Recovery from training is a major factor for optimal performance and improvement. If the recovery is successful, higher training volume and intensity level are possible without overtraining yourself. While recovery from training is very important, personal trainers (PT) and coaches have different approaches for clients and athletes. Every person is an individual therefore PT and coaches have to find the right way to suit everyone. And this is the reason why it is important to understand how recovery works so able to plan the right training programs. People have different ways to show tiredness therefore PT and coaches need to understand the psychological factors such as fatigue or how a person deals with tiredness mentally and physically. 


It is the time that an individual needs to repair their body from damage and tiredness caused by training or competition.

Recovery factors:

  • Set back to normal functions (e.g. blood pressure, cardiac cycle)
  • Restore energy stores (blood glucose and muscle glycogen)
  • Resupply energy 


“SHORT RECOVERY” is where recovery happens between exercises or interval training.

Short recovery is the most common recovery in training.

 “TRAINING RECOVERY” happens between training sessions or competitions. If more than 1 session happens on the same day inappropriate recovery will affect performance of the next session.


When you are tired / fatigued, you can see it in your physical and mental performance where you are not able to maintain your strength or intensity level of the required exercise.


  • Sore and weak muscles
  • Decreased performance
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unwanted weight loss 
  • Bad and not enough sleep


Between sets

  • Muscular endurance training 30 – 90 seconds
  • Hypertrophy training 60 – 120 seconds
  • Strength training 3 minutes
  • Power training 4 to 5 minutes

Between sessions 

Following a hard session your body needs longer recovery time. So, greater the muscle damage, then greater the recovery.

Meaning, a person who is not fit, doesn’t train regularly or perhaps just about to start doing exercises needs to start slower or needs longer recovery times between sessions.

Muscle recovery

Larger muscle groups such as chest and back need more resting time than smaller muscle groups such as biceps, triceps and shoulders.


Personal trainers (PT) and coaches should incorporate recovery into their programme and watch closely how tiredness affects their clients. Have a discussion and get feedback.