Dr. Aaron Baggish, MD
Sports Cardiologist at MGH
Hey Andrew, this is Dr. Baggish. Your question, what uncommon or controversial fitness practice do you believe are highly effective? Really caught my attention, and I wanted to share with you my thoughts. As someone that has the opportunity to work with a lot of high level athletes who are coached by some of the world's best coaches, one of the things I see, not practice with nearly enough attention is the concept of annual periodicity. And this is really stepping back and thinking about a full year calendar and as it relates to performance as well as health. The rough rule of thumb we use in our practice is that when you think about a 12 year calendar, at least three months out of that 12 month year should be spent in a phase of active recovery, which we define as decreasing both volume and intensity by at least 50%. The truth is that most fit people do the same thing over and over, day in day, out week in week out. And while this may help maintain some baseline level of fitness, it really is not the key to optimizing performance nor is it the key to long term health. So in essence, stepping back and thinking about the full year and designating times of high volume high intensity as well as times of rest and recovery is really one of the most controversial and uncommonly practiced things I see. I hope that helps and keep the questions coming.