Why do you exercise?
What do you expect to get out of it?
If you answered anything besides “nothing,” keep reading.
Everyone wants to get something out of their exercise. The kind of person who exercises day in and out with zero desire or expectation to receive a benefit for their investment is rare.
Let’s say your goal is to build muscle, and you want to do it because you’re not planning on losing your independence as you age.
Your goal is to enjoy your life for your WHOLE life, and you know you need more muscle mass to do that.
How do you go about building the muscle?
For most people, it goes something like this; they join a gym, get a trainer or program, buy some supplements, and then start tweaking their diet.
So far, so good… kind of.
Where most people miss the mark is in understanding the relationship between exercise and recovery.
If you want to build muscle, you absolutely need to put in the work in the gym. However, that work goes to waste if you don’t take the time to recover.
Muscle doesn’t grow just because you’ve been working out; that's just the first step. After exercise, it needs to be the right environment for growth.
It needs proper nutrition and hydration.
It needs enough growth hormone and sex hormones to grow.
It needs enough downtime and sleep to remodel itself.
If those things don’t happen, you don’t get the return on your investment you were hoping for.
Another way of looking at it is that the only reason we exercise is to give ourselves the opportunity to recover.
When we look at it from that perspective, our entire approach shifts.
Instead of feeling guilty about not getting up at 4:30 am to go work out because that’s the only time we have available for that day, we can make a conscious decision to take a rest day, knowing it will serve us better than only getting 5 hours of sleep.
Instead of pretending to be a bro science chemist and blending the perfect supplement stack, funnel that time and effort into optimizing your sleep.
Exercise without recovery is a waste of time.
Exercise WITH recovery is the shortest route to achieving your goals.
Put as much care and effort into your recovery as your workouts.