Hey Angels and Alphas,
Many regular gym-goers spend an immeasurable amount of time stressing over how fast they recover. And while that’s all well and good, they rarely pay attention to how productive their recovery actually is.
If you’re constantly banging out sets after sets and giving your body no rest with every workout, this exhaustion accumulates over time, and your body will focus its energy on repairing the damages instead of growing new muscle.
Just because you gave your body 48 hours of recovery, doesn’t mean that stress isn’t slowly building up inside your body. The trick is to always work out hard enough to push yourself to your edges and doing more than you did last time, but not demolishing yourself completely.
That being said, I want to give you 3 practical tips on how to make your recovery smoother, more comfortable, and more productive. I’m sharing this with you to hopefully help you break through a plateau and start making steady progress, or to just help you recover better from your last intense workout.
In this article, we’re not just going to be talking about the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) you experience after a workout.
These are tips you can use to alleviate the built-up stress that accompanies long, stretched out periods of daily training.
#1 POST-WORKOUR COOLDOWN.
Even though this is only one part of the equation, it’s a big one. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing cardio or banging off sets with the weights – you have to make sure you spend at least 10 minutes before a workout to warm up, and 10 minute after a workout to stretch your muscles and cool off before you head over to the locker room.
Stretching will ultimately help reduce the post-workout muscle soreness you experience. Another option you can add to your post-workout cooldown routine is foam rolling, proven to decrease muscle soreness and improve recovery. If you are able to add these elements to a routine and perform it consistently, you’re not only going to be decreasing the soreness you experience after a workout, but you’ll be able to decrease the amount of stress that’s ultimately building up inside your body.
#2 ACTIVE REST.
On your rest days, your give your body a chance to get a break from the gym.
On those days, it’s a great idea to perform some light physical activity like going for a walk, riding a bike, or swimming a few laps. This is known as active recovery, and it helps you relieve muscle tightness and stimulate blood flow and circulation in the body – both critical factors in your recovery process.
Once again, this will not only help you decrease muscle soreness, but it will also help alleviate a lot of the physical and mental stress that builds up in your body when you go long periods without a break or deload.
#3 PUT YOUR NUTRITION ON LOCK.
Your pre and post-workout nutrition play a major role in your recovery and the tissue-rebuilding process after your workout. So choose your foods wisely.
Focus on high-quality protein and complex carbohydrates around two hours before a workout session to make sure you’re giving your body enough time to digest them effectively. Many reports also show that taking BCAAs before/after a workout encourages efficient absorption in the muscles.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS…
And so between active rest, stretching, and proper nutrition, few things make for a quicker, more productive recovery process. Gone are the days of muscle soreness, post-workout tightness, and overtraining plateaus… and for you, it can be as simple as a pre-workout meal and a few minutes of foam rolling. Just keep those three tips in mind when you’re planning an intense workout – thank me later!