Many people know that recovery is important. So important in fact, that all growth and physical improvements occur during this stage of training. These 5 lessons are key to recovering from training.
1. Don’t skip the cool down: This plays a huge part in the recovery of your body, especially over the first few hours. A proper cool down moves blood and nutrients around your body, and waste out. This is done by the muscles, which act as a pump each time they flex and move. Optimization of tissue recovery is critical, as muscles and fascia are ready to absorb nutrients for growth and repair. Also, if you are doing another workout within 24 hours (especially 2-a-days), your muscles need to be replenished rapidly to perform well.
2. Get food in your system ASAP: Another huge factor is the speed and quality of the food that goes into your body after a workout. As stated above, your body is looking for nutrients immediately after a workout in order to absorb nutrients and see the best growth. If you crush some carbs (to boost insulin, which helps the body absorb even faster, and renew glycogen stores), protein (to supply the body with amino acids), and other healthy vitamins, minerals, and more (Phytonutrients, enzymes, etc), you will be providing the body with the best environment to recover! Think of your body as a brick tower. Workouts tear it down and cause damage, and it is your bodies job to repair and improve. If you give a builder a good ratio of bricks (amino-acids), cement (nutrients), and workers (insulin and proper cool down), you can move along quickly and create a huge, solid tower in no time.
3. Hydrate: We all know that we need to be drinking water. 8 glasses a day, right? WRONG! Not for elite athletes, thats for sure. So I did some research, and this is what I learned:
8 is just a generic guideline. Great starting point, but we need more than generic as high performance athletes. To start with, you need your bodyweight (KG) in ounces. I am 78 (or so) kg, so I need 9.75 glasses of water. Now add more for each hour of exercise, every coffee or any alcohol. Also, if you are sweating/urinating/living, you need electrolytes. Lets keep this simple, just use some electrolyte drink tab or drops. My favourite is Elete Electrolytes, as they don’t use any additives or toxic sweeteners. There you go, your going to cramp less, recover faster, and move better
4. Be the DD tonight: I know many athletes spend their weekends at the bar. This is terrible when you are trying to recover from a workout, especially a hard one. Alcohol increases estrogen (bad for recovery and athletics) and decreases testosterone and growth hormones (the reason guys on steroids can recover so fast and train more). Also, alcohol-filled nights tend to go hand-in-hand with lack of sleep. Oh and did I mention that your growth hormones double when you are sleeping? So you crushed the heavy weights today, congrats. But you only got 3 hours of sleep, so no wonder you aren’t getting stronger.
5. I just realized how late it was, so I am off to bed! Gotta get my HGH up!!