Well, week 2 was fun!

We saw numerous PRs, lots of leg pain, and contrary to week 1, we saw a significant impact on the central nervous system.

Upon announcement, most people saw a short workout with a max lift attempt and immediately had visions of not just repeating this workout once, but potentially two or even three times.

Unfortunately, this was not advised.

In fact, at this point you know exactly how much of a toll this workout took on you – not just physically, but on your CNS as well.

Headaches, fatigue, soreness, and even sleep disruptions were reported over the last four days… from even the best fueled clients.

Sound familiar?

Don’t worry if you had any of these, it doesn’t mean you messed up – it’s simply a byproduct of “emptying the tank.”

Recall that last week we talked about the shift from “training” to “competing,” well now you have likely given yourself the competition stimulus a minimum of four times in the last 11 days which is more than 35% of your sessions.

So YES – you NEED more recovery!


If you are an iN3 client, you had a customized recovery protocol for each workout, and each attempt at each workout. For those of you not currently ALL IN, let’s take a moment and analyze the last two weeks.

Have you prioritized recovery?

Perhaps you are shaking your head and saying: “Jason, I THINK I did, but I’m not totally sure.”

Cool – no worries, let’s dig a little deeper.

Ask yourself the following:

Did you consume carbs post workout? Sorry, let me rephrase – did you consume MORE carbs than normal immediately post workout? Post workout nutrition is KEY to recovery!

During week 1, did you consume extra carbs the day after a repeat?

During week 2, did you consume extra carbs the day after each attempt?

Has your sleep been adequate the last 14 days?

Have you managed additional life stressors the last 14 days?

Have you kept up with your body work and movement work over the last 14 days?

WOW – that’s a lot to take in, but all of it is VERY important.

In fact, if the answer is NO to any of the above… even just one thing… you are under recovered to some degree at this point.

Will this affect your performance? Perhaps (not 100% of the time, but very likely)

Can we manage this moving forward? ABSOLUTELY!

Understanding The Recovery Process

The truth is that some degree of recovery debt is unavoidable, but if you have periodized your year properly then you have more than enough hormone support to handle it.

However, that is a pretty large caveat, as most people have NOT managed their nutrition properly over the course of a year.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the recovery debt that has been imposed from THE OPEN thus far.

Week 1: Heading into week 1, you should’ve been plenty fueled. There is absolutely ZERO REASON that you should show up to the first week with anything other than a full gas tank. Additionally, your hormone profile should’ve been properly cared for up to this point.

Assuming that this is the case, the first workout was just like any other training session with a slightly more intense effort. To offset this, we simply add some carbs in the post workout window, and perhaps even again later in the day.


However, when you repeat this workout a second time in four days, the recovery demands increase.

Similar to attempt one, you will want to increase your carb consumption in the post workout window, again that evening, but now we want to add even more carbs the NEXT DAY. This will account for any extra glycogen depletion, as well as continue creating an environment for proper Central Nervous System Recovery.

Then it’s back on normal macros, and on to week 2.

Week 2:

While the recovery strategies that were just outlined for week 1 are absolutely adequate, you will still have a small degree of recovery debt – this is just the nature of a shift from training to competition stimulus.

With that said, recovery from week 2 is not as simple as it was for week 1.

18.2 and 18.2a combined is a very nervous system intensive workout.

Sure, 12 minutes is not a lot of time, but neither is 2 minutes when you perform Fran… and we all know how that ends up.

In fact, this workout has a relatively similar systemic effect to Fran. Essentially you are looking to achieve redline, and remain at redline if you want to maximize your time on 18.2. Then you are looking to maximize a lift in a physical state that is already very stressed. Surely, that’s easy on the body, right? LOL

To be completely honest, maximal systemic recovery from this session is likely a 3-4 day process. Unfortunately, most of you are looking to perform this workout at least twice in 3-4 days.

While this is completely acceptable, we simply need to understand that we WILL be operating with some degree of recovery debt moving forward into week 3 (more on this below).

With the understanding that this workout is very intensive on the CNS, carbohydrate consumption immediately post workout should’ve been radically increased. Additional carbohydrates should have been consumed later in the day, increasing total carb count for the day by anywhere from 50-150g.

Even this extra 200-600 calories is likely insufficient, and needs to be followed by a carbohydrate increase the following day. Most individuals will have benefitted from an extra 30-100g carbs the day after they performed the open workout.

Note – the above information references the first, singular attempt at 18.2 and 18.2a…the demands for a repeat were likely even higher!

As stated previously, this workout probably takes 3-4 days for full recovery, and part of that would assume appropriate rest. But let’s be honest, you went right back to training Tuesday, and chances are you didn’t nail all of the recovery modalities 100% – so it’s time to understand that you are moving towards week 3 with a recovery debt!

Bridging The Gap

At this point you now understand that recovery is essential, but even with an extra emphasis on recovery we are still likely in some sort of recovery debt…oh sh*t!

Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Remember earlier we said that if you have periodized your nutrition properly, your hormone profile is maximized….this will help offset any recovery debt that you may be operating from.

Ideally we do not negatively impact our hormones too much in this process, but some degree of hormonal shift is unavoidable.

With that said, let’s look at the action steps that you should be taking out of week 2 and into week 3.

1 – Understand the degree of your recovery debt.

2 – If you are in a significant recovery debt, consider refeeding multiple times (Tuesday/Wednesday or Wednesday/Thursday) in an effort to facilitate quicker recovery. Also look beyond nutrition, and understand that you should be maximizing other recovery modalities (sleep, movement, breathing, etc..)

3 – If you have recovered appropriately (as outlined above), consider increasing your carb macros to account for the inevitable recovery debt that has occurred despite your best efforts.

4 – Re-read the above, and begin understanding how you should be recovering DURING week 3, so that you are able to fully maximize your final 2 weeks.

While the stress of the open and the impact of competition are unavoidable, we certainly can mitigate the damage that they will produce.

If your goal is truly to have your best open yet, be sure you are RECOVERING, and you will have every opportunity you need to crush it! Yes, this may mean putting your aesthetic endeavors on hold for a brief period of time – but I promise your results will be worth it!

Until next week…