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Ruf - Recovery Strategies


Recovery strategies for athletes.

Recovery strategies for athletes.

Published in Sports , Education , Business
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  • Homeostasis is the ability to maintain internal stability despite changes in the environment Stress can be all forms of training – Strength, Movement, Power, Conditioning, Skill, Mental, etc.
  • PNS fatigue – reduced activity of ions such as calcium and neurotransmitters
  • Training must serve the purpose of supporting the end goal: Better Sport Results OL weightlifter – bigger total is their sport end goal Training must be set up so the athlete can recover-this has an effect on recovery Athlete must recover at a high level to continually train at a high level
  • Takes the body longer to regenerate sufficient neurotransmitters to perform a task than it does to regenerate ATP Low intensive skill work ex: stationary receivers catching balls, walk through type activities
  • Extreme loads of CNS stress may take more than 72 hours to recover from Elite athletes hitting world records may need 1 to 2 weeks to recover Point 2 – You may use a jump test as a readiness test-This will not be fatiguing b/c volume is low – Conditioning will be b/c volume is so high
  • Due to coaching, or other restraints, a high/low set up may not be possible. Prior to training camp, may be advantageous to get away from high/low to prepare athletes for demands they will face in camp practices
  • Highest volume of work should be directed at the quality that is the aim of training Organize training means in a way that several different qualities are not competing for the same resources
  • General qualities must still be trained, however their training must not interfere with skill development – “As much as necessary but as little as possible” Many general qualities will be addressed via sport practice
  • Be smart in how you introduce your training means – throw too much at an athlete at once, very stressful, poor adaptation High/Low – provide low intensive days in between to help promote recovery
  • Easy thing to do is spend 5 minutes performing a team stretch after practice
  • Also are more targeted therapies such as ART – Dan Pfaff having ART therapist work on sprinter between reps
  • Add some notes here on the benefits of hydrotherapy


  • 1. Recovery Strategies Chris Ruf Associate Strength & Conditioning Coach
  • 2. Thanks to our Clinic Sponsors
    • Young Champions
    • Power Lift
    • Xtreme Formulations/Black Star Labs
    • IronMind
  • 3. What this presentation isn’t:
    • Examples of all the recovery tools available
    • Protocols for all the recovery tools available
    • A carbon copy of what we do to enhance recovery
  • 4. What this presentation is:
    • A look at the factors that influence recovery from training
    • A look at ways to manage training stress
    • A brief look at some of the recovery tools that are available
  • 5. What is training?
    • Systematic stress imposed on the body
    • Disruption of homeostasis
    • This comes in many forms
  • 6. What is fatigue?
    • Resulting decrease in body’s functional state after imposed stress
        • Physical capabilities will be suppressed
    • Central Fatigue
        • CNS fatigue
        • Reduced motivation and recruitment of motor neurons
    • Peripheral Fatigue
        • Fatigue of the neuromuscular system and PNS
        • Muscular, metabolic, and nervous system
  • 7. What is recovery?
    • The body’s compensation for the disruption of homeostasis
    • A return back to pre-fatigue state
    • Supercompensation – Realizing a new, higher level of ability
  • 8.
    • What are the two most important goals of a training program?
    • 1. Reduce the chance of injuries
    • 2. Improve athletic performance
  • 9. What is the most important and often overlooked aspect of recovering from training?
  • 10. Setting up your program in a manner that will allow your athletes to recover from the training.
  • 11. Common Misperceptions
    • More is better
    • Rest is for the weak
    • If you’re not training, your opponent is getting an advantage
  • 12. Ask yourself:
    • Will the athlete see better results performing a high volume of low to medium quality work?
    • OR
    • Will the athlete see better results performing an optimal volume of high quality work?
  • 13. Different way of thinking
    • Less is more
    • Better to undertrain rather than overtrain
    • Do as much as necessary but as little as possible
    • Train efficiently
  • 14. End Goal
    • Sport Results
    • Athlete must train at a high level to achieve great results
    • Athlete must recover at a high level to train at a high level
  • 15.
    • All stress on the body is cumulative
        • Good stress
        • Bad stress
        • Physical stress
        • Mental stress
    • Body does not know the difference
  • 16.
    • During training, all the different stressors in athlete’s life come into play
        • School
        • Job
        • Sleep
        • Social life
        • Etc.
    • These will all affect athlete’s ability to recover
  • 17.
    • If training volume, intensity, density and/or frequency are too high to allow for the athlete to recover from all stressors, training results will be compromised
  • 18.
    • Do our best to account for the different stressors
    • Reduce training load when necessary and we will get better results in the long run
    • Adjusted training load = higher quality training sessions
  • 19. Organizing the Training
    • Context is important
        • Preparedness
        • Readiness
        • Goal of training
        • Other stressors
        • Place in daily training, microcycle, mesocycle, and macrocycle/annual plan
  • 20. Organizing the Training
    • Preparedness
        • Athlete’s physical and mental capabilities of performing a task
        • Similar to training maturity
        • Slow changing
        • Does the prescribed training reflect the preparedness of the athlete?
  • 21. Organizing the Training
    • Readiness
        • Ability at a certain point in time to perform a task
        • Fast Changing
        • This becomes increasingly important as the level of preparedness rises
        • Ability to perform after a taper vs. after a difficult training session
  • 22. Organizing the Training
    • Readiness Tests
        • VJ or other measurable power tests
          • Bert Sorin – Tendo Unit evaluation
        • Grip strength on hand dynamometer
        • Resting heart rate
        • Blood pressure
        • Body weight
        • How does the athlete look/feel?
        • Athlete self-assessment
        • Omegawave (Heart Rate Variability)
  • 23. Organizing the Training
    • Goal of Training
        • What quality are you trying to develop
        • Quality of speed and power work is more dependent on readiness than strength and conditioning work
        • Too much energy spent on training one quality will diminish results of other qualities being trained
        • Keep volume and intensity at reasonable levels
  • 24. Organizing the Training
    • Other Stressors
        • What else needs to be accounted for?
        • Training camp
        • In-Season/Spring Ball
        • Finals & other periods of high academic load
  • 25. Organizing the Training
    • Place in Training Cycle - Daily
        • In general it is best to perform high-neural demand activities first-these are most easily affected by fatigue
    • Skill  Speed/Agility  Power  Strength  Conditioning
        • Placement of some elements can be changed provided:
        • 1. Enough recovery is provided between sessions
        • 2. Volume and/or Intensity of earlier elements does not interfere with subsequent training
  • 26. Organizing the Training
    • Recovery within the training session
        • Keep lifting sessions brief – 45 to 60 min
        • Neural fatigue is longer lasting than metabolic fatigue
            • Provide adequate recovery between sets and exercises
            • Use complete recoveries during Skill/Speed/Agility/Power work to ensure highest quality work is attained
            • Skill work can be low intensity or high intensity
  • 27. Organizing the Training
    • Place in Training Cycle – Daily
        • The quality of each training session will be determined by what was done in the previous session and what was done to recover from that session
        • Stiffness/soreness is not good for athletes
          • Reduced force output, speed of movement, and ROM
          • Reduced quality of training and movement
          • Increased chance of injury
          • Be mindful of the tissue stress certain movements/loads/speeds place on the athlete
  • 28. Organizing the Training
    • Place in Training Cycle – Microcycle
        • Organization of training week will look much like an individual day
    • Most Recovered Least Recovered
    • Skill/Speed/Agility  Power  Strength  Conditioning
        • Look at it as a continuum
        • Emphasis early in the week will be more on speed/power work and on strength/conditioning at the end of the week
  • 29. Organizing the Training
    • Place in Training Cycle – Microcycle
        • Many different ways to organize the week
            • High CNS stress activities require at least 48 hours between bouts for recovery
            • Volume of work can be determinant of intensiveness
            • High/Low Sequencing – alternate hard days & easy days
            • More thoughtful planning needed as 4 and 5 days/week of high intensity work are introduced
  • 30. Organizing the Training
    • Place in Training Cycle – Microcycle
        • Elements of each quality may be present on each day, but in appropriate volumes and sequences
        • High/Low sequencing may not always be possible
        • Arrange training elements in the best way possible under your circumstances
  • 31. Organizing the Training
    • Place in Training Cycle – Mesocycle
        • Deload every 3 rd or 4 th week after intense loading
        • As intensity of training means rises during mesocycle, overall volume of work should decrease
        • High level athlete – focused blocks of training
  • 32. Organizing the Training
    • Place in Training Cycle – Macrocycle
        • We would consider this our annual plan
        • Different targets of training depending on time of year
        • Off-season – Improve general qualities
        • In-Season/Spring Ball – Improve sport skill/SPP
  • 33. Organizing the Training
    • In Summary:
        • Look at how your high intensity stressors are arranged
        • Provide your athletes with a quantity of work that they can recover from
        • High stressors on same days – Low days in between
        • Provide periodic deloads
  • 34. Recovery Tools
  • 35. Recovery Tools
    • Recovery starts with a proper warm-up
        • Reduce acute & chronic soft-tissue injuries
        • Improve and maintain mobility
        • Increase quality and efficiency of movement
        • Increase elasticity of tissues
        • Serves as a physical and psychological bridge between no intensity and high intensity
  • 36. Recovery Tools
    • General Warm-up
        • Low intensity/speed total body movement
        • Increase temperature, blood flow & metabolic rate
        • Decrease viscosity of muscle tissues
        • Gradually progress ROM
        • Begin to assess athlete’s readiness and needs for the day
        • Get Hot!
  • 37. Recovery Tools
    • Specific Warm-up
        • Begin progressing to higher speed movements
        • Prepare for movements/ROM/speeds to be performed in training session
        • Stimulate nervous system
        • Continue to assess athlete’s readiness
          • Fatigue
          • ROM
          • Power
  • 38. Recovery Tools
    • Sleep
        • Most under-rated recovery tool
        • 7-9 hrs. for adults, 8-10 for children
        • Brief naps are beneficial
        • Large HGH release-growth and repair
        • Dreaming is beneficial for stress reduction
  • 39. Recovery Tools
    • Improving Sleep
        • Try to establish a routine
        • Allow yourself to wind down prior to bed
        • Cool, comfortable room
        • White noise if necessary
        • Try to avoid caffeine altogether
        • Zinc & Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA) may help some fall asleep
  • 40. Recovery Tools
    • Hydration
        • Beat hydration into their heads
        • #1 Factor for increasing muscle mass
        • Use water bottles as their ticket to train
        • Monitor body weight/urine color
  • 41. Recovery Tools
    • Nutrition
        • Encourage athletes to eat 5-6 servings of fruit and vegetables each day
          • Vitamin and mineral benefits are numerous
          • Aid in hydration
        • Best case scenario: All whole foods come directly from animal, fruit, vegetable, or grain sources
  • 42. Recovery Tools
    • Nutrition
        • Nutrient Timing is critical
        • Post-training “45 minute window of opportunity”
        • After strenuous sessions, consume carbohydrate+protein recovery mix containing ~ .4 g/lb of CHO and .2 g/lb of PRO as soon as possible
          • Replenish glycogen
          • Decrease catabolism
          • Promote anabolism
          • Re-hydrate
  • 43. Recovery Tools
    • Nutrition
        • Watch for fat in recovery mixes
        • Avoid outlandish claims
        • Chocolate Milk is an option
        • Gatorade is better than nothing, but inferior to CHO + PRO product
  • 44. Recovery Tools
    • Supplementation
        • Stick with the basics
        • Positive Benefits:
          • Creatine
          • Branch Chain Amino Acids
          • Beta Alanine
          • Fish Oils
  • 45. Recovery Tools
    • Soft Tissue Recovery
        • Want optimal tonus of tissue
        • Proper warm-up and training over time should prevent build-up of knots/adhesions
        • Muscle is most susceptible to pulls directly above and below knots
        • Can apply soft tissue recovery by applying tension (stretching) or pressure (massage)
  • 46. Recovery Tools
    • Soft Tissue Recovery - Stretching
        • Post-workout provides large benefit
        • Better blood flow
        • Can be relaxing for the whole body
        • Can’t rely on this alone for flexibility development
        • Program should include dynamic mobility drills as well at varying speeds
  • 47. Recovery Tools
    • Soft Tissue Recovery – Stretching
        • Many different types of stretching
          • PNF, AIS, Static, Microstretching, Ballistic, etc.
        • For most purposes, a light static stretch held for 20-30 seconds will work well – Also easiest to coach
        • Be aware of body positioning-don’t cheat the stretch
        • Can use jump-stretch bands, stretch straps, football belts, pieces of inner-tubes, homemade straps
  • 48. Recovery Tools
    • Soft Tissue Recovery – Massage/SMFR
        • Good massage therapy is a great tool if you can afford it
        • Self Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling) is not as effective as a massage, but much cheaper
        • Foam Rolling can help to reduce muscle tension and release knots/adhesions
        • Foam Rolling needs to be coached and taught
        • Beneficial prior to static stretching
  • 49. Recovery Tools
    • Soft Tissue Recovery – Massage/SMFR
        • The Stick is a good portable tool
        • Can perform on yourself, but usually is more effective to have someone else do it
        • Much better at targeting the hamstrings and calves than a foam roller
  • 50. Recovery Tools
    • Hydrotherapy
        • Water is a great recovery tool
        • Low intensity pool workouts between intense sessions can help speed recovery
        • Cold tub immersion post training
          • Immerse for 10-15 minutes
        • Hot/Cold Contrast Baths/Showers
          • Recommended 3:1 ratio of hot:cold ranging from 1:30 – 3 minutes hot and 30 – 60 seconds cold
  • 51. Recovery Tools
    • Educate your athletes
        • Keep it simple
        • Keep it short
        • Educate them frequently
  • 52. Sources
    • Francis, C. The Charlie Francis Training System , 1997
    • Issurin, V. Block Periodization – Breakthrough in Sport Training , 2008
    • Ivy, J. & Portman, R. Nutrient Timing , 2004
    • Kellman, M. (Ed.) Enhancing Recovery , 2003
    • Radcliffe, J.C. University of Oregon Football Power Development Conditioning Programming
    • Siff, M.C. Supertraining , 2003
    • Smith, J. High/Low Sequences of Programming and Organizing Training , 2005
    • Valle, C. Devil’s Advocate – Building Speed Demons Pt. 1
    • Selye, H. The Stress of Life , 1997
    • Zatsiorsky, V.M. Science and Practice of Strength Training , 1995
  • 53. Questions?
    • Thank You
    • Contact Info:
    • 254-710-8113
    • [email_address]