My Top 10 Recovery Rules

Recovery can change your life…

I’d know because it changed mine.  

After lying motionless on a football field in France, I was left with only one option: Embrace the recovery world.

My time playing football ended with degenerative back disease, frightening disc issues, and a grueling treatment plan revolved around Vicodin and painkillers. In an attempt to avoid surgery, I embarked on a healing journey to repair my body without going under the knife (my wild recovery ride is documented in my book, the IMPACT! Body Plan).

My quest paid off as I managed to heal my back naturally thanks to the profound wisdom of recovery gurus around the world. I’ve since applied that knowledge to my own routine and the recovery rules below.

*View my Top Recovery Rules video that inspired this blog HERE.*

*View my Facebook LIVE on this topic — including Q&A — HERE.*

TD’s Top 10 Recovery Rules:

#1. Cycle Your Workouts:

You can’t always go hard. It’s a recipe for injury, regression, and pain, which are just a handful of the many agonizing symptoms associated with overtraining.

Split up your routine to avoid working the same body parts on consecutive days and be sure you’re mixing in a variety of exercises, modalities, and training tools.

#2. Commit To Active Recovery:

I suggest two active recovery days a week. Now active recovery doesn’t mean complete rest. Instead, focus on low-intensity activities like walking, yoga, meditation, and stretching.

These will encourage repair, regeneration, and recovery, without further muscle breakdown and energy expenditure.  

#3. Take Time Off Each Week:

Take one day off from all exercise per week. While active recovery is a great way to initiate recovery, your body does need time off (even if it doesn’t feel like it!).

During those rest days, be sure you’re eating right and fueling up on fluids for maximal recovery.

#4. Foam Roll Pre-Workout:

All it takes is five minutes before your workout to lengthen your fascia and soften hardened tissue. And let’s be honest: No recovery routine is complete without the efforts of a foam roll.

Hit your hips, glutes, IT bands, adductors, chest, lats, and back. I assure you, this minor commitment will pay major dividends.

#5. Stretch Before Bed:

Increase your flexibility and mobility with a short stretch sequence before hitting the hay. There’s no better time to lengthen and strengthen than right before bed.

Poses like Down Dog, Up Dog, Pigeon Pose, and Savasana (this one may actually put you to bed!!) will relax your mind and prep your body for major recovery as you start snoozing.

#6. Practice Breathwork and Meditation Daily:

There’s nothing better than quieting your mind, listening to your spirit, and tapping deep inside your soul. That is why I practice breathwork for three minutes every morning and three minutes every evening — and frankly, that’s all you need for success.

*Don’t get hung up on the word meditation; any quiet time with intention qualifies. So whether it’s through prayer, meditation, or breathwork, take three minutes minimum (more is better here!) twice a day for deep focus on YOU.

#7 Soft Tissue Work Is A Must:

I suggest receiving a massage or bodywork at least once a month. When it comes to soft tissue work, the more, the merrier!

Heck, my goal is always one massage/bodywork session per week.  

#8. Use Recovery Hacks & Tools:

Other elite recovery tools include infrared saunas, cryotherapy tanks, hyperbaric chambers, NormaTec boots, and the tool I busted out above during the Facebook LIVE linked above, the TheraGun.

The TheraGun is one of our most popular tools at Fitness Quest 10. A quick 10-minute session will work wonders!

#9. Sleep Is Crucial:

Did you know your phone has an OFF button?? Ditch your devices one hour before bed, invest in blackout curtains, find the right room temperature, read, and practice gratitude journaling for superior slumber.

It’s not the about the hours. It’s about the quality.

#10. Follow My Nutrition & Supplementation Tips:

As I mentioned in my Nutrition Tips blog, glutamine, protein, fish oil, and CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine are all excellent supplements to expedite recovery and amplify performance.

These are the techniques I practice, preach, and have endorsed for years. Invest time in recovery and you’ll be feeling and performing better than ever! #RecoveryRules

You can train hard and eat right, but if you do not recover, you’ll never be your best.

P.S. Just as I went deep on my recovery philosophies here, I also went deep on my Training Philosophies & Tips HERE. Huge thanks to my friends from CarnoSyn® for helping me out with this epic video to help you create your EDGE by fueling properly!

About the Author

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally-recognized performance trainer, bodyworker, speaker, author, and owner of award-winning gym Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA (one of the Top 10 Gyms in the U.S.). His outstanding team of 38 professionals delivers extraordinary service in personal training, sports performance training, massage/bodywork, Pilates, yoga, physical therapy and chiropractic. Todd is the Lead Training Advisor for Under Armour, regular contributor to Men’s Health, and author of The IMPACT! Body Plan.

Todd Durkin created a “DOSE of DURKIN” to motivate and inspire people through weekly text messages every Monday morning that infuse video, audio, or just plain text messages. They are guaranteed to get your mind right and fire-you up. Check out to OPT-IN and start receiving your FREE messages. 

Todd is also the President/CEO of Todd Durkin Enterprises where he conducts motivational keynotes/presentations, educational & leadership workshops, he operates a Mastermind Group for dedicated fitness entrepreneurs, and he presents internationally on health, fitness, peak performance, and success in life.

You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ToddDurkin, his FB Fan page at ToddDurkinFQ10, or sign up for his monthly motivational newsletter at You can get more information on his facility at or


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