Recover to Take your Fitness Level to the Next Level

Recovery from exercise training is an integral component of the overall training program and is essential for optimal performance and improvement. At the beginning of this semester, RecSports included this new class format to teach patrons the proper recovery methods and new techniques and tools to take their fitness routines to a new level.

We sat down with Kyle Gouding, Group Fitness Instructor for the first Recovery class offered at RecSports. Kyle is a senior, majoring in mechanical engineering. He is AFAA certified and also teaches Stadium Conditioning. During his spare time, Kyle enjoys traveling, participating in Tough Mudder events and developing his fitness knowledge.

RS: Why a Group Fitness Recovery class?
Kyle: RecSports Florida Fitness offers a wide range of intense Group Fitness and also Mind/Body classes. The Recovery class is part of the Mind/Body group and offers more active recovery methods, such as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, self-myofascial release and joint mobility work. A lot of people do the same stretches over and over, which is better than nothing. Over the summer and fall semesters, there has been a bigger push for a Recovery class offering in the spring. We do a lot of research on stretching exercises and techniques and incorporate it to the class.

RS: What is the format of the class?
Kyle: We start the class with a warm-up focused on the “topic” of the day. For example, if we are focusing on lower body and lower back, we do an easy warm-up followed by the “squat test” to see how flexible the class attendees are on that day. Then, we do some foam rolling. The foam roller is a cylinder made of dense foam used as a self-massage tool to release some of the scar tissues created during harder workouts, as well as stiff tissues and adhesions in connective tissues. We also do some PNF stretching, which is used to enhance our range of motion with the ultimate goal of optimizing our motor performance and rehabilitation. This method of stretching tricks the muscles into stretching and lengthening. We do some partner work and individual stretching. We also use some static stretching techniques and I like to incorporate tools such as the foam roller, yoga bands and much more. At the end of the class, we do the same “squat test” to see the progress made and show how effective stretching is. The class is really interactive and I welcome feedback and questions during and after the class. This interactive class is open to all levels and will give a total body recovery.

RS: What are the benefits of incorporating recovery to your training schedule/program?
Kyle: Everybody can benefit from the class as we really incorporate different movements for different needs. It helps with the athletic ability and performance. Recovery is very important to stay loose. We are sitting all day, which creates imbalances. Integrating stretching is important to restore flexibility and the muscle tissue quality. It will help you move better whether you are training for a 5K or lifting heavy weights. Guys that are doing a lot of lifting can actually see some real improvement in the weight room from integrating recovery to their workout program.

RS: How can recovery help you improve and stay injury free?
Kyle: It is crucial to anybody’s long-term fitness plan to incorporate some kind of day off and recovery day in the week. By allowing your body to properly recover, you let it regenerate, heal and will allow you to workout more, combat soreness and improve your performance whether you are running, deadlifting or becoming more mobile.

Other things that you can do to recover faster between your workouts:

  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet (check out GatorWell for more tips on nutrition)
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Sleep well (check out GatorWell for more tips on sleep improvement)

Are you ready to take your fitness routine to the next level? Check out the Recovery class! The class is offered at Southwest Recreation Center on Wednesdays, from 5 to 6 p.m. Registration opens 25 hours in advance.

Questions? Email us at


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