It's easy to get caught up in chasing higher and higher numbers on the barbell during workout sessions, and giving 110% to every repetition in the gym; however, to a large degree it is what you do after your workouts that determines their success. With this in mind, consider the following essential features of any effective recovery.
The stretching and cool-down portion of your workout is the first step in your recovery process. Stretching will help to remove harmful lactic acid from your muscles and help you to avoid stiffness in the days that follow your workout. Next time, rather than simply going through the motions, ensure that you devote as much attention to your post-workout stretching as you did to the workout itself: you will be ready to train again sooner and will also minimise your risk of injury – the number one enemy of muscle gains.
Everyone has different sleep requirements but few people are more in need of a good nights' sleep than strength trainers and bodybuilders. It is during sleep that the human body produces the bulk of its human growth hormone (HGH), so to maximise the benefits of your workout, aim for at least 8 hours of sleep. If your schedule allows, naps are also great for recovery and maximising your strength and muscle gains.
You only get out of your body what you put into it: with this in mind, remember that post-workout nutrition does not end with your protein shake in the gym. Ensure that you are supplying your body with a steady stream of nutrients in the hours and days following each workout and that you are not only meeting your daily protein requirements but packing in nutrient dense fruits and leafy green vegetables, too.
Perhaps the most neglected of all facets of post-workout recovery is massage. A regular deep tissue massage from an experienced professional makes for an incredible addition to any athlete's recovery, alleviating muscle stiffness and soreness and accelerating the recovery of the damaged tissue by improving blood flow to the areas damaged by your workout.
If a regular massage is outside of your current budget, consider investing in a foam roller. Foam rollers work in the same way as deep tissue massages, but are self-administered by simply rolling the desired muscles over the firm roller's surface. Available for as little as $20, foam rollers are hard to beat as an investment in your training and recovery routine. For smaller muscles in the arms, a tennis ball can be used similarly to reach deeper muscle tissue and release tension, restoring normal range of motion and reducing the affects of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Good luck, and keep making those gains!Share
28 March 2017
Hello, my name is Catherine and this is my blog all about health and medical topics. I was inspired to start this blog by my husband who works in a hospital. He isn't a doctor, he works in a lab testing blood samples. However, he is extremely interested in medicine. When his grandma got sick, he quickly established what might be wrong and got her all the help she needed. Sometimes is the evening, we sit and read textbooks and talk about medicine. It sounds insane but we both really like it. I decided to start this blog to show off some of what I have learnt.