The Importance of Recovery

Recovery. It is often overlooked, underappreciated and talked down on. However, those that really know what they’re doing in the gym, those with the most impressive physiques, know the value of recovering properly from workouts. All exercise takes a toll on the human body, and while in the end, it is beneficial, there are times when we need to scale back instead of going hard in the paint all the time. Your body needs time to recover. Here’s why.

When you lift weights, you’re actually creating what’s called micro-trauma to the muscles you’re working. The muscles experience this microtrauma and then adapt by getting bigger to prevent the trauma from happening again. Break down, build up, break down, build up. That is the cycle, it’s how we get stronger. If you’re consistently breaking down and skimping on the important recovery time, you’re going to find yourself drained of energy and whatever progress you’ve made will stall.

This is not to say that the rules of recovery can’t be bent or broken every once in a while to provide a new stimulus to the muscle, but as a general rule, you’ll want to wait a day between training the same muscle groups. Also if you’ve been doing an intense 8-12 week program of weight lifting, a week off will actually help you. Here are a few tips to making it through that week without losing any progress


  • Keep moving.
    • You don’t have to run or lift weights, but going for a walk and keeping your body limber will aid in recovery.
  • Continue to eat and hydrate right.
    • You’re giving your body a break from an exhausting workload, not from proper nutrition.
  • Get more sleep.
    • We don’t sleep enough as it is. If you’re exercising regularly you’re going to need more sleep


Recovery is just as important as the exercise and the nutrition. Utilize it properly to get the most out of your training.


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The Author

John Fannin

John Fannin

John spent four years as a 0351, Infantry Assaulltman in the United States Marine Corps. He deployed twice to the city of Ramadi, Iraq with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines. After leaving the Marine Corps in 2008 John pursued a degree in Kinesiology from Texas Lutheran University. During his time at TLU, John was fortunate enough to play football for a year and serve the local community as a volunteer firefighter. After graduating John worked as a personal trainer for few years before coming to work at American Grit. John is also the proud owner of a great beard.