Today a poster noted, “Sure you’re ripped, but you’d be much bigger if you’d stop crying about recovery all the time and just shut up and lift big like we do in (brand-name removed). Pain is weakness leaving the body, and all these little broken sycophants of yours need to man up and train like a real monster.”
1. I’m not trying to be bigger. Size is merely a natural by-product of fully-recovered and progressively-adapted compound and complex movement. If you’re not fully recovered, you haven’t completely adapted to the training stresses. In other words, recovery IS growth. Recovery, then, can be understood as adaptation itself. So, shouldn’t someone fully recovered be the largest on the planet? No. Why?
2. Beyond completing full adaptation to training, the difference between power and expressible power relates directly to your degree of pain (and injuries.) Pain is not weakness leaving the body. It is a signal empowering awareness of lost function. You can continue to grow tissue while increasing the pain it endures, of course, because you view pain as a weakness leaving the body. Greater pain = greater gain. Unfortunately, the greater your pain, the greater your lost function. And the larger you grow dysfunctional tissue, the stronger the dysfunction becomes and the harder it is for it to heal. Greater size through pain = greater dysfunctional physiology and performance. So, should someone just be bigger because bigger is better? No. Why?
3. Where you may define fitness goals in the context of muscle size, I define fitness goals by the ability to “navigate obstacles and challenges with ease and imagination” including opponents on the mat, in the ring, or on the field, but also lifestyle recreation like surfing, kayaking, hiking, climbing and swimming, and even further into my domestic life of home remodeling, landscaping and just playing with my children. I don’t live to train, but train to live. (And I didn’t need to be any bigger to win open age and open weight class at world games in the MMA division against fighters half my age and 100 pounds heavier, so bigger isn’t necessarily better. Only better is better.)
In conclusion, if you want to adapt to 100% of your training and be able to express the power you’ve cultivated not merely in a gym, but throughout your life with sustainable vibrancy and pain-free well-being, then consider implementing recovery methods into your training. Like we “little broken” folks who win championships, gain greater energy from while reducing and even eliminating pain through training, and enjoy pain-free lives full of recreational fun and occupational efficiency, you may eventually find that RECOVERY IS KING, and the primary virtue of all fitness and nutrition programming.