The Road to Recovery
Why do you go to the gym? To increase your strength? Improve your fitness? Size up? Slim down? Whatever your reason, it’s important to remember you’re there to stimulate your muscles, not annihilate them.
A common mistake people make is working their muscles way too much, particularly those who hit the gym to develop their strength and size. The whole ‘no pain no gain’ thing – drop sets, forced reps, supersets, cheat reps, negatives etc.
Chasing that pain is not needed. Neither is flogging your muscles until they simply don’t work anymore.
When was the last time you saw somebody running on a treadmill until they literally fell off, only to have their partner pick them back up and move their legs for them in the hope it will increase their fitness further? Never? I thought so!
NOT ENOUGH REST
Time spent outside the gym is just as important as time spent inside the gym. Training too frequently or not getting enough sleep will greatly affect your recovery and hinder your progress.
Try to hit each muscle group two or three times a week and get eight hours of quality sleep a night.
Have a ‘digital detox’ about an hour before bedtime. Light from electronic devices like tablets and phones tells the brain – much like daylight – to wake up, so they should be avoided towards bedtime. This will also help you relax and not stress about work emails, Facebook and Instagram likes!
NOT EATING ENOUGH
You need protein and calories to help your recovery. If you don’t have these in place then the build will be unable to repair itself.
Look to eat around 1-1.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight spread throughout the day.
Keep pre-workout stretching dynamic and relevant to the training session. Post workout stretching should be static and held for 10-20 seconds to develop flexibility.
Doing activities that are less strenuous like walking, swimming, playing basketball etc are great ways to keep moving, loosen off and burn a little energy while you are at it.
Moving aching muscles will help remove toxins and push nutrients into them aiding in recovery.
Follow these basic points and you’re road to recovery will be less painful and diversion free.