By: Max Hall
Recover like a Hero
I AM HERE to talk with you about workout recovery. If you are a fan of My Hero Academia you probably recall the episode of My Hero Academia where All Might is coaching Midoriya through old school strongman style workouts to clean up the beach. At the same time however Midoriya was adding training sessions and burning himself out. This scene inspired me to write this article on “Recovery Lessons from All Might”. We are not strong JUST from what we do but what we recover from as well.
In anime we typically see characters pushed to seemingly endless limits to improve themselves and become stronger. Less often, we see characters encounter setbacks due to overtraining and the lack of recovery that follows. There are a ton of valuable lessons that can be learned from setbacks like these.
If you’re a weeb like me as a kid you saw the likes of Goku continue to surpass his Saiyan limits over and over and work harder and harder. Now while DBZ does outline recovery from time to time you probably saw Goku’s work ethic and said WORK HARDER because I know I did. While that’s often a good thing in life we must learn to work hard and smart not just with training but our recovery too.
There are three concepts that will help you GO BEYOND: following YOUR program, having patience and resting when it’s needed.
Following the Mission: Your Program, Your Path
Training hard is the anime mentality. Like Asta from Black Clover, you want to keep training and never be done. Trust me I get it I’ve been there but sometimes you have to outwork them in training sometimes you need to out work them in recovery. To my own detriment when I played football I learned more isn’t better, better is better. Find a program and stick to it, don't add to it. If at the end of the program you realize “Hey, I could have handled a little more” Great adjust the program to be more and do it again. You don’t know how effective a program is until you’ve finished it. Adding more can result in overtraining, setback, plateaus and injuries.
In the scene where Midorya collapses while training; All Might immediately realizes that Midoryia has been off program and as a result exhausted himself. This causes All Might to adjust the plan. Even though Midoriya had the best intentions by pushing himself, it did more damage than good. Luckily this setback wasn’t impossible to overcome and All Might was able to get Midoryia back on track. Imagine how different the anime would have been if the set back had been so large that he ended up falling short and not getting into UA.
#1 Hero’s WAIT: Patience is KING
We also see recovery concepts when Midoryia uses One for All. He’s not strong enough to handle 100% but keeps using it and breaking his body. I think similar thing can be seen in training. Often we see gym bros come into the gym and max out every single session. What happens? They get broken and don’t progress nearly as fast. This is like what we see with Midoryia in season one. Eventually when he learns to control his power and hold back he makes great increases to his abilities as a hero. He learns to use the correct percentage of what he can handle for his capabilities.
The same can be true to you as a lifter; When you learn to use the proper percentage to train hard but not go all out except in competition (The equivalent of a life or death situation for Midoryia) You will get better training results. Having the patience to not go all out all the time is an important skill to have.
We also see that All Might didn’t use 100% all the time. Part of the reason was because he would destroy entire cities but another part of it was because he knew he had to conserve energy while being smart and efficient with his power. If you are patient, smart, and efficient with your powers you too can be the number one hero for your own health and fitness.
Recover From All: Rest Up to WinYou might be thinking, “But I want to train harder and train more”. Fair point, we all want to improve and there are some ways to increase your recovery so you can work harder in the gym and still recover from the training and make progress.
Tips to recover better:
- Sleep More
- Eat More Protein
- Decrease other activities
Much Like Bakugo being the first to sleep. In My Hero Academia when the students move into dorm living we see that Bakugo values his sleep. When you are training your quirk hard your body will require sleep to recover. While the other students were staying up late chatting Bakugo was in bed recovering and getting his sleep in.
You may not need to be an early bed time person if you have the ability to sleep in. However you do need an adequate amount of sleep to recover from your workouts. The harder you train the more sleep you may require. Pro athletes can sleep 12 hours a night and they probably need it. Your situation may not allow you sleep as much but as a general recommendation I suggest 7-9 hours a night to allow for optimal training recovery.
While Midoriya is training to receive One for All we see him start to work on some life style factors to better improve his recovery for his intense training regime. The major one is his nutrition. Now you may not need to have a very strict meal plan like we see Deku have however you may see some recovery benefits from changes in your nutrition. Specifically from increasing your protein intake.
Protein is broken down into amino acids within your body and those amino acids are transported to your muscles to repair damaged muscle tissue and be formed into new muscle tissue. The process of recovering from a workout is repairing damaged tissue and creating new tissue. If you increase your protein intake if it is already low it may help you with recovery. I suggest 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
Remember when the students from class 1A first moved into the dorms? They toured each other's rooms but Bakugo stayed to himself. Sometimes in recovery keeping to yourself is a necessary skill to have. It’s knowing when you have the bandwidth for something and when you don’t. If you want to optimize your recovery one of the best things you could do is lay in bed most the day when you’re not training. This isn’t reasonable for most people; however knowing when to say no to certain things and prioritize your training and recovery is an important skill to have. It's about weighing the costs to the benefits to your individual goals.
Hero Time: Feel Recovered Yet?
Mastering your recovery will allow you to push harder in the gym and make better gains. If you are feeling unhappy with your progress but don’t feel like you can handle more, ask yourself… How is my sleep? How is my protein? Can I decrease my non-training activity? Well Young Heroes, you now have a better idea of how to recover from your training.
Put these concepts into practice and GO PLUS ULTRA.
I may not be All Might but I take a lot from his relationship with Midoriya. My name is Max Hall and I want to inspire and educate the next generation of heroes(lifters). To work with me as your coach, reach out to me at email@example.com.
You can also check out the Plus Ultra Fitness Podcast (I'll be your host) to help you go Plus Ultra in your fitness!