You’ve made it through another intense work-out!
Pat yourself on the back and strut to the change room!
The best part of your training program is next- Rest and recovery!
Don’t leave out this important step between strength sessions!
Read on to learn about the 4 Pillars of Strength Training Recovery!
The Gains Cycle
Strength training works through three steps Stress, Recovery and Adaptation.
When your trainer is putting you through a grueling workout they are intentionally pushing the limits of your physical ability, temporarily causing neuromuscular fatigue.
A good trainer will do this safely without injury.
Immediately following the stress of a workout, performance declines.
With adequate rest and nutrition, the body regenerates and re-establishes homeostasis at a new level better able to cope with the activity that initially disrupted homeostasis.
Recovery is an essential part of athletic training.
Once the body adapts, the previous training stress is no longer capable of triggering the need for recovery and adaptation.
All training involves placing greater stresses on the body as it adapts to prior training loads in order to induce further improvements in performance.
Additional progress requires greater stress, additional recovery and so on!
Four Pillars of Strength Training Recovery
Researchers describe four major processes involved in recovery from training:
1. Hydration and Nutrition
The primary goals of hydration and nutrition during recovery from intense training are to replenish water and glycogen stores and facilitate muscle repair.
You should aim to replace fluid loss plus 20-50% (determined by pre- and post- exercise body weight) over the first 6 hours following training.
To replace glycogen you should consume carbohydrates following a workout with the greatest benefit being in the 6 hours following a workout.
Adequate intake of protein (including essential branch chain amino acids) and other nutrients is essential for muscle recovery. General recommendations for maintaining lean muscle mass include consuming 10 to 20 g of quality protein within the first hour following any intense training, and consuming approximately 1.5 to 2 g/kg per day of quality protein during extended periods of athletic training.
Of course, an individual nutritional requirements can vary substantially depending on intensity of training, age, and other factors.
Recruit help to create a meal plan to meet your goals and prepare ahead.
2. Sleep and Rest
Aim for 7-8 hours of restorative sleep nightly with more hours before midnight being more effective than those after.
Accomplish this by maintaining a nighttime routine before bed.
Dim lights and avoid screens 1-2 hours before bed.
If you suffer from insomnia or are a light sleeper, consider adding a supplement before bed such as Magnesium or Melatonin.
3. Relaxation and Emotional Support
Working out is stressful causing your adrenal glands to release your body’s natural stress hormone cortisol!
In order for your muscles to recover, your adrenals need a rest too!
Avoid grabbing a double espresso post-workout and instead grab your protein shake and take an Epsom salt bath or spend some time meditating in an infrared sauna!
Take a stroll through the park with your dog
4. Soft Tissue Work and Active Recovery
You need both mobility, flexibility and stability to move well, remain pain free and avoid injury. A simple tip would be to include dynamic stretching before workouts and save static stretching for after.
You also need to continue moving to move well! Avoid too many hours on the couch post-workout.
Use a foam roller for self-myofascial release.
Tight muscles and trigger points sometimes need the help of a professional.
Have questions about recovery? Reach out to us for personalized recommendations.
Kenttä, G., & Hassmén, P. (1998) Overtraining and recovery. A conceptual model. Sports Med. Jul;26(1):1-16.