The importance of recovery for MMA
The traditional point of view of martial arts practitioners is that you have to work extremely hard in order to get good at what you do. Well, this is indeed true, up to a certain extent – but there is an important caveat when it comes to this.
And the caveat is that your body can only take so much in the form of training and beating that you hand to it, before it breaks up. So, it may seem like the smartest thing to do is to drill striking combinations and grappling moves all day long, every day, but nothing could be further from the truth.
What you’ll want to do is to find the optimal balance between hard work and rest. That’s right, rest is equally as important as working hard at the MMA gym, and some of the smartest, most knowledgeable MMA practitioners and instructors will confirm this notion.
You may not think like it – but your body breaks up during a hard workout. The principle of getting stronger is simple – you break down your body and then you let it recover, so that there will be an adaptation to the increased level of stress that you’re putting your body through. The resting phase is actually where your body heals up and recovers, and grows stronger in the process; you don’t get stronger while you’re training, but while you’re resting.
Of course, different types of training will put different demands on your body. For example, when we’re dealing with MMA specific training, it’s normal to expect that your body will be ruined after 15 rounds of hard MMA sparing, including both the standup and the ground game. On the other hand, if you do 15 rounds of light shadow boxing – you will still feel the burn in your muscles, but the demand is nowhere near as that of the first case. This brings us to the next point – you will need appropriate rest for different activities. More physically demanding workouts will demand longer rest periods – so you can’t really fix your body entirely by sleeping for 7 hours. Sometimes you will need more than this.
And by the way, do you know what is the single best form of recovery where your body gets nourished and revitalized? That’s right – it’s sleep. Sleeping every night is extremely important when it comes to recovery. And we’re not talking about 3-4 hours per night either. We’re talking 7-9 hours for most people, and sometimes even more than this. The deep sleep phase is when your body will naturally create human growth hormone, and it will do all of the repairs that are necessary for you to function well the next day.
It’s best to be your own judge in some cases – listen to what your body tells you. We typically underestimate the wisdom that our bodies have, and we would much rather listen to people of authority than to our bodies. If you feel tired – rest. If you feel like you’re full of energy – continue working out. It’s that simple.
So, the point of this article was to never underestimate the importance of rest. Only in this way will you be able to prolong your growing phase as to your MMA skills, and to protect your body from eventually breaking down.
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