What you do in the recovery phase of your training is just as, if not more, important as the actual training activities.
Now I think most of us know that, but most of us have no clue what you’re supposed to do when it comes to recovering.
As you’ll see, recovering right is crucial to getting the most out of your training.
Lesson #1 – WHY It’s Important to Focus on Muscle Recovery
In “Weight Lifting and Post Exercise Muscle Recovery,” the author, Dr. John Berardi, who has his doctorate in the field of exercise biology and nutritional biochemistry, elaborates on why it’s important to pay attention to muscle recovery:
…the only way to get improve your muscle size and muscle strength is to allow adequate recovery time between performing exercises with the same muscle groups. Without adequate recovery of calcium balance, muscle energy, and muscle protein content, your muscle force will be lower with each subsequent workout, thereby reducing the quality of the workout in terms of the weight lifted… unless you wait until full structural recovery occurs, you will simply be destroying the new muscle tissue being formed to replace the damaged tissue.
Looks like this recovery stuff is serious business.
Lesson #2 – Products that Can Help You with Proper Muscle Recovery
The How To Truly Know If You’re Recovering… article is meant to educate you on the importance of muscle recovery, but it’s also meant to promote a product that can help you set proper muscle recovery times.
The product is called RestWise.
It’s is an online software that helps you make sure you’re giving yourself proper rest between workouts.
I’m not advertising their product, as I have no ties to it.
If you’re interested in shopping for other products, feel free to do so.
I encourage it, matter of fact.
Lesson #3 – It’s VITAL to Get the “Right” Amount of Recovery In
Ben went on to explain exactly why it’s so important that you get the right amount of recovery:
Too little recovery, and you slowly grind yourself into an insidious, perpetual state of over-reaching. Push this condition too far and you’re facing full-blown over-training. Too much recovery, and you never introduce enough stimulus/stress to trigger physiological adaptation. You never get fitter, stronger and faster.
If what he’s saying is true, you’d be best served to make sure you’re recovering properly ASAP.
Besides, if you’re not trying to get bigger, stronger, and faster, why are you even training to begin with?
Lesson #4 – There’s A lot of Factors that Go Into Figuring Out Proper Recovery Time
Ben mentions that there’s several factors you should consider when figuring out your optimal recovery time.
If you want to go deeper into the science of why these factors are important, make sure you check out his article.
Below are most of the factors, along with a brief explanation:
Resting Heart Rate
Ben says that the resting heart rate should be monitored either while you’re sleeping, or the first thing in the morning, prior to getting out of bed.
Apparently, its a common misnomer that an elevated resting heart rate implicates overttraining.
Ben says that’s not necessarily the case; it can also come from stress or anxiety.
You need to track your body mass, because a rapid loss in body mass (2% or greater) will negatively affect your mental and physical performance.
Related: Mental Preparation for Athletes
Ben also mentions that rapid loss of body mass negatively affects your body’s ability to repair itself while your in the midst of intense training.
You may want to consider checking your body mass before you eat breakfast in the morning.
This can help you make sure you’re getting the right amounts of fluid and energy sources, both of which will help improve your recovery.
He cautions against just weighing yourself to check your body mass.
Why? Because your level of hydration, regularity, and the type of foods you’ve been eating all make a difference in how much you weigh.
We’ve talked about the importance of sleep before here at G2TL, so I won’t go into too much detail on this one.
Let’s just say that it matters, and you want to get 6-8 hours per night on a consistent basis.
Ben reports that a dehydration level of 2% or more can hurt your mental and physical performance.
He goes on to mention that your hydration level also affects body temperature, your immune system, as well as your cardiac output, and all three impact your ability to recover from training.
Most of us know that your urine color is an indicator of your level of hydration.
Ben mentions that there are three-stage color urine indicators that can be used to gauge hydration levels as well.
Click below to check out part two, where we take a look at the rest of the factors that play into figuring out your ideal recovery time.:
Did you already know how important recovering was to your training progress? If so, who taught you about that?
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Reference web pages:
How To Truly Know If You’re Recovering From Your Workouts (via bengreenfieldfitness.com)
Pieces of the Puzzle – Part 4 – 9 Ways to Renew, Recovery and Feel Your Best (via innovative-results.com)
After Exercise – Does an Ice Water Bath Speed Recovery? (via sportsmedicine.about.com)
Weight Lifting and Post Exercise Muscle Recovery (via precisionnutrition.com)
Muscle Recovery: Self Myofascial Release (shawnhorwoodfitness.com)
After the Workout: Restoration (via bodybuilding.com)