Recovery from training is without doubt the most important part. No matter how hard (or easy) we train, if recovery is poor the gains are compromised. This article looks at how we can improve recovery.
What is recovery and what happens?
Recovery starts from the time we finish a workout. Typically the main portion
of recovery would be a couple of days, with some evidence pointing to full and total adaption from any one workout weeks after the session. It is probably best to consider recovery as the former – a few days, a ‘tough’ workout will normally need close to 36 hours.
Clearly the workout will dictate what recovery is needed. On a superficial level, a weights workout will require lots of muscular repair, a cardio workout more of an entire system recovery including muscular. This will always depend on the usual factors – intensity, type of training, muscle groups used and duration.
Some of us recover faster than others.
A seriously positive side effect of having fast recovery is that we are fresh for the next workout sooner, over time we get a lot fitter. Someone who can train 4 times a week will get much fitter than someone at twice a week. Top athletes through regular training and lucky genetics have a huge capacity to recover.
With that in mind we would all love to recover faster. There are a number of things we can do.
- Eat well before training, it improves recovery and give the body a head start
- Warm up thoroughly – warm muscles get less damaged during training
- Train smarter, not harder – do what’s necessary for improvement but don’t overdo it!
- Eat and drink as soon as you are finished, before even getting in the shower
- Have some protein at this time
- Get good quality sleep, even a daytime nap
- Great nutrition will always help recovery – ever seen an Olympian eating a burger?
- Doing some ‘light’ activity the following day using the same muscle groups will speed recovery
- Have a massage – all the pro’s get this every day
- Stretch to alleviate muscle tightness and increase blood flow
For more information on training, recovery and nutrition or for expert advice, visit BourneFit – our Bournemouth Personal Training Studio website is at www.bourne-fit.co.uk