When it comes to building your new body you need to realize from day one that hitting the workouts is only one part of the complete process or cycle. See, when you go and work out and train your muscles, especially when you do heavy weight training, you are actually breaking down your muscle causing micro-tears. Don’t worry, it sounds worse than it is and in fact, this breaking down of your muscle is exactly what we want because this leads to the second part to building bigger, stronger muscles, THE RECOVERY PHASE.
Skip or get the recovery phase of your muscle building program wrong and you will never see any real gains or even worse, end up with some serious muscle damage that can sideline you for weeks due to over training.
Below I am going to reveal 4 steps you can take to make sure you recover faster from your workouts, NATURALLY!
For some reason you don’t see this a lot anymore in modern gyms but a few years ago almost all the gyms I went to had a COLD splash pool that you can jump in straight after your workouts. You will also find these cold pools or baths at almost all professional sporting stadiums for professional athletes to use straight after a match. BUT WHY? It’s simple really. Cold water reduces the inflammation from a hard workout or match. Less inflammation means less repair work and faster recovery. This is also why you should put something cold ASAP on a muscle strain or sprain asap.
But when it comes to working out, going for a cold bath ( 10 to 12 minutes in a bath with normal cold tap water is enough, no need for extra ICE ) can help you reduce the effect of DOMS by up to 40%. That means you can recover almost 50% faster by doing this simple step as soon as possible after your workouts.
So you have just broken down your muscle, in the same way a construction company will break down an old wall if they want to build a brand new stronger one in its place, and do you know what is the very first thing they will need to start building that new wall; high quality bricks, the building blocks of construction! And in the same way the fastest way you are going to repair and rebuild your broken down muscle is with food, particularly protein, the building block of muscle.
In simple terms, if you don’t take in enough calories and protein when you are doing some heavy muscle building your body won’t have the resources to recover.
So one of the things you need to do after your workout is to get some good protein and some carbs into your body.
Now for those of you who don’t know, I actually started out my career in the health and fitness industry as a sports therapist and for the first few years work as rehab specialist and sports massage therapist. In short I was helping sports people recover faster from injuries and help prevent them from getting any as much as possible by doing things like sports massaging fors 6 to 8 hours a day to help them recover from matches or heavy workouts by manipulating their soft tissue ( Muscle in other words ) to remove toxins, increase flexibility and bring nutrients to the area faster. This all helped with one thing, faster recovery times so that they can train harder, have less injuries and so get better results and perform at a higher level.
Now if you can get a massage once per week, GREAT! But most of us don’t have that luxury so what to do? Well you can get similar benefits to a massage from using a foam roller to “massage yourself”. Try and hit all the major areas like your quads, glutes, lower back etc with a simple 5 to 10 minute rolling session.
Last but definitely not least is the easiest and probably the most important thing you can do to speed up your recovery, SLEEP!
Research has shown that sleep is particularly important as it enhances muscular recovery through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release. It also helps to restore brain function and alertness in preparation for intense training sessions.
So try and get at least 7 to 8 hours sleep per night and make no mistake, if you do not prioritize sleep, you recovery and results WILL suffer.