Does Your Recovery Match Your Training?

It’s been about a month since I had my bloodwork done and started logging my HRV readings each morning to gauge my recovery. I gave my initial update here and my intro to the process here for those that would like to learn more about how to use these methods in their training.

Just before I started using these tools - during the first or second week of the Evolution Athletics programming cycle I follow – we had a workout that featured a ten minute “Every Minute On the Minute” (EMOM) that had 5 rounds of 2 cleans at 80% of your 1rm. During this workout, I felt mentally weak, lacking focus, no adrenaline. At 80%, the lifts should be challenging but you shouldn’t be missing. I went 3/10. I left the gym beaten down, frustrated and angry.

This workout came up again in our cycle last week. I’ve been logging my HRV scores – my nutrition has been dialed in, following the recommendations given to me by Inside Tracker who did my bloodwork – and I’ve made sure to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. I’ve also added iForce’s “Out Cold” nighttime recovery to my supplementation game.

I came into the workout focused and ready to prove to myself I’m seeing improvements from all these steps. I went 10/10 on the 80% cleans. I know the measures I am taking are good, I know they are improving my overall health and fitness – but it is great to see it measured on the barbell. The barbell doesn’t lie, doesn’t give false readings – you either make the lift or you don’t.

Because I’ve been using my HRV readings – I’ve also been able to add and subtract training sessions based on my recovery. I was able to hit a 91kg snatch and 130kg clean during an extra session two weekends ago. While these numbers do not represent anything close to a PR for me, they do give me a new baseline number to work from. It will be a tough road to get back to my PR numbers – but I know I am headed in the right direction.

Understanding your own recovery makes it easy to know if you can add training sessions into your fitness schedule during the week. A perfect score of 10 on Sunday meant this garage gym WOD was a no-brainer.

Understanding your own recovery makes it easy to know if you can add training sessions into your fitness schedule during the week. A perfect score of 10 on Sunday meant this garage gym WOD was a no-brainer.

Some of the coaches at my gym planned a garage gym workout for this weekend – normally I would have just gone and hit it hard, maybe I was recovered maybe I wasn’t – but knowing makes the difference. I scored a perfect 10 Sunday morning on my HRV – so I knew I could go get after an extra training session. I scored a lower 7 Monday morning after this – so I know that for today’s 1rm Deadlift  - a lift I can normally hit 500+ lbs on, that maybe I will be looking at 475 today instead. The big difference – if I hit 475 today, I wont be frustrated and wondering why the hell I couldn’t pull 500.

Headed into our testing phase of a 12 week program.

Headed into our testing phase of a 12 week program.

On the nutrition front, I’ve been focusing on adding the foods recommended by Inside Tracker. My vegetable intake is probably 200% higher than it was before. I’ve cut my processed meats down from five times a week (bacon, how I miss you) to once a week. My red meat is also down to about once a week – I crushed 4 amazing beef tongue tacos from the Mexican market down on the corner this weekend.

We are entering the final weeks of Evolution Athletics “Clang and Bang 2.0” cycle. I will have plenty of opportunity to test my lifts and benchmark metcons and I will update those regularly. This week we will wrap up with the classic CrossFit WOD “Fight Gone Bad” which we performed at the start of the cycle.

News and notes:

GRID Athlete and member of the wild/STRONG Tribe Emily Lilo stopped by the gym this week to pick up some new gear as she headed up to South Dakota. She just got drafted by the LA Reign GRID Team and will be competing in Rush Club Nation’s event on June 25 against Laura Dickerson. Emily is a beast of an athlete who we are proud to sponsor. Check her out on Instagram @operation.level.up

GRID League L.A. Reign's Emily Lilo stopped by on a road trip to pick up her new wild/STRONG "Purple PR Eater" Snapback and some other gear.

GRID League L.A. Reign's Emily Lilo stopped by on a road trip to pick up her new wild/STRONG "Purple PR Eater" Snapback and some other gear.

wild/STRONG will be unveiling three new products at our booth at the Big Thompson CrossFit Spring Hopper competition on June 4. I will be competing alongside my better half and helping out at the booth, so stop by the athlete village and say hi and get your hands on the new shit!

We will also be competing and running a booth at the Wyoming Affiliate Cup at CrossFit Frontier on June 18. wild/STRONG designed the official logo and shirts for the event as well. We’ll be selling those in addition to our regular products so swing on through if you are in the Cheyenne area.