If you want to see maximum results from your workouts and the greatest change in body composition (decrease in fat, increase in muscle mass) you must understand how proper recovery is absolutely an essential component of your overall training program.
Studies have proven when the rate of recovery is improved, higher training volumes and intensity are possible without experiencing the negative effects of overtraining. Proper recovery also attributes to mental wellbeing and increases one’s ability to deal with emotional, and psychological stress.
1. The foundation of all recovery is a proper sleep schedule that includes 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night (for adults). Studies* have shown that those who sleep less than 7 hours per night lost up to 55% less weight than participants in the study who followed the exact same diet and exercise regimen. Additionally those who slept less reported feeling significantly hungrier and less satisfied after meals, they also lacked energy for exercise compared to the participants who had slept over 7 hours.
2. When strength training is the focus of your program an increased protein intake is necessary for adequate recovery. Those who consume amino acids, in the form of complete proteins, post exercise were found to have a decreased inflammatory response to training and increased recovery from protein synthesis.
3. Supplement with EAA’s (Essential amino acids) during and after training. EAA’s have been proven to reduce muscle fatigue, speed recovery, and decrease the loss of other amino acids from muscle during exercise. They have also been shown to help the body absorb protein.
4. Consider taking tumeric, it contains curcuminoids, an antioxidant widely used as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever that has proven to reduce inflammation and increase muscle recovery.
5. Use active recovery techniques such as mobility work or any cardio vascular exercise you enjoy doing. These types of activities while on a strength training program will help increase recovery by stimulating blood flow and improving circulation to the muscles.
6. Utilize massage, foam rolling, ART, yoga or other muscle release techniques to decrease post workout inflammation, tightness and muscle soreness, ideally performed 2-6 hours post exercise.
*Annals of Internal Medicin