All About Recovery!

Recovery is one of the most important variables within a fitness and training program, however, it is often one of the most neglected. Proper recovery measures are necessary for all fitness levels and types of exercise. Recovery from exercise involves various steps that can be carried out immediately after a workout, as well as the following hours/days.

Keep in mind that your muscles don't grow in the gym; they actually grow afterwards, during the recovery period, where small micro tears in the muscle are repaired. So if you want to make those gains, don't skimp on recovery!

Benefits of Proper Recovery

  • Muscle tissue repair leads to muscle growth
  • Reap the full benefits of the workout
  • Decreases risk of injury
  • Preparation for the next training session
  • Improved performance
  • Psychological benefits: relaxation, rejuvenation
  • Avoiding over-training

Recommendations to Improve Recovery

  • Proper pre and post-workout warm-ups and cool-downs
  • Stretching and foam rolling routine
  • Consider supplements during training to aid in muscle protein synthesis & abate catabolic effects of exercise
  • Eating before workouts, and eat within 1-2 hours of leaving the gym. If you train in the evenings, be sure to have a fueling dinner before going to bed!
  • Get massages and/or consider chiropractic or Rolfing work
  • Take Epsom salt baths 1-2 (or more!) times per week
  • Allow a minimum of 48 hours for recovery in between training days for the same muscle groups
  • Take rest days when needed. Listen to your body if/when it’s telling you “no”
  • Minimize stress with:
    • Mindfulness
    • Meditation
    • Gratitude practice daily
    • Aromatherapy
    • Sleep hygiene
    • Avoid using more than 300mg of caffeine daily
    • Supplements
  • Increase sleep and improve quality (if you aren't sleeping enough/or restfully)
  • Drink more water (if you aren't drinking enough). Rehydration post-workout is important in replenishing fluids and electrolytes

Considerations/Variables to assess if you are not recovering optimally:

  • Are you sleeping AT LEAST 7 hours per night? Without proper sleep, even the best workouts and nutrition regimens can have stunted progress
  • Are you staying hydrated? (4+L per day, depending on body weight)
  • Are you stretching/foam rolling?
  • Are you hitting daily protein counts? The body cannot store amino acids. Hitting protein counts yesterday does nothing to help you today. A constant, ample supply of protein is needed to function and perform optimally
  • Are you hitting your calories every day? Severe calorie deficits do not equal optimal results. They equal fatigue, stress, increased cortisol, dizziness, hunger, lethargy, emotional lability, poor/ineffective lifts, poor performance, propensities to binge and yo-yo diet and if used long term - a slowed metabolism