People often ask, "What is the missing piece of my fitness?" They are hitting the box 4 or 5 days per week and drinking Kill Cliff and Formulx so where are the GAINZ??? It's pretty simple: most of us are under-recovering. Here are some tips to help you recover from your intense workouts.
1. Sleep- Sleep is the single most important aspect of recovery. Without adequate sleep, 7-9 hours per night, you will find that your body just won't perform the way you'd like. In fact, not sleeping enough can cause even bigger problems than not PRing your back squat. We are all busy, but you need to make uninterrupted sleep the backbone of your fitness journey.
2. Nutrition- Nutrition is right up there with sleep. If you're not fueling your body correctly, it won't perform. PERIOD. Getting ample amounts of carbohydrate and protein to support performance is a must. Carbohydrate is especially important before and after a strenuous workout. Your body's glycogen levels have been used for the workout, and it's begging to be replenished... Don't tell anyone, but coach L and I use pop tarts, muffin tops, or rice crispy treats to serve this purpose.
Protein is another important component when it comes to recovery. When we train, we break down our muscles. Taking in dietary protein, whether it be in solid or liquid form, starts the rebuilding process. Without getting too sciency on you protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle. Because working out breaks that muscle down, you must eat protein to build it back up bigger and stronger! I advise a simple carbohydrate and protein combo as close to the end of your workout as possible. I've had extremely good luck with a diluted gatorade and protein mixture post-workout. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions on this!
3. Chiropractic/Massage/Etc.- We are asking our bodies to perform like athletes. In order to get the most out of ourselves, we must realize that being active has a price. Your body will get tweaked and injuries may happen. The best way to combat these is to use the help of a professional. Look at any pro-sports team, and you'll see an army of massage therapists and chiropractors helping to keep these athletes finely tuned. We are no different! You can't expect your body to perform like a race car if you treat it like a 1978 Ford Pinto.
4. Stress- This is going to apply to 99% of us. We all have stressors that weigh on us. Stress kills your recovery. Do your best to leave your work at the office if possible. Take some time to meditate or do something tot relax you. Living in a state of constant stress is toxic to the human body. Trust me- I live it! Stress raises cortisol, and cortisol promotes body fat. In turn, this is why some of us have that pesky pooch around our waist that we can't get rid of.
We can all take the steps needed to recover better. This is just the tip of the iceberg! Look for more in-depth articles on each of these topics in the not-too-distant future! For now, take a nap, and we will see you in the gym!