The 100 Point Recovery Points System

Recovery Points System
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In my previous blog post, I wrote about the What, Why and How of all things recovery, uncovering the tools I use with professional athletes to optimise recovery to facilitate the highest levels of performance.

In this blog I am going to show you the system I use to ensure my athletes have a quick and simple way to take ownership of their own recovery. It is called the 100 Point Recovery System. As part of this system, each recovery modality is assigned a numerical value based on its effectiveness. These values have been manipulated over the years based upon both research and the perceived value athlete’s attach to it. A hugely misunderstood element of recovery is the psychological effect varying modalities.

Take a look at the following table to see how each recovery modality is scored;

Points Modality
30 8-10 hours high quality sleep
30 Hit daily nutritional & hydration targets
25 30 min pool recovery - light swim, walking, stretching
25 30-45 min massage
20 30 minute active recovery session - foam roll, mobility, light bike
20 6-8 hours compression tights
20 Contrast bathing - 3 sets of 3 minutes COLD, 3 minutes WARM
15 30-60 minutes spent relaxing with friends & family
15 30-60 minutes light walk
15 10-20 minutes relaxation - mindfulness, breathing drills

The aim of the recovery system is to total 100 points or more within a 24-hour period after a training day or game. As you can see from the table, a larger point score is assigned to the elements of recovery which form the foundation of effective recovery.

Some modalities that may surprise you to see included within the system include relaxing with friends and family. The positive psychological impact of activities such as this are extremely important to promote psychological and emotional recovery alongside physical recovery. The same can be said for 10-20 minutes relaxation including activities such as mindfulness and breathing drills. Taking time to escape daily stresses associated with both training/sport and everyday life is widely undervalued. Plus, specific breathing drills can have a massive impact on your performance levels.

Here is an example of how an athlete recently used the system to recovery effectively post game to be ready to train 36 hours later.

Sunday 17:00: Away fixture finishes

Sunday 17:30: Compression tights put on for journey home and to sleep in (25 POINTS) & optimal post-match nutrition & hydration (30 POINTS)

Sunday 21:30: Arrive home, continue optimal nutrition/hydration & complete 15 minutes mindfulness/breathing drills to facilitate falling asleep (15 POINTS)

Sunday 23:00: Fall to sleep

Monday 08:30: Wake up after 9.5 hours unbroken sleep (30 POINTS) **100 POINTS**

Monday 09:00: Continue optimal nutrition with breakfast and throughout day

Monday 10:00: Pool recovery (25 POINTS)

Monday 18:00: Meal with friends & family (15 POINTS)

Tuesday 07:30: 30 minutes massage prior to training day (25 POINTS)

Tuesday 09:00: Begin training day

As you can see from the example, 100 points were achieved very easily within 15.5 hours and 165 points were achieved before the next training day. You may look at that and think it’s easy for a professional athlete but knock the day back to Saturday and it would be very easy to apply this recovery routine following your Saturday afternoon fixture to set you up for a good week’s training come Monday.

Print off the table and give the system a go, noting how you feel 24 hours later and how you perform the following week!

About the Author

Alex Morrell (MSc, BSc (Hons), MCSP) is a Sports Physiotherapist working in international and professional rugby alongside private practice. He has a keen interest in all things training & performance from his sports science/S&C background. (@theonlinephysiocoach)

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