Do you know what it takes for your muscles to grow? The vast majority of people believe that it is only important to lift, lift, and lift. The more you lift, the bigger the muscles will be. But, that is only partially correct. You have to be aware of the fact that muscle growth starts when you stop lifting, and it cannot happen without the right recovery procedure. Muscles grow after the gym. And that’s why you need to maximize post-workout recovery effects. You’re not so sure how to do that? Then take a look below at six ways to maximize your post-workout recovery.
Go that extra mile
We’ve all heard of that old saying ‘No pain, no gain!’ and most of the fitness ‘masters’ who regularly abuse the motto struggle to rack a one-rep max bench press. That usually happens when people irrationally push themselves beyond their limits. And that’s why you absolutely need to know how far you should push. Yes, you need to push yourself, and try harder, but do not overdo it! According to numerous fitness pros, you have to egg the muscle on just enough to make that much needed stimulus for muscle growth, without completely destroying it to the point where your muscle hurts like hell for a few days. Instead, push yourself past your comfort zones. Try to do more than you did in the workout before. You have to know how exactly to go that extra mile.
It’s plain and simple – focus your attention more on pre workout and post workout nutrition. When it comes to the pre workout meal, make sure that you get high-quality, lean protein along with some complex carbohydrates. This has to be a priority, especially if you’re into HIIT workouts. Having a shake is a great post workout meal. Why? You need that protein, and you need those carbohydrates to replenish glycogen levels and restore energy. This may sound a bit complicated, but you just need to make sure that you always have a hand-picked few groceries at home, a quality protein shake, and a reliable food processor such as the Kitchen Aid. The rest is easy. You can mix and blend various powders with certain fruits or foods for a better taste, and that’s it! You have a perfect meal that will give you an edge in and out of the gym.
Recovery time between workouts
Due to the delayed onset muscle soreness, also known as DOMS, you have to devote an ample amount of time to rest between workouts. After you lift weights, you start feeling the DOMS and most inexperienced gym-goers believe that the more their muscles hurt, the better the training sessions were. But, believe it or not, this isn’t exactly how the whole soreness thing works. DOMS results in muscle tenderness, stiffness and reduced joint range of motion, muscle flexibility and force production for about 24 hours after you’re finished with the training. Failing to compensate for muscle fiber damage and going back to the gym prematurely only increases your risk of getting injured. Therefore, ensure that you have 24 to 72 hours of rest between intense training sessions involving the same musculature.
The importance of sleep
Fail to get a good night’s sleep, and you’ll mess up both the next day’s training, and the next day in general. It has been proven that lack of adequate sleep decreases tolerance to training, alters mood and increases perception of fatigue. It also negatively impacts physiological mechanisms that are in charge of adaptation from the stresses of training. Moreover, hormonal production during sleep is among the most important factors that impact recovery. So, do your best to develop a regular sleeping routine. That means going to bed at a similar time each night of the week. It would be great if you could also keep away from smartphones and TVs some thirty minutes before actually turning in. The preferable amount of sleep time that you should get is 8 hours.
You’ve probably heard this one, but it has to be emphasized once again. Dehydration harms your performance potential along with the recovery process. When you exercise, your body needs more water and electrolytes. According to health professionals around the globe, the minimum amount of fluid intake per day for males should be 3.7L per day and 2.7L per day for females. Therefore, drink up and get that minimum dose at least. Remember that you lose a lot of water through sweat! There are no excuses; you have to hydrate your body properly.
Getting a massage can do wonders for your body, especially after a tiring training session. Massage from a professional can reduce muscle stiffness, promote blood circulation, and induce a state of relaxation in the muscle. Even though the massage itself can be painful, you get to remove scar tissue, adhesions in the muscle, and restrictions in the fascia. So, find a professional who can (preferably) foam roll over all the major muscle groups. It is important that you take extra care of sensitive spots. Then, apply direct pressure until the pain peters out.
Every fitness professional knows how important it is to do everything in their power to somehow enhance the gym progress. Following the tips above will surely have beneficial effects on both your health and gym progress.