0. You will never take an "off day" again. You will take "recovery days"
1. When I take a recovery day, the benefit of it comes several sessions later, not during the next day's session.
1 again. So if you have EXTREME RECOVERY DAY, with light, recuperative stretching and gentle foam rolling and EXTREME RECOVERY POTION x3 and eat PERFECT and sleep 11 hours and take a nap too and go for a refreshing walk and meditate working on breathing and oxygen exchange and work really super ultra hard at feeling good and take contrast baths and play with your crotch or your friends, the benefit of all this won't show up the next day. You're not going to go trick tomorrow and land a million new moves. Instead, it's likely you will have an awful session, it happens very often after a recovery day. The benefit of all this stuff usually manifests sometime after several training sessions have passed since the recovery day!
So don't be fooled into thinking your RECOVERY DAY was a waste if your next session sucks. It wasn't. It really wasn't a waste at all. (And no, the fact that the benefit appears later is not indicative that the benefit actually arises from re-establishing the training momentum after it was interrupted with a day without training. The benefit was from the recovery/rest. The re-establishment of the training momentum merely unlocks that benefit.)
2. Training can be recovery. This is why I'm in the "high frequency training" camp. When I train high frequency (almost everyday, often twice a day), I autoregulate. By autoregulate I mean that I intend to train everyday and the days I'm not feeling great, I just do it anyway knowing my body will not let me do as well as I want. I'm not discouraged when I have awful sessions, I know the training effects (circulation, nutritional biomechanics, nervous system priming, wasabi colonics) are all very powerful recovery phenomena. My body is still under-recovered, and I'm able to accept that having an awful session is helping it recover, even if I hate what's happening.
2b. Go out and train. If you have an awful session, know that it'll help you recover better than anything else.
3. Most people who train 2-3 days a week because they think any more than that = burn out, overestimate their ability to tax their body. Their training doesn't stress their body as much as they want to believe.
3 again. Most people who train 6-7 days a week beCAUSE THEY THINK THEY HAVE TO TRAI-- (damn. CAPS-LOCK curse) because they think they have to train more to stay ahead underestimate the non-training stresses they deal with on a daily basis. Their commute, the few incomplete lunches, the unexpectedly extra-long Monday morning meeting where they sat for 105 minutes holding their bladder, and that one Wednesday night they celebrated a family member's birthday and only logged 3 hours of sleep because despite going to bed early with the intention to log a full night's rest, the rest of the house was loud and kept them awake. All these things generated disadvantageous volatility in their bodily nervous/hormonal systems that they did not account for in their efforts to adapt to a high frequency training schedule. No, Glutamine is not magic. No, it did not correct these maladies.
3 dimensional. Basically I believe we all overestimate the impact of our training stresses and underestimate the impact of our everyday life stresses. So we dogmatically do too much or too little all the while rationalizing dog pots because of our blindness and incompetence and incontinence.
$. Don't be discouraged when you're having awful training sessions while training more often: keep doing it. Reduce the number of non-training stresses you face on a daily basis by rearranging your lifestyle. Take complete rest days religiously, and weekly, and turn them into EXTREME RECOVERY DAYS. Also read Phobia #2 on this page. Oh, and I have a bag of money in my room with a dollar sign on it. It's full of dollar coins and Monopoly money. (I'm serious.)
Off days and bad sessions
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Usually I’ve found with small pains or creeping injuries, taking a break (a few days to a week) off is necessary to start the healing process, but by itself almost never solves the problem. What I recommend is after you finish your break, begin training AROUND the injury. That is the most important thing to do when handling injuries: continuing to train, but train AROUND the injury not THROUGH it. So avoid everything that aggravates it. Then see how it goes after a bit of that.
Great article Jon. What exactly is this extreme recovery potion?
Hey Juji i read this article about how/why I should train more often (like right now I do ~2 times in a shitty gym every week) and yes, 4 or 5 weeks ago I trained a few more days in a row. Wednesday, thursday, friday and saturday. And since that time the outer part right above my right ankle hurts whenever I jump off that foot, for example in any cheat setup (feels like I stressed that muscle). I used a Blackroll, light tricking, your recovery tips and everything but it won’t go away so now I take a few weeks of break because it became worse and worse. So how does that sound to you?
greetings from Germany, may Aerials save the world!