Principle of load and recovery

Load and recovery

We as a fitness coach strives to help those we train the best way to reach their goal. To become proficient in their sport requires a hard work for many years to reach the top and also a very big sacrifice to everything around you. All meaning with exercise is to get the body to be better able to withstand the load which we are putting it through. The load we put on the body should be as easy as it does not hurt us, but not so easy, so that there is no stimulation. What’s clever is that the more out of shape you are, the less you need to overload the body for it to respond to the training. Therefore, you do not have to hurry to put on a lot of weight too soon. It is often said that it is enough 60% of its maximum capacity when one is untrained, but when it comes to a little more trained people so it is closer to 80%. With this post I want to focus on the principle of load and recovery.



Compensation principle

When the body is loaded the body want to compensate for the load until the next time. When our body compensate for the exercise we get a super compensation.  We will always get this compensation if we stimulate our muscles enough.  What is important to know is that the harder we exercise the longer our recovery will be. But what is hard to know is how long we need to rest in order to pinpoint the next workout as close to the top of super compensation curve as possible. And unfortunately, there is no exact answer to when that time is, it is from person to person. It is  safe to say that you cannot train too hard for too long without resting. The reason for this is that instead of getting a positive outcome you will have a negative, and in the worst case, end up becoming less trained than they were initially.



Negative training



A good rule of thumb is that you should not work out extremely hard workouts per muscle group sooner than 72 hours. How many times you exercise per week is also playing course in the matter because when you practice three sessions or less so you do not think so much about what and how you train, while when coming up at 6 to 8 sessions a week you have to start having good eye on your recovery. When we look at training for women there is there actually a difference in how often you can train. That men have the ability to build stronger muscles is known to many.  But there is actually a side effect of the heavy lifting because it requires more recovery time. Women is recovering faster than men and can therefore do the next training session earlier.





recovery difference chart

The difference on the Recovery of men and women



The most affecting factor that influence our recovery time is our sleep, what we eat and later our fluid intake.

There was a study at a university in the US, where it was 11 basketball players who got to try out how it would be to sleep 2 hours more every night for a couple of weeks. They rose their sleeping time to 10 hours per night. They were tested with doing sprints and precision throws with balls before and after the test was performed. What they could report was that the result was a ten per cent increase in their performance, with only 2 hours of extra sleep they got 10 percent better performance! Which is an incredible result. What also happens when we sleep is that we release hormones and substances to “fix” that which we have broken down during exercise. And our different sleeping stages is helping in that process.


In second place comes the diet. Should you then weigh your food? Nah, we does not consider it necessary to weigh their food without having any good reason to do it, the reason we do so is that it is much easier to stand on the scale once a week, the same day and the same time. If the scale shows that you lost weight, depending on the workout you simply add one or two snacks until one has found a balance in your diet. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be equal, and you only change how many snacks and how big they are. For runners is a good indication of how we allocate our diet of 50% carbohydrates, 25% meat / protein and 25% vegetables if you work under a training program. In other sports there may be a different relation. The substance we want to use our energy from when we run is carbohydrates. Fat on the other hand takes much longer to burn and is therefore unfavorable when it comes to performance. Those who can save the most on the carbohydrates have a better chance to do well in a competition. Those wo are more trained is using less proportion carbohydrate because of their lower pulse for the same load.


Another thing that is important to address is that if we have done a workout for 30 minutes at high intensity level, we have expended a lot of carbohydrates, after such a workout, we have a heightened normal pulse roughly one day forward, which means we burn more fat than carbohydrates. Therefore, it is important to eat something that contains carbohydrates with a high GI immediately after a session, so that you can quickly recover. But it is advantageous to once a week, not to eat anything until an hour after you are done with your training for the day due to muscle mitochondria will be developed and positioned better.


Water is our muscle lubricants. Correct fluid level in the body gets all the nutrients and waste products to flow at much faster rate. We consist of approximately 60% water and to only cut of a few percent have a negative result on our performance. The body can only absorb a certain amount of liquid, the guideline for the amount of water is 0.4-0.8 liters per hour. All that is over or that the body does not have time to take up is peed out. One can easily believe that the fluid level is good only for urine is light colored, but this can be a false indicator as it only needs to be a measure of that you have drunk too much in a short time.


Down jog keeps the blood flow going so that it fills the carbohydrate bearings 4 times faster than if you do not jog down, an important part in your recovery if you want to exercise the day after.


Remember that when you are at a high athletic level the performance is measured of a few percentage compared to stand on top of the podium or stand off the podium. And then it can be good to think through your recovery strategy regarding sleep and diet so that you have been as well prepared as possible for the performance you have in front of them.


Click here to read an article about sleep study of basketball players

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