8 Tips to Increase Recovery from Your Workout
This article is on recovery and how you can optimize it. Most people focus on their workouts as the all-important factor in reaching their body goals. However, recovery is just as important as your actual workout.
In fact, improper recovery may reverse any gains made. By gains I mean progress in the form of results: fat loss, muscle gain, increased endurance, etc.
During a workout you actually tear your muscle fibers and damage them. Your muscles never grow during a workout, despite those wonderful feelings of having a large ‘pump’. Recovery, growth and repair happen after training. It can last up to 48-72 hours.
It is therefore vitally important that you take care of your body just as well outside of the gym. Here are some simple tips to increase recovery:
- Ensure your nutrition is right. Regardless of goal you should get in plenty of protein and enough healthy fats – (omega-3 fish-oils, krill oil, fatty fish, avocado, walnuts, flaxseeds or flaxseed oil, macadamia oil, coconut oil, eggs). Both of these macros are essential meaning they must come from your diet. Carbohydrates are strictly speaking not ‘essential’ but they are recommended in varying amounts. More carbs if your goals are training for endurance or muscle gain, less carbs if your goals are fat loss.
- Don’t go too low in calories for too long. Too low being 1000-1500. If you are ever below 1000, even 1200 – you better have a very good reason for this – i.e. you are tiny.
- If you’re having trouble getting in all your nutrients in via food after training then taking a recovery drink made up of proteins (with high BCAAs) and carbs can be convenient.
- Ensure you train intelligently and have some strategy in your workouts – meaning that you give all muscle groups attention, preferably at least twice a week. Periodize your workouts. Experiment with changes in tempo, rep ranges.
- Get some quality parasympathetic activity time, aka ‘rest time’. This could be treating yourself to a spa, massage, yoga, tai chi, laughing, meditating, meaningful relationships and discussions, reflecting upon life…you get the idea
- Stay hydrated and get in enough water.
- Replenish your electrolytes, especially during hot weather, during/after intense physical activity and generally when you sweat a lot. Electrolytes are the minerals lost during sweat. Get them through a proper recovery drink, through coconut water, through a high-veg intake with meals.
- Get in 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you go for periods of shorter sleep, take a day or 2 in the week where you sleep a little longer than usual.
I hope you enjoyed this article! If you have a specific question on this topic just hit me up.
Train hard, train smart!