don’t feel you should have to do an hour of recovery a day to counter you training, if you do chances are something somewhere, nutrition, sleep, training, needs to be adjusted accordingly. Obviously the more advanced you are the more all of this comes into play.

I like chiropractor when my hips are feeling all whacky and the massage therapist when I’m super beat up. I try to do sled dragging type recovery on off days for 10-20 minutes since I sit on my butt at work all day.

Though I often don’t get it done as often as I’d like or potentially as often as I should.

We all get beat up, so how do you combat it? What’s your preferred recovery modality? How often do you do it? Should you do it?

For the final question, are you actually training hard enough to need recovery? Or do you just have tight hips and pecs?

I like walking. However, where I live it is currently about -15 f, so that won’t work all year. The walking does wonders for my hips and back.

I’ve been using the sled in the winter. Seems ok, but not as good as walking.


While not the same as walking outdoors, what about a treadmill?

I’ve been trying to make sleep more of a priority for myself. I start work usually around 3am-4am, and getting to bed early enough was always a struggle. It’s been a few weeks of getting to bed around 7:30-8 in the evening, and I feel like I’ve been feeling a lot better. I’m performing well in the gym, but besides that, I get up easier in the morning, I’ve been getting sick less, my mood has improved, and mentally it makes me feel better about being on top of that area of my health.

Most of those don’t relate directly to my gym performance, but if I was always struggling to wake up, getting sick, cranky/sad, and disappointed with my lack of discipline, I feel I’d probably be doing worse in the gym, if even going at all.

I have never done ice baths or epsom salt baths. Will probably try them out someday, but haven’t felt the need yet. Also, don’t have a bathtub at my house haha. I also don’t eat very well, so I can’t quite comment on how I’ve improved that and how it’s helped me.

I stretch after I lift. Not very much - if I do a lot of volume on squats I’ll stretch my quads/hip flexors and glutes. I feel it helps reduce soreness. I’ve started doing some weird type of stretch for what I believe is my thoracic extensors. It feels amazing. I got it off some guy on YouTube who recommended it for learning how to handstand. I’ll try to find a picture later. Anyway, no idea if it helps anything, but it feels really good.

I walk about 3-5 miles a day for work, so I rarely feel the need for more walking. I don’t do any sled work, but have thought about giving it a go for a warmup. I treat yoga the same why I do stretching - I don’t know how much it helps me, but it feels good so I sometimes do it. I’ve done hot yoga a few times for the hell of it, and honestly, I loved it. Felt really good afterwards.

Go to the chiro every month or so when I can afford it. Mostly for my neck and back. No issues, just feel a little better when I’ve been adjusted. I’ve gotten a masage once and I really liked it. I really felt good after it.

Only take ibuprofen and similar meds when I’m sick or for a headache. Also all natural.

I don’t train very hard. 3-4 days a week. I feel I do very minimal things for recovery, so I’m not sure “need it” or not. But mentally it feels good for me.

I like these threads you’ve been starting! Interesting to hear others’ responses.

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Hey Thanks!

Great stuff from you.

Recovery is a big buzzword again, and rightfully so, however some folks just don’t train hard enough to need an epson salt bath every night or daily cupping and an hour of yoga as the day breaks.

Walking is HUGE. We were meant to walk, it’s why we got legs ( what every this probably isn’t why but i’m going with it ). Looks like you know what sleeping and walking are your go to’s for recovery. I’d be curious to see how you’d respond if you cleaned your diet up, but if it’s not affecting you negatively ( confirm with blood work ) then keep on rocking.

I been trying to get better sleep. Working on getting more protein in.
I do cupping/scraping every two weeks, adjusted at the chiro every 3-6 weeks

Going to spend more time walking or some recumbent bike.

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First, I recover by not training beyond my recovery abilities. Then sleep, hot tubs, meditation, lighter sessions, and days off of training.

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I do some lower body stretching on all days I don’t squat or deadlift, occasionally later in the day after training if necessary. Myofascial release with a lacrosse ball or theracane on anything that needs it. I don’t do any sort of mobility work for my upper body because I don’t seem to need it, except for some band dislocation type of stuff before squatting. If it’s nice outside I would go for a couple short walks if I’m not working. At work I’m walking back and forth all day.


Needa do better with my sleep.

Also stress less because I think my personality is one that magnifies stressors and spend time actively de stressing like cuddling with the gf.

I tend to avoid recovery modalities that are pretty active like more work (sled pushes) or stressful to the body (heat/cold). I feel for myself these take away more than they help

After running Garrett Blevins AI coaching briefing I picked up the idea of rating fatigue out of 10 (being completely fucked with no motivation to do that lift) for individual for squat bench and deadlift each session. This way I can track and manage how smashed I am depending on where I’m at in a training cycle.

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These and contrast showers seemed to be popular for a while among certain crowds but there has been a bunch of recent research that found that while they help recover, they actually interfere with the process of adaptation. In some cases this would make sense, like if you are a hockey player and have games multiple days in a row but for powerlifting it sounds like you would be better off either reducing volume or spacing out workouts if you can’t do without the above.

This too, ibuprofen interferes with muscle hypertrophy. If you are training around aches and pains then it might be better to take ibuprofen rather than not train but it would be better if you can manage without it. CBD oil appears to have no negative side effects other than drowsiness. I took it for a while because I had some elbow issues, it’s not a miracle but it definitely makes a difference and if you take it within an hour or two of going to bed you will have a very good sleep.

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Also now it can reduce Test levels apparently ( TC released a new article recently ).

Yeah recovery modalities can be overused for sure. I try to make sure if I’m using it it’s to address a specific need or goal.

CBD oil I’m still on the fence about. Going to add it back in soon and give it another go to see if everything lines up with the last 2 times I took it.

Not sure if it was working or side effects or what?

Mostly how I feel about it or how I felt on it.

Sleep was great, training was great but I just want to try it out a few times with some space between so I can really gauge it.

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Taking walks, ice bath/warm bath with menthol drops and jasmine. Sleep my ass off. Swim, or row machine.

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I too like the CBD oil. I use it topically, or drop a few in my tea.

Aren’t you that guy who was getting panic attacks when lifting? Are you doing better now?

Yes. I was doing to much high percentage lifting while also being very busy with other things. That also happened after doing 2/3 or 3/3 big lifts in the same workout, at a high intensity. Not advised.

Another often overlooked aspect of recovery is simply hanging out with friends or family. Going to the movies, the dog park with your dog ( which means you walk ), doing anything but lifting, lol.

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Family stresses me out so not that but yeah chillaxing is good for gains

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Mine too, but hanging with my nephews is usually amazing. Wild and rambunctious but still a good time.