8 Muscle Recovery Tips For Killer Performance & Results
No matter what workout program you have started or how hard you train in the gym, you’re not going to see the desired results until your muscles are recovering optimally. You break muscle tissue when you lift weights. Your muscles only grow back bigger and stronger when you give them proper recovery conditions.
A poor recuperation plan will not only knock you off of your timeline but will also impair your performance in the gym. Improper recovery bleeds into your daily life as it keeps you feeling tired and lethargic.
We’re not going to give you some crazy muscle recovery tips like sleeping hanging upside down or running on the treadmill backward on alternate days. In this article, we’ll go over the most common recovery mistakes that people make, and how you can improve your recovery efficiency and time.
How To Recover Better After Workouts
Before we get to how to recover better, let’s talk about how long does it take for your muscles to recuperate completely after your workouts and what to do if your recovery program lacks substance.
Optimal Muscle Recovery Times
The muscle recovery times vary depending on your fitness levels and the difficulty of your workouts. The intensity, volume, duration, and frequency of your workouts combined will determine the toll they take on your body.
Your body might take up to 24 hours to recover from a relatively light workout. On the other hand, recovering from an intense workout with high volumes and low rest durations can take anywhere between 2-3 days.
It is imperative that you give your body enough time to recover between your workouts. You shouldn’t be training the same muscle group within 2-3 days after an intense workout or you’ll run the risk of overtraining.
Ever felt that burning sensation in your arms while performing the bicep curls? That’s lactic acid forming up in your muscles. Lactic acid is responsible for making your muscles feel tired and sore. If the lactic acid is not flushed out of your system during your rest periods, you’re at a higher risk of an injury.
Nutrition can be broken down into two main categories:
You should be eating a balanced diet with the right amounts of macro and micronutrients. Your goal should be to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight if your goal is to build and maintain muscle mass.
Fruits and vegetables should be a part of every meal and you should limit the consumption of ultra-processed food. You should focus on eating 6-8 small meals as compared to three big meals. Eating frequently will spike your metabolism rates and help you burn fat even while you’re sitting ideal.
If you’re a regular lifter, you should consume a good amount of protein in your pre and post-workout meals as protein are the building block of muscles. Carbs and fats should also be consumed for efficient recovery and to improve the overall functioning of the body.
An article on muscle recovery tips can’t be complete without the mention of supplements. While supplements aren’t necessary for improving your recovery, they can surely help make things easier.
We recommend taking an intra-workout BCAA supplement as it can kick start your muscle recovery process while you’re actively breaking down muscle fibers in the gym. A fast-absorbing post-workout whey protein shake helps fill the muscle fiber cracks that are formed after an intense workout.
A creatine supplement can help improve your recovery times and replenish your ATP stores. Taking these three supplements will ensure your recovery times and soreness between workouts is reduced to the bare minimum.
Have you ever wondered why babies sleep so much? Babies follow a strict cycle of sleeping, waking up, drinking milk, crapping, and then sleeping again. There is some crying in the middle of it too.
Deep sleep is where humans grow. Although you shouldn’t expect to grow taller, your muscles are in the most optimal recovery mode while you’re sleeping. You should target clocking 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
Your body produces a hormone called cortisol while you’re stressed. Cortisol hinders your body’s recovery mechanism as it puts your body in a fight or flight mode. Taking too much stress also reduces the production of testosterone in your body and raises your estrogen levels.
Even if you follow all the other muscle recovery tips mentioned in the article to the T but are constantly stressed throughout the day, you’re not going to see any progress in your physique.
You should drink at least a gallon of water every day. Water along with blood carries nutrients and oxygen to different parts of your body. Dehydration can impair your muscles’ ability to repair themselves.
Your training splits will also determine your recovery quality. If your muscles remain sore for more than two days a week, you should train two muscle groups every day and rest for two days a week. You need to find the sweet spot in designing your workout program where your workouts, recovery, and results complement each other.
Getting external help is one of the most overlooked aspects of recovery. There is a reason why most pro athletes go for massages and chiropractic sessions every week. Deep tissue bodywork can ease your muscles, fix muscular imbalances and improve blood flow throughout your body. A good massage gun will aid in recovery and relief while enhancing your overall performance. It will help can loosen up tight muscle and that deep tissue grind brings all of the great health and wellness benefits to enhance physical performance.
Compression garments have taken over the scene over the past few decades. A study conducted in 2019 found that wearing compression clothing lowered the time for body muscle recovery in German handball players.
Compression clothing improves your blood flow and can also reduce the chances of an injury as it reduces the excess movement of muscles during intense activities. Compression wear is especially great for people who are already suffering from injuries.
A Small Note on Avoiding Injury While Improving Recovery
If you’re a beginner or an intermediate lifter, you should only increase the intensity, volumes, or frequency of your workouts incrementally. Taking larger leaps can increase your chances of an injury.
While training to failure in every workout might sound badass, you shouldn’t train until exhaustion every time. Pushing too hard in every session can take a toll on your CNS (central nervous system) and can put you out of action for weeks.
If an exercise feels physically uncomfortable, it would be advisable to avoid it especially as you get older. Repeated stress from exercises can cause small tears called micro-tears that can lead to muscles feeling sore and inflamed.
An accumulation of these tears puts you at risk of developing torn muscles, also called muscle strains or pulled muscles. Muscle strains can vary from mildly uncomfortable to complete ruptures that may require surgery for repair.
If you’re in the fit lifestyle for the long run, you should look at recovery with paramount importance. If your recovery is not up to the mark, you will notice a fall in your overall performance and results.
How long does it take for you to recover after an intense workout? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.