Written by Jess Campbell
What could be worse than not hitting your goals this 8-week challenge…?
Not hitting them due to an injury you could have prevented!
Recovery is essential to the body’s ability to adapt to higher loads of training. Overload and poor recovery can result in decreased performance, injury and fatigue. Effective recovery can allow greater levels and increased training quality, and therefore enhance performance during classes. After high-intensity short-duration exercise, such as F45 classes, a passive recovery (rest!) is recommended straight after classes rather than an active recovery which is recommended for longer-duration exercise (Brukner & Khan 2017). But still making sure you complete your mobility work afterwards to prevent muscles from tightening up!
Make sure you hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds.
Massage is also a great aid in recovery, with it having effects on blood flow, muscle tissue, decreased muscle soreness and psychological benefits.
Make sure you get enough sleep! Turning up tired to a class is likely to decrease your performance, and not getting enough shut eye can also affect your immune and endocrine (hormonal) system! This can then affect how well you recover and your ability to get fitter.
Recent studies have also shown cold water immersion and hot water immersion post-exercise can benefit your recovery. Hopping in the pool or the ocean if you’re close are great options, otherwise a hot shower or bath will do the job!
Eating well and rehydrating is also incredibly important. All that sweat lost in your class needs to be replaced. Eating enough food to restore fuel levels and protein to help your muscles repair after strength training is important.
Load and Rest
Injuries and fatigue occur when too much load is placed on the body too quickly. That is too many classes that your body is prepared for or going from using the thickest bands for pull-ups possible one day to no bands the following. Make sure when starting the challenge you’re not going from two classes a week straight to five. Build up your load slowly and progressively to allow time for your body to adapt. Allow yourself some lighter days or a day where you go for a recovery walk. Your body will thank you for it at your next class and it can even improve your class performance!
From experience I know how stiff and sore you can feel the day after a tough Saturday Hollywood session or Dockland’s class. Instead of sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself, try going for a gentle walk and completing a light stretching session. The increase in blood flow and lengthening of muscles will help that muscle soreness subside.
You are much more vulnerable to injury if you don’t have the flexibility required to meet the demands of HIIT. Stretching and self-release work is important to increase your joint range of movement. Joints don’t like being used at the end of their range, which gets smaller the less flexible you are! Stretching at the start of a class also doesn’t cut it. There is more evidence suggesting that regular stretching outside of and after classes can help with injury prevention.
Yes using that roller on your ITB may be painful, but it's much less painful that an injury!
One of the things I find myself telling clients is ‘technique over weight’ or ‘quality over quantity’. Poor technique is a recipe for injury. Issues usually occur when people start to fatigue and go about an exercise in the easiest way possible. Correct biomechanics are paramount to share the load over your joints and muscles to prevent overloading one area. If you’re worried about your technique make sure you have a chat to your trainer!
Make sure you’re not rounding your back!
If any injuries do pop up ensure you get them assessed by a health professional, such as a physiotherapist, ASAP. Training through pain will generally just make it worse!