Rethinking Recovery


After you finish working/training the rest should be easy or is it? There is certainly an increased awareness of the role that recovery plays in training. After all it is during the recovery and rest period that the adaptation to training takes place. That is precisely why I think we need to rethink some things that are going on now in terms of the application of recovery modalities and therapies. We need to think about what we are trying to achieve with hot/cold contrast baths, ice baths, massage etc; what I see happening now with recovery, is the same mistake I have seen made in training. If we throw enough stuff at the body it will get better. More is not better in training or recovery. The goal of training is to stimulate adaptation to the training stimulus. Different training stimuli adapt at different rates. The body has a natural healing response to injury or to training of which the inflammatory phase is the initial response. I wonder that if by some of the indiscriminant application of recovery modalities if we are not inhibiting the natural inflammatory response which triggers the body’s natural recovery cascade. I have no research to back this up, just my gut feeling and experience, but it is something we really need to look at. For example during a general block of training where there is no competition and the amount of technical and tactical work is low would it be better to leave the body alone and let it repair itself? Would we get a better adaptative response? Use the modalities later in different phases when the athlete is trying to get an edge. These are just my thoughts, your thoughts and reactions would be appreciated. As you know I am not one to follow the crowd and this definitely is in opposition to what is being accepted as conventional wisdom.
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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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