Recovery for the Fat Boys

TAGS: prowler runs, fat boy season, JP Carroll, biking, active recovery, walking, sled drags, powerlifter, gpp, recovery

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Well, it’s January, and it’s 50 degrees out here in the beautiful Midwest, but it's still big boy season. Regardless of temperature, when you see the hoodies and shorts combo, you know it's big boy season. This year for the fellow fat boys, I'm going get into recovery, because, let's be honest, we’re large humans, and we use a lot of energy just being alive.

I've done my fair share of training, good and bad. I've done high volume and heavy singles for months on end. I've run myself into the ground and have risen like Lazarus. When talking about training philosophies, we all hear, "what works for you might not work for me" and every other possible way of saying that. In my mind, recovery is something that has to be very personalized. Take two people and have them run the same conjugate template. Both will make progress — one more than the other — but recovery modalities will be completely different.


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I started biking this past summer, and like most things, I went all in, from mountain bike trails with jumps to long distance rides in the city. I crashed and broke my bike and rode 25 miles at times. Active recovery, right? WRONG! Biking became my training, and training was becoming my active recovery. I was becoming more of a cyclist and less of a strength athlete. I was feeling great at life, but in the gym, something was off. I was doing way too much "recovery."

Prowler Pushes, again I'm all in, and I'm an O-lineman through and through, so pushing shit is my jam. Sled Drags, another excellent, comfortable recovery modality. Being a fat boy, usually sitting anywhere between 345 and 375 pounds, these are all just training days for me. So, if I train four days a week and add two active recovery days, in essence for me, I was training six days a week while also adjusting a diet, say, carb-cycling on a "non-training" day, which means you are putting yourself in a deficit.

Now, with all of that out of the way, let's talk good old walking. Yeah, I said it, walking. Just kicking rocks as we used to as wee tikes. Now we're tipping the scales over 300 pounds (it's called “for the fat boys,” but if you're under 300 and reading, I appreciate you), and we don't walk from friend’s house to friend’s house, looking to start a game of football or 32, nope, we drive everywhere. The thing about walking is some fancy shit about lymphatic system and drainage and a bunch of other big words. Walking works exceptionally well for the big fellas, and here's why.

We are equipped with sleds, prowlers, and weighted vests. I've had crazy lower back pumps — the best fix, walking until they work their way out. At elitefts, we squat on Saturday and bench on Sunday. Squatting, or lower day, as most call it around these parts, will take me up until right around 3 p.m., and we're back to benching at 11 a.m. the following day. I wake up on Sunday, and the first thing I do is get a mile walk in — nothing crazy, just a solid mile, which usually takes just under 20 minutes. Get it in, eat, and I'm ready to go.

Walking is also a decent way to increase General Physical Preparedness for us large humans. Moving is just, overall, a great thing for the body, and even better for us. Walking out soreness or just to get ready for a day, walking is such a simple thing that can be done anywhere at almost anytime.

I feel like walking gets overlooked as a recovery tool; it's simple and super effective. Everyone wants to post up the coolest and latest recovery systems, like Salt Floats, Compression Boots, Prowlers, and Sled Drags. The list is never-ending. If you're a big dude or lady, and you feel like your recovery isn't what it should be, try walking two or three times a week on off days.

Don't get me wrong, some of the protocols mentioned above are amazing, and I utilize them myself; I've just come to learn that nothing beats walking. If you aren't moving, get moving, and I'll bet you that you will see an increase in performance in the gym and even in overall well-being in life. So, when in doubt, be like UNK, and walk it out. Keep in mind, recovery, like anything, can be overdone.

Try This On for Size

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