Day 3 – Active Recovery

Natalie isn’t particularly use to this intense a workout.  In her defense, I did make her run/walk 6 miles a day for the last two days and then run countless errands with me and stay pretty active.  Its sometimes hard to remember that we are at drastically different fitness levels in that we have gone to the gym together everyday for nearly a year.

So today I gave her an “active recovery” day.  These will become more and more important as our training becomes more intense.  Active recovery is a great concept.  You wake up and your muscles really hurt.  That workout yesterday REALLY did you in.  Why not take the day off….. BECAUSE ITS COUNTER PRODUCTIVE.  You definitley want your muscles to have a chance to rebuild and recouperate, but letting them sit and do nothing slows blood flow, slows recovery and slows growth.

Take a light day.  Still engadge the core, get blood flowing, maybe go harder on other muscles and rest you REALLY sore ones.  But the most important thing is to keep moving.  Kill youself RUNNING 2 miles yesterday: Walk 1 mile today.  Benchpress 1.5x your body weight yesterday: work your back hard with a little light dumbell chest integration.

Each week you should have one rest day,  where you really just sleep and take the day.  But you should also have one active recovery day.  Today I let us drive to the gym, but had Natalie do exhaustive stretches and myofascial release on her legs and feet.  Then for the “workout” we did dynamic streching with medicine ball throws.

It wasn’t a hard day, we sweat a little, our heart rate rose, but really today was all about activly resting our muscles for an explosive run tomorrow (Natalie doens’t know that yet)


6 Responses to “Day 3 – Active Recovery”

  1. Kirk, for those of us starting from a lower fitness level is it better to alternate work-out days with active rest days like 1 for 1, or is it better to keep the intensity of the work-out days to a level that you can sustain daily while you build up?

  2. Penguin,

    thats a great question. I’d actually recomend 2:1. So, for example: Monday, arms and chest. Tuesday, abs and back. Wednesday, active recovery.

    By alternating muscle groups like that, the impared muscle group is getting 2 days, while you the whole system is still keeping intensity up, and you will build endurance and muscle much faster.


  3. Oh, right… exercise. Any recommendations for low-impact ways to get my heart rate up and work on balance and tone for, like, super-basic-pre-elemetary level exercisers like me? Basically I’m recovering from several months of trauma and am at a below-“doesn’t-exercise” level of strength/endurance. Any good ideas? I’m walking to campus from my car and back every day, which is probably … 3/4 of a mile one way? I’m guessing. And I focus on good Pilates posture while I walk. I think I should be doing more than this, though — and yet if I push too hard (as I know from experience) I will be setting myself back. What are your thoughts?

    • Lyz,
      Try getting some resistance bands. They are super low impact. They scale with you, as far as difficulty, and they make DOZENS of videos (dont want to pay, check youtube) on varioius workouts using them. They are a great beginner to intermediate tool for resistance training.

      As for your campus walk, try upping the pace so that you are just a little out of breath when you get there. The more out of breath the better, but I don’t want you popping a seam or something.


      • I’ll look into resistance bands. Thanks for the tip. What’s your opinion of Pilates?

        I usually am slightly out of breath when I get to campus, but I could probably step it up a little more. There goes another layer of my vanity. I will now be a power-walking, stroller-pushing, mommy-student. The power-walking part is kind of a blow to my dignity, but it’s all for my health, right? 😛

      • Lyz,
        Winsor Pilates IS resistance band training. I’ve never been fortunate enough to do ACTUAL pilates (the big expensive machines) but I’ve done yoga, floor pilates, and the ever so hipster “piyo”. Winsor Pilates is probably my favorite. DESTROYED ME! But yea, pilates is great!


        p.s. winsor pilates videos are FREE on youtube (still gotta buy the bands)

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