Do you take a vacation? Of course you do, we all do. When you come back from vacation, you feel rejuvenated, more alive, and stronger. You needed the mental break. You actually don't mind seeing some of the idiots that you work with and you don't have the need to hit your boss in the head with a Five Iron until about 11:00. Not bad considering it's usually about 9:30 when you want to kill her/him.
Then why is it that so many people think that every time they go to the gym, it has to be all out? It's crazy. Your body needs to recover so it can repair muscles and cells. I see so many people at my gym going at the same intensity (high) for 5 or 6 days a week. They keep going and going and then they wonder why they haven't seen results in years. Your body needs rest.
Recovery is one of the most neglected parts of the fitness equation. (along with nutrition but I won't even open that can of worms.) Mark Verstegen has a good philosophy: Work + Rest = Success. When you train with him, you train for 4 days of the week (usually Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) and you have 2 recovery/regeneration days (Wed & Sat). It's a great system.
Give your body a rest.
Here are some basic principles to follow:
- Vary the intensities of your workouts. Follow hard days with medium or light days.
- Have Recovery/Active Rest days- do light cardio, foam roll, and stretching.
- Have fun with Active Rest days- go golfing (not always fun), go for a bike ride or a hike, do something different on "off days"
- Have a Passive Recovery Day- Get a massage, take a steam, go in the sauna
- Eat a good mix of carbs and proteins right after you work out- help speed up the recovery process with the right nutrients
- Stay hydrated- check the color of your urine, if it's a clear pale, lemonade color, you're good. If it's darker lemonade- apple juice color, you're dehydrated. Now that I ruined lemonade and apple juice for you, go drink some water. Robert Yang, a nutrition consultant for the Titleist Performance Institute, wrote a great article on staying hydrated on my GolfFitnessProducts.net site
- Get some sleep! Try to get off the blogs and forums before 2AM and hit the sack (I won't say anything about the "adult" site you were just on)
As for the practicing on the range, I feel like the some of the same principles should apply.
- Vary Intensities- If you spend a lot of time with your driver on the range because you want to be Tiger Woods when you grow up, then make the next day a little lighter- spend more time on the putting or chipping greens.
- Warm Up first!! Move your body in different ranges of motions from head to toe for about 5 minutes. Get the blood flowing into your muscles. Don't go right to the driver- start out with the smaller clubs first
- Take your time, make it fun. Don't just smash balls one right after the other. I like to hit balls on the range like I'm out on the course.
- Visualize a hole that you want to play- Par 5, 535 yards, slight dog to the left
- Take your driver out, do your pre-shot routine and hit away
- Take a little time in between the next shot, as if you were walking to the ball. (You do walk, don't you?)
- Take out your next club. For me, it's a 7 iron because I just hit my drive 335 yards, and I have 200 left. (OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating, you get the point)
- Take some time again, then take out a short iron and chip onto the green
- Rinse and repeat
The most important thing to remember is that you need to give your body a rest from working out. Vary the intensities, make your rest active and keep it fun.