How to manage yourself mentally when training for your goals.........it's simple.

First of all, I'm not going to tell you what you shouldn't be doing; everyone knows what they shouldn't do. Everyone knows they shouldn't eat that delicious little b*****d of a doughnut or neck a barrel full of beer after a tough day dealing with f**kwits.  We KNOW what we shouldn't do........we just don't always know how to resist from doing it. 
My method of dealing with this is by simply placing your body into 2 states of existence, 'You're either training, or recovering.' If you're not doing one, you're doing the other.  Think of it like this, when you train you put your body under stress, the harder you train the greater the stress. Makes sense, right? Obviously, training isn't the only stress cause. Didn't sleep well? Late for work? Bills piling up? Hate your Job? Fell out with someone? Bad food/drink choices? The list can be endless.
Now your body doesn't care where the stress comes from, it just knows that it needs to 'steady the ship' as quickly as possible so you can get back to being your normal self. Lets make up a scenario.  Say you're having a night out with friends and you're really looking forward to it as you've had a really sh***y week (stress 1). You think, 'I'll have a big session in the gym to counter-act any bad food/drink choices I make' (stress 2 & 3), you get home around 3am, sleep terribly and are wide awake after 5-6 hours sleep (stress 4), you spend the rest of the day gorging on stodgy food to get rid of your hangover (stress 5).
Now from that, your body is smashed. You've essentially given your body stress overload...but is it really surprising?
Treat your body like s**t, expect to feel that way.
This isn't a post about how to prevent a hangover though, so lets get back to our second state of existence, recovery.
Everyone gets a sense of achievement when they leave the gym feeling like they've been put through hell and lived to post about it on Facebook. I get it, I do it too. I also feel great when I've put myself through a recovery/regeneration workout, but again that's bordering on another topic for another post.  The reality is, you shouldn't be feeling smashed when you leave the gym, you should have already started your recovery phase before you even left the gym floor, a 30 second stretch doesn't cut it by the way. For example Buddy Morris (google him) makes sure his athletes spend at least 10 minutes lying on their back, going through diaphragmatic breathing drills; 10 deep breaths per minute, which kick-starts parasympathetic responses  leading to the body returning to it's balanced state (homeostasis). It's something I've introduced to my athletes and recovery times have noticeably improved when incorporated with other methods. Try it and if someone calls you out on it, tell them you're kick-starting your parasympathetic response......then tell them to go back to their bosu ball!

Other things on the 'Must do to recover' list include:

  • Eat clean, that means no processed food or anything including ingredients you can't pronounce.
  • Stay hydrated. You want to lose weight, don't make me water-board you. Drink it and drink plenty!
  • Plan your day. Spend 10 minutes going through what you plan to do.
  • Meditate. Get a good app (I use Headspace).

If you train every day at a super high intensity, stop! You'll only be able to do so much before you feel like s**t.  Throw in some recovery sessions and see how your training improves.

What methods do you use to recover that work? Let me know by dropping a comment in the section below.

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