Recovery after exercise matters more than you might realize – and much of the science can be applied to anyone, no matter your activity levels or needs. MitoQ Ambassador Gunnar Peterson sat down with the team at The Chalkboard Mag to discuss how important recovery is, some tips to recognize when to slow down and what he does to support it (including taking MitoQ!).
To most fitness fans, spending more time doing less sounds counter-intuitive, but the science behind recovery doesn’t lie. Gunnar Peterson says that recovery is a pillar of fitness that's too often neglected. And even better, the take-outs apply to everyone, no matter your level of activity.
Known for training the LA Lakers and half the bodies in Hollywood, Gunnar Peterson knows what’s up in the gym. Peterson has prepped the likes of J-Lo, Sylvester Stallone and Amber Heard, and has trained Kim Kardashian since she was a teen, so when he talks, we take notice. “I don’t believe that anyone can over-exercise — just under-recover,” he says. Here are his top tips...
Recognize when your body needs a break.
"Sometimes your body sends up flares, and sometimes there’s just smoke. Regardless, you have to be aware and take the necessary steps to put the fire out. If you have trouble finding words when speaking, you’re tired. If you are always a little bit sore, you probably need a day off. If you can’t increase the weight you are lifting, or get an extra mile in, or increase the pace of your cardio you are probably due for a down day. Massages and body work are great ideas, but if they are not available to you at least try to catch a nap!"
Recovery helps to achieve your goals.
"Recovery and sleep are so necessary — and the pillars that people forget. We think about training, diet, even hydration, but once we are on a fitness journey the more is more mentality tends to kick in and we neglect the recovery needed in favor of doing more of everything else. We need to recover in order to perform. Even the fastest race car goes into the garage at night for a tune-up."
"I see some people do too much too soon, and I see other people do too much for too long without taking proper rest. There is a reason sports have an off-season. I’m not suggesting three months off, but I am saying there are times to turn it up and times to shut it down. Performance in fitness, as well as performance from nutrition choices, are tied to recovery. You can’t get the most out of either without taking the downtime you need and, frankly, have earned."
Good recovery techniques?
"You hear everything from sensory deprivation tanks (float tanks), to hyperbaric chambers, to massage, to hot/cold tubs, to magnetic therapy and all things in between. I say you should try them all and see what makes you feel/perform best and what fits into your lifestyle. It has to work within your week or it’s a waste. Take a friend or a partner and try them all out — this alone is fun and refreshing."
The benefits of nutrition.
"Nutrition plays a huge role in recovery. The harder and more frequently you train the more important nutrition is."
You can't build a great house without bringing quality materials to the job site.
"You can’t build a great house without bringing quality materials to the job site. Quality food, in adequate quantity, and plenty of water will help you make the most out of your rest and recovery. I also believe supplementation plays a key role — I recommend taking a multivitamin and MitoQ, a form of CoQ10 supplement that works a cellular level to support your body’s “powerhouse,” the mitochondria. Although there’s no “magic pill,” MitoQ is a great way to help support the body where it needs it the most."