Being able to recover after training quickly and effectively is a HUGE skill.
The work is done in the gym, but all the improvement in your body occurs while you recover.
After understanding this it’s clear to see:
Better recovery = Better gains
Below, we’ll be going through four ways to make sure your recovery is quick and effective after training.
Ease into your first workouts
A while back, I decided to hit the gym after a long time without working out.
A wiser person would have reduced the intensity of the workout, since it was the first one in a while, but not me…
I went through my standard workout, even pushing for some extra reps on my favourite exercises.
I left the gym pumped, feeling like I’d destroyed the workout. The next morning?
PAIN. My muscles were sore for a week and I was stuck lying around, making no progress.
If you’ve experienced this, then you can relate.
If not, you can enjoy laughing at – and hopefully learning from – my old rookie mistake.
When you haven’t trained in a while, reduce the intensity of your first workout. Then, slowly build it up to your desired level, workout by workout.
Studies show that elevated muscle growth only really occurs in the first 48 hours after the workout.
There’s no point doing a huge workout and then ending up at home all week.
You’re just missing out on potential improvement, in the gym or on the court.
Sufficient sleep to recover
As I’m sure you’ve heard before, sleep is key.
Not only will it help you achieve faster and higher quality recovery…
Also, the sleep you get the night before the next training session is vital for performance.
After exercise, at least 8 hours of sleep is recommended, for the best recovery.
But, sometimes that’s easier said than done. Trust me… I know.
One thing that has worked for me is sticking to a regular sleep schedule.
Try to go to bed on time so you can get enough hours of sleep before you start your day.
On a rest day, you can still do things to help your muscles recover faster.
This should not be anything intense, but should lightly exercise your muscles.
For instance, if your legs are sore, you can:
- Do some stretches/mobility training
- Go for a walk or a short/light jog
- Do some light skipping
This will help get blood flowing to your muscles.
As this happens, your muscles receive the nutrients they need and the metabolic waste is pushed out.
Nutrition for recovery
Not getting too much into details (as this is a whole topic of its own), what you put in your body after a workout is so important.
You need sufficient sources of carbohydrates.
If not, you won’t be able to restore enough glycogen (stored energy) to get you through your next workouts.
Getting enough protein in is a must, so you can effectively rebuild the muscles you have broken down.
Also, drinking enough water is essential for all bodily functions, and that includes recovery.
Additionally, the fascia (connective tissue between muscles) rely on adequate water supply.
Having hydrated fascia is key for the powerful muscle movements we are striving for when training.