Fuel the fire to train.
Recovery is meant to allow your body to rest and repair following training.
Recovery is something in training that has often been overcomplicated recently. We want to simply breakdown how you should properly be fuelling for your workouts, how to properly recover and how long to recover for.
1. East a balanced diet
It's really that simple. You should be consuming all three macro nutrients, which are: carbohydrates, protein and fats. This is going to allow for a positive environment for your body to recover and function optimally.
Protein intake is very important, but it's more individualized depending on your size, gender and a number of other variables. StrongerNow does provide protein advice and guidelines due to the fact that it's more individual specific.
2. Adequate hydration
Your body needs water to recover properly, and your muscles need it to produce muscular contractions.
Females should be drinking at least two and a half litres of water a day, and males should be drinking three litres of water a day. This will ensure that your body and muscles are staying adequately hydrated.
3. Get enough sleep
Your body also needs rest to recover. If you are not getting enough sleep, your muscles and nervous system will not properly recover. Make sure you are getting enough sleep every night, to where you are waking up and feeling well rested every morning.
This is very common, and one that we see very often. Overtraining creates a bad stress for you body, and we want good stresses that will create favourable adaptations, like muscular growth.
So, what happens if you spend three hours doing a strength training program and then run on the treadmill for an hour and a half? Well, your joints are going to be tighter and your body is going to start producing hormones that don't favour muscular gains. At this point, you're basically wasting your time and hurting yourself.
2. Alcohol consumption
Yes, unfortunately it's true. If you consume alcohol post workout, it can hinder your body's ability to produce and build muscle. If you enjoy going out on the weekends for a few beverages, it would be best to structure your heavy strength training days earlier on in the week.
3. Restrictive dieting
Your body needs fuel to help repair damaged tissues after a workout or strength training. Do not deprive your body of this.
If you're not fuelling enough to reach your desired effects, then you are essentially hurting yourself.
If you would like to add supplements into your training, this is very individual specific. But generally speaking, anything outside of adequate protein intake, amino acids and creatine, there isn't much research to support improvements in recovery and/or training capacity.
Essentially, unless you're going on a stage in a body building competition, you can stick to these simple rules.
2. Stretching, foam rolling, massage
These are great waysto produce mobility and decrease stiffness following a strength training program or workout. They should be tools that you can use to improve blood flow and allow the tissue to be repaired better. It's not necessarily going to decrease the soreness, but it will allow you to move and become more mobile as you recover.
- As training intensity and volume increases, so should your food intake.
- Adequate hydration is extremely important to avoid injuries and cramping.
- Tracking your quality and length of sleep helps to ensure that your body can adapt and see these performance improvements.
< Read Principal Four: Reversibility