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Recovery: Training Systems, Periodization, Rest, De-Stress, Mobility, Nutrition, and Sleep

Stew smith

Recovery: Training Systems, Periodization, Rest, De-Stress, Mobility, Nutrition, and Sleep

Recovery: There is more to being well-rested and ready to go than a good night's sleep. That is a big part of recovery for sure, but when you are training hard, you also have to train smart, add rest / easy days, eat well, and relax. In my opinion, recovery is represented well in the unscientific chart below: 

Sleep, Rest, Relax 50%
Nutrition 40%
Ice, Heat, Stretching, Mobility 5%
Gear, Massage, other Services 5%

Once You Realize That IT IS ALL ABOUT RECOVERY - You Got It...

Optimal Performance is the Mastery of Recovery 

BUT so is...

Longeivty is the Mastery of Recovery

You Have To Master All of the Elements of Recovery

With sleep and nutrition alone, our body is capable of recovering from physical stress to near perfect in a relatively short period of time.  Adding in some of the missing 10% options may have some positive effects on recovery and aiding in speed of recovery. BUT the absence or neglect of ANY of these recovery methods and your ability to recover is stunted to a point where the physical stress becomes chronic. 

The goal of adding stress to your life is to build a body and mind to bend but not break (aka resilience). To do this is a delicate balance of many elements. 

When training hard for an advanced level of fitness or athletics, the risk of over-training is real, but may not come from actually training.  Over-training symptoms can occur with a perfect balanced training program, but several days / nights of poor sleep and nutrition can cause many of the symptoms of over-training. Some of the symptoms we are trying to avoid when we actively pursue recovery are listed in the chart below:

Over the years, I have written and made podcasts on the many ways to actively pursue recovery. Besides good food and sleep, the creation of the mobility day has been life changing not only in myself and older athletes like myself, but the younger spec ops candidates as well.  See below for a complete list of recovery content that further explains better nutrition, hydration, sleep protocols, training, mobility, de-stressing, and more of the tools and recovery services available to consider:

 Recovery Articles

The Balance of Life, Work, Stress, and Training

Plateaus, Slumps, Dealing with Stress and Anxiety

Change Your Life with This ONE Mobility Workout Per Week

Stress Mitigation Recovery Methods (article / video)

Inexpensive Recovery Tools

Five Ways to De-stress

Recovery and Building Back a Fitness Program

A Smart Way to Train - But Not the ONLY Way to Train Either

Consider These FOUR Types of Recovery Days (Great Options)

Recovery Week Before You Take the PST

Nutrition - Eat, Sleep, Recover

Beginner Fitness - Don't Overdo It at First - Treat Yourself Like a Beginner

The Missing Link to Recovery

Stressful Week Training Options

Training with Mobility


Try a System's Check Workout When You Are Not 100%

Fitness in Your 40- and 50s - It Can Get Better But There Are NEW RULES

Stress Mitigation

Adding Mobility to Your Training Week

Importance of Planning Nutrition Week

Recovery from Intensive Training

Recovery Tools of the Trade

Hydrating for Life and Performance

How to Combat Stress with Fitness

The Importance of Sleep to Stress Recovery

Working Out Fatigued or Taking a Recovery Day?

Mobility Day - Once again, if you have never listened to anything I have written or said, add this to your life ONCE a week. It is life changing.  

Recovery Podcasts

Tactical Fitness Report 183 - Exercise & Stress Recovery for LEO, Medical Pros, First Responders, etc

Tactical Fitness Report 182 - Periodization & Nutrition Discussion with Nick Shaw of 

Tactical Fitness Report 177 - Common Injuries / Injury Prevention with Dr. Kyle Krupa DPT of

Tactical Fitness Report 174 - Mind Body Connection with

Tactical Fitness Report 168 - Stress Mitigation with BASE-R ® Method

Tactical Fitness Report 164 - Deload Phase 

Tactical Fitness Report 136 - What Happens During Recovery with Jeff Nichols

Tactical Fitness Report 135 - Recovery from Challenging Long Ops - Fire Service

Tactical Fitness Report 122 - Recovery Products - Compression Gear

Tactical Fitness Report 121 - Injury Prevention #4 - Post Workout Recovery

Tactical Fitness Report 120 - Injury Prevention #3 - During Workout Phase

Tactical Fitness Report 119 - Injury Prevention #2 - Pre-workout Phase

Tactical Fitness Report 118 - Injury Prevention (Footwear) - How do you prevent injuries? Can you even prove it when you do? Are you just lucky? Jeff Nichols and Stew Smith discuss many ways to avoid and prevent injuries through quality gear, smart training, and knowing your body.

Tactical Fitness Report 117
 - Stew Smith and Jeff Nichols discuss preparing for Sleep Deprivation of special ops selection programs. Can you prepare for not sleeping long periods of time? Should you? 

Tactical Fitness Report 111 - Stew Smith and Jeff Nichols discuss nutrition and food that fuels for tough workouts, special ops prep, and days in selection.

Tactical Fitness Report 106 - New Rules for Tactical Fitness Over 40!  Know these important rules that will help you into the next decade if in the zone!

Tactical Fitness Report 102 - Working the Night Shift - How to maneuver though long days and nights, missed sleep, stress, food intake?

Tactical Fitness Report 79 - Sleep at BUD/S or Selection Programs

 Tactical Fitness Report 45 - Tactical Periodization Training - 52 Week Cycles

Tactical Fitness Report 44 - Food - Performance Recommendations With Jeff and Stew

Tactical Fitness Report 37 - Recovery from Injury and Illness

Tactical Fitness Report 35 - Avoid Stress and Over Training with Jeff and Stew

Tactical Fitness Report 34 - OverTraining - Under Recovery.  Chronic Levels with Jeff and Stew

 Tactical Fitness Report 31 - Recovery at BUD/S - Jeff Nichols and Stew Smith discuss all the details and ways to help you take care of yourself in challenging / stressful selection programs:

There is More to Than You May Know

Dive deeper into the world of Tactical Athlete training and mental toughness by exploring Stew Smith Fitness Programming for the Tactical Athlete online store. Uncover the strategies and techniques used by elite forces to push past physical and mental barriers. Visit now and equip yourself with the tools for success for many special ops level selection programs in the military and police world. 

Getting TO the training does not guarantee you get THROUGH the training. Learn about the two phases of tactical fitness you need to develop thoroughly before getting to BUDS. Check out the Online Course - Getting TO and THROUGH Special Ops Selection.

Who is Stew Smith? Coach, Trainer, Author, Podcaster 

I'm the former Navy SEAL that special ops candidates go to for books, ebooks and online coaching to prepare themselves to get to and through intense tactical assessment and selection programs and qualify for service in their chosen tactical profession.  See More at

Where to Find More Information About Optimal Performance Training Programs

When you start training again, consider the seasonal tactical fitness model.  I call it A WAY to train and obviously not the only way to train. But it offers the opportunity to never neglect your weaknesses, helps with flexibility and mobility, but will also put you at a level of physical abilities where you are happy with your overall ability to just about anything. We have a systems where the seasons dictate our training. When it is nicer outside, we tend to run and do more calisthenics.  When it is colder and not so nice, we lift more, run, less, and still maintain our outdoor activities with shorter runs and rucks. Check it out: Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization System.  

My most recent programs that walk you through these four cycles with 12 weeks of each season in two programs. 

These Seasonal Tactical Fitness BLOCK Periodization programs will walk you through 4 x 4 weeks cycles with 16 weeks of each season in two programs. (32 total weeks)

The Specific Military / Special Ops Physical Fitness Workouts Where Optimal Performance Will Be Tested Each Day

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT
Navy SWCC Workout

Army PFT Workout (Prep For Rucking, OPAT, ACFT)
Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout
Army Air Assault School Workout
Army Airborne Workout


Advanced Running Program - Special Ops Supplement Plan
USMC OCS / TBS Workout


The Combat Conditioning Workout
Air Force PJ / CCT Workout  Battlefield Airman Prep Course
The UBRR Upper Body Round Robin Workout / Spec Ops version


The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer / Navy SAR Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Boot Camp Workout


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Workouts

The FBI Academy Workout  |   FBI Workout Vol 2  
The DEA Workout
The FLETC Workout - Ace the PEB
The PFT Bible: Pushups, Sit-ups, 1.5 Mile Run
The Fire Fighter Workout - Ace the CPAT


Online Coaching Options

Online PT CLUB - Weekly Workouts created personally for you.

New Member's Only Content / Services Program!

If you want access to years worth of workouts, many of the top eBOOKs, favorite workouts of the week, free fitness APP, closed Facebook Group, video / picture library of exercises, and more access to LIVE Q/A sessions check out the Stew Smith Fitness Members Section

The dashboard below has the links to all the information, archives, videos, and links to workouts, podcasts, live Q and A lessons. 

Consider this! - A Membership Program and Gain Access to Exclusive Content
(click for Fitness Club Dashboard - members only)

Best of all, if you have questions, email Stew Smith himself (  Join the tactical fitness group discussions, latest articles, videos, podcasts at the Stew Smith Tactical Fitness Training Closed Group on Facebook.


Questions?  Just email -

At - List of Products and Services

  1. FREE Articles
  2. Podcasts and Swimming Videos (Youtube, TikTok, Instagram)
  3. eBooks
  4. Books and eBooks in PRINT
  5. Stew Smith Fitness Club membership site
  6. Online Coaching  

Stew Smith Fitness 


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