T Nation

Recovery Question

I’m designing a program for myself that incorporates Waterbury’s total-body training program with a distance running program. I’m not quite clear on how cardio on weight-training rest days influences performance and vice versa. My schedule is setup like this (after a 3 week acclimation period with 2-3 rest days per week)

Sunday
Long Run

Monday
Recovery (short walk to get rid of lactic acid)

Tuesday
Workout

Wednesday
Short Run

Thursday
Workout

Friday
Short Run

Saturday
Workout

And repeat…

Is this feasible from a recovery standpoint?

I’m curious about the same thing. I’ll be working out + doing cardio with three days for each.

Nobody can tell you how well YOU recover.Especially since you haven’t explained what defines “long” or “workout” for that matter. Your best bet is try it and see. Are you bulking? Is your goal to get stronger or to get better at running?

Well, with respect to recovery by itself, I dont think running will hurt your training recovery.

I think the question you should be asking, or the thing you should be concerned about is, am I going to make optimal progress in either area when I am do things of opposite disciplines?

Running, especially long distance running requires an adaptation of your body. That adaptation is to make your muscles more efficient and use less energy each time you run that specific distance. If you run 4 miles today, you are going to expend X amount of energy. If you continue to run that 4 miles again and again, your body is going to adapt to make sure you use less and less energy to accomplish that 4 mile run. (That is why running is not an ideal long term fat loss tool). So, what does your body do to make you more efficient? It makes muscles smaller, smaller muscles use less energy. Plain and simple.

If you are doing TBT, or any type of weight training, your goal is most likely to get stronger and/or get bigger muscles. Weight training requires an adaptation of your body as well. That adaptation is to make your muscles larger to accomplish the task of moving a heavy weight. Plain and simple.

So, with that said, I would make the argument that you are not hindering your recovery so much as you are hindering your potential progress in either direction. If you want to become more muscular, which is the more difficult and time sensitive body adaptation, you might want to consider scrapping the running, as it will require the body to counteradapt. If you are concerned about being ‘Fit’, as if a level of cardiovascular fitness cant be achieved through weight training, then there are much more beneficial accessory cardio things that can be done that wont interfere with the weight training adaptation. I.E. jumping rope(great cardio/fitness tool)

Thank you for the reply. To be more clear on my goals, I’m starting from a slightly overweight standpoint (19-21% BF). My main goal is lowering my BF% with minimum muscle loss while improving cardiovascular endurance and running ability. Obviously diet plays a big part in this and I plan to take in the standard 1.5g of protein while limiting carb intake on rest days. The running program increases distance each session as to avoid what you were talking about.

[quote]redkevin79 wrote:
Well, with respect to recovery by itself, I dont think running will hurt your training recovery.[/quote]

I couldn’t disagree more.

Distance running is extremely catabolic and will significantly hurt one’s ability to recover from intense weight training, especially to the lower body.

i think thats a very decent schedule.
as long as you’re getting proper nutrition and adequate sleep, you’re body should react well.
also know that recovery will improve as you get stronger

the way i see it, you have a few options depending on diet and goals:

a) make your goal to build muscle or get stronger, in which case you will be eating lots of calories and focusing on weight-lifting. in this case the purpose of energy system training is simply to minimize fat gain. performing long durations of running can convert Type IIA muscle fibers from fast-twitch to slow-twitch, which will detract you from your weight-lifting goals, as well as increase cortisol and decrease testosterone. in this case i wouldnt recommend your program.

b) make your goal to lose as much fat as possible, in which case you will be eating a caloric deficit and focusing on energy systems training and doing weight-lifting to preserve the muscle you already have. in this case you would want to make the majority of your workout sessions HIIT, not aerobics, because it has a significant excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and thus increases metabolism 24-48 hours after the workout. so in this case, your workout is also not ideal.

c) make your goal to be as good of a long distance runner as possible, in which case you would focus on running as many miles per week and probably would have no need to lift weights, also making your program not ideal.

d) try and combine all three goals and have subpar success at all three of them. you’ll get a little bit stronger and build a little muscle, lose a little fat, and get a little better at long distance running, but not excel at any of the goals particularly and won’t look much different than you do now. this looks like what you are trying to do now and i personally would not recommend it. imo you’re better off focusing on one goal at a time

Would it be possible to get a recovery sticky up there?

I was about the post another recovery thread, but they are all sort of more or less the same. What would be great is a list of indicators of when it’s needed and when it’s not.

Like I do (A Day) upper back/chest/(some)arm day, then (B Day) lower back/legs, another A Day, another B Day, then an arms only day (C Day). I then have two days of recovery doing nothing, or some interval training. That means I really only have two days in a row for my arms to recover, but four days for leg recovery. This makes sense to me, because the lower body workouts (big lifts) have a much greater systemic impact because so many muscles are involved. But it also means that in the midst of my workout week, I’m beating myself up pretty hard, so that by my second leg day (48 hours after my first big leg day, 24 hours after my upper-body day) I deff don’t feel 100%. My lifts don’t tend to suffer, maybe a couple lifts on the 2nd leg day will be a rep short or what they were, but generally I can do the same or more that I did the first B Day. However, after that workout, I’m totally wasted, and my body will feel fatigued for two the three days after. Should I be spacing the workouts differently? Or is my full recovery/not recovered workout mix work okay? How do I tell? Do you only change things when you know they aren’t working? Because right now, it’s working, I’m making gains.

[quote]Spartiates wrote:
Would it be possible to get a recovery sticky up there?

[/quote]
The sticky would just say: “it depends”.

[quote]chimera182 wrote:

[quote]Spartiates wrote:
Would it be possible to get a recovery sticky up there?

[/quote]
The sticky would just say: “it depends”.[/quote]

There’s got to be some more or less standard signs for if you’re getting too little recovery, and I imagine it varies based on your goals.

I guess most basically, during your regular week in week out routine, should you feel 100% recovered 1) before each session, 2) at the start of each training week (after an off day or two) or 3) never, only when you take your occasional week or so off should you ever really expect to fully recover. If that is answerable in a general way, that would go a long way for me.

[quote]Spartiates wrote:

[quote]chimera182 wrote:

[quote]Spartiates wrote:
Would it be possible to get a recovery sticky up there?

[/quote]
The sticky would just say: “it depends”.[/quote]

There’s got to be some more or less standard signs for if you’re getting too little recovery, and I imagine it varies based on your goals.

I guess most basically, during your regular week in week out routine, should you feel 100% recovered 1) before each session, 2) at the start of each training week (after an off day or two) or 3) never, only when you take your occasional week or so off should you ever really expect to fully recover. If that is answerable in a general way, that would go a long way for me.[/quote]

You could say “if you feel like shit, stop training”. I’ve had days where I felt way below 100% and then after warming up hit new PRs. And days where I felt great and missed my lifts.