The Recovery Puzzle

Old-time champions trained much less than modern-day trainees - but achieved much more than typical trainees who may spend 10, 15, or 20 or more hours a week in the gym.

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

We'll talk training in just a minute - as in,
the recovery puzzle - but first let me cover
three quick updates.

1. Which Is Your Favorite?

John Wood has added some great new tee
shirts and other swag to the Retro Strength

Check them out and let me know which of
the designs is your favorite:

2. The Dino Files

Go here to grab the Oct. Nov, Dec and Jan
issues of The Dinosaur Files strength
training newsletter:

Oct - Jan issues

And go here for the Feb issue:

Feb issue

I'm working on the March issue and hope
to have it out soon - and it's going to be
another good one!

3. The Strength Secrets Facebook

Have you joined the Strength Secrets
Facebook Group? If not, go ahead and
sign up - it's a fun place, with plenty of
good discussion about sane, sensible,
real-world strength training:

4. The Recovery Puzzle

Many trainees struggle with recovery.

It's particularly common among older
trainees - but make no mistake about
it - the recovery puzzle is a problem
for trainees of all ages.

And it's a problem for trainees at all levels
of strength and development - from total
newbies to intermediates to advanced

What do I mean by recovery?

Many trainees think that "recovery" means
a special kind of workout you do on your
"off" days - such as kettlebell training,
bodyweight exercises, cardio, lugging
and loading drills, or the farmer's walk.
But that's not recovery.

That's "active rest."

It may or may not help very much - but
that's a topic for another day.

The term "recovery" means your body's
ability to repair the damage done by any
given workout - and to restore itself to
where it was prior to the workout.

After a hard workout, your body needs
at least 48 hours for recovery - and in
many cases, it may need 72 to 96 hours
for full recovery.

That's why old-school training programs
were usually performed three days per

The three day per week schedule gave
you 48 hours recovery time after two
of your weekly workouts - and 72 hours
recovery time after the third workout.

But if you train extra hard and heavy,
two workouts a week may be even
better - because you have more time
to recover after each workout.

And some trainees do very well hitting
the iron every fourth or fifth day.

Peary Rader noted the case of a man
who went on a specialization program
in the deadlift - and trained once every
SIX days - and ended up gaining 20
pounds of muscle and increasing his
strength so much that he was able to
set a world record in the deadlift!

I know, I know - that sounds impossible.

But it happened.

And it illustrates a very important point.

In short, the key to recovery is very
simple: it's giving your body the time
it needs to "bounce back" after each

Rest time = recovery time.

Meaning that rest days are just as important
as training days.

In other words - paradoxical as it may
seem - you do better by training less
and resting more . . .

As always, thanks for reading and have
a great day. If you train today, make it a
good one.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more tips about recovery - and for
workouts and training schedules that help
you maximize recovery, see these books:

Chalk and Sweat

Gray Hair and Black Iron

Strength, Muscle and Power

Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of
Strength and Development

P.S. 2. Thought for the Day:

"You can train more and gain less - or
train less and gain more. The choice is

- Brooks Kubik


We have more than 25 Dinosaur Training books and courses in the Kindle bookstore - here are several of them - head on over and take a look at the others: