Do you know why Rich Froning and JJ Watt can train hard two or three times a day and still perform at an elite level?
The answer: They put as much effort into recovery work as they do into their gym work.
That's why at Gym Jones, we don't believe in "overtraining"--we only believe in "underrecovery." If go hard or long or fast, but don't rest enough between bouts, you end up training at a deficit. You won't be able to ramp up the intensity and you won't see progress. In fact, you'll almost definitely plateau no matter how hard you continue to work out.
But if you make it a point to plan and focus on your recovery, you'll improve across the board. Mark my words.
Not logging at least eight hours of shuteye each night? I can almost guarantee that's what's holding you back in the gym. When you sleep, muscle-building hormones like HGH and testosterone are released. So when you wake up, you're stronger than when you shut your eyes.
And if you already get eight hours, add another one. Gym Jones trained the actors for the movie 300, and we told them to sleep no less than 10 hours a night.
To get the optimal amount of snooze time and promote sleep quality, use blackout curtains to keep your room as dark as possible. If you can't get that much sleep in one shot, then learn to love naps.
Release Your Knots
Massaging your muscles on a foam roller or lacrosse ball can help prep your body for your next workout. Studies show the method can improve your range of motion and reduce post-exercise soreness.
More from Men's Health: The Truth About Foam Rolling
Search out the tight spots for 15 to 20 minutes every night. When you find a stiff area, manipulate the knot over the roller or ball for a minute or two. It should feel uncomfortable (that means it's working). Spend extra time on your glutes, quads, calves, low back, and hamstrings. My clients who regularly do this are the ones who show up ready for any workout I throw at them. (Including these 6 Brutally Tough Workouts You Can Do on Your Lunch Break.)
I also suggest that people see a massage therapist at least once a month. Regular massage promotes the same benefits as foam rolling, but it's much more targeted and thorough.
It keeps your muscles working properly, treats current injuries, and can prevent future pain from occurring. It's also an excellent way to relax, which can help relieve stress. And having less anxiety may reduce your risk of athletic injury, according to researchers at the University of Missouri.