I remember when I was in my early-20s, I would train twice a day, 5 days a week. Basically, I thought I could do it all. It was a time where I literally told people, "What is rest? Why do I need to rest?". I hardly felt tired, my training and nutrition was spot on, so I continued on for until I reached my mid-20s.
I don't know exactly when it started but my joints ached; I was stiff AF; and I was generally not recovering as fast as I used to. But I pushed through. I loved competition so I told myself, I just had to suck it up.
Lemme tell you, it is not pleasant going on like this.
As time went on, I started to feel exhaustion every, single day. I started to dread training, even during the final stages of competition preparation. Worst of all, I started to not give a f*** about my competitions. When I lost, I didn't care; when I won, I was nonchalant (legit, I just would go "yay me" then walk away).
It wasn't until I studied sports nutrition that I realized I was experiencing what experts call "Burnout" or "Over-training Syndrome". To my surprise, it was a thing! And that's what happened to me!
So I decided to modify my training style. I trained 3-5 times a week, once a day. Then I would use the extra time to do an activity that would help with recovery. That could be hot & cold showers, having a decent nutrition-dense meal, getting a few extra hours of sleep, hydrating, foam rolling, or stretching.
In the beginning it was hard, because it was new and kind of annoying, if I'm being honest. But I reminded myself it was necessary. Short term nuisance for long term gains, if you will.
Before I knew it, I was loving and looking forward to my training again. And fast forward to the present, I am excited to go compete again (after things settle down, of course). All this, while still taking time to recover.
Add a ❤️ if you do activities for recovery.