Recovery from exercise

My blog post this month will look at a very interesting and important topic in exercise and that is recovery. I will also look at how you can recover best from exercise to perform optimally again as soon as possible, thus reducing ‘down time’.
Link to journal article http://m.jap.physiology.org/content/122/3/531.full.pdf
 
Just looking around the average gym will show you a myriad of exercise intensities from nearly passing out, to posing for selfies. So why am I talking about this? Recovery is in a large part determined by the person’s exercise intensity (otherwise known as total exercise volume). The total amount of sets, reps, weight, time and percentages you complete in the gym equates to your overall volume of activity.
 
In exercise physiology, you have two main points of volume to consider, these are your Maximum Adaptive Volume (MAV) and your Maximal Recovery Volume (MRV).  There is also Maintenance Volume (MV) and Minimum Effective Volume (MEV) but for the purposes of this article I will concentrate on MAV and MRV.
 
MAV is the amount of activity you can complete and then following recovery gain some adaptation from, whether that be getting stronger, faster, or fitter, you gain something from this. This is where many of the benefits from training are gained.
 
A persons MRV is the amount of volume you simply recover from and gain very little to no adaptation, this is not ideal when it comes to progression from exercise. The process involved with understanding where your MRV and MAV is will take some trial and error, most of the population will be able to complete a moderate amount of volume to fall between MRV and MAV.
 
 
Total Volume (sets, reps, weight, time).
 
Consistent monitoring of your total exercise volume is important for understanding where you sit on the diagram above, which includes how much volume you can adapt to and get better and how much volume you can simply recover from.
 
We know from numerous research studies that increased volume is better to a certain point, however, as highlighted above the maximum recovery volume is really the ceiling of where you want to be to ensure effective recovery from exercise.
 
When understanding programming for exercise its important to remember there is no wrong or right exercises, every exercise has positive and negative reasons for including them in your programme so understanding the best options for your goals is pivotal. Also try to make your exercise programme enjoyable.
 
For more information on exercise selection and programming to achieve your goals contact me on mark@optimum-performance.co.uk.
 
Mark,

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