Workout Essentials – Recovery!!


7. Do Some Active Recovery

Rest days give your muscles a hard-earned break from a self-induced beating at the gym. If you feel up to it, some light movement like walking to the store, an easy bike ride, throwing a Frisbee around, or even doing mobility drills could confer recovery-promoting effects as well. This is known as “active” recovery.

“Bodyweight exercises or light cardio after a heavy strength training session will help relieve soreness by stimulating blood flow and improving circulation to the muscles,” says Barbara. If you experience muscular tightness, she also points out that foam rolling can be an excellent way to combat this.

Light Cardio after a heavy strength training session will help relieve soreness by stimulating blood flow and improving circulation to the muscles.

8. Reduce Your Stress


Acute stress—like the kind you create from exercise—is a good thing. Chronic stress from other sources like work deadlines and inadequate sleep can significantly influence how you feel on a day-to-day basis as well as how quickly you recover. Too much stress can drastically protract your recovery time between workouts.

When intense workouts are thrown into the volatile combination of high chronic stress and an already overworked body, you are asking your body to eventually break down in the form of lackluster results or, worse, severe injury. Any form of stress in your life is going to take a toll on your overall well-being and your body’s capacity to take on anything further.

Take steps to reduce your stress level to ensure you can bounce back faster. Do something you really enjoy, make yourself laugh, and surround yourself with people you love.

9. Schedule “down” weeks and recovery workouts

R.I.C.E. is more inclined towards small injuries. However, it can be modified a little during soreness or swellings, to avoid further damage/injury.

The recovery process needs to be proactive, planned and effectively executed. It’s important to remember that you break your body down when you train (weights or cardio) – your energy stores are depleted, your muscles and other tissues are broken down and your body is in a fatigued state.

A lack of proper recovery can lead to overtraining otherwise known as under-recovery or over-reaching. Exhaustion can ensue if the training stimulus is too high or too frequent—so maxing on your bench every week is a big no-no! Worse yet, Overtraining Syndrome can develop if fatigue is not addressed, which can lead to a host of physiological and chemical changes. To put it simply, building fatigue upon fatigue results in the inability to adequately adapt, resulting in more fatigue, inflammation, missed lifts and shitty workouts.

Every 3-5 weeks, plan a recovery week. For all your main lifts, perform half the number of reps with sub-maximal loads. Perform less volume with your assistance lifts and leave the gym feeling refreshed and energized.

10. Schedule ample recovery time between workouts

Keep in mind these parameters when planning your next workout.

Delayed onset muscle soreness—DOMS, for short—is a common sensation felt after lifting weights. Most trainees actually base the success or effectiveness of their training sessions on how sore they get; however, this is not a good way to think about your progress. Typically, DOMS is characterised by muscle tenderness, stiffness, and reduced joint range of motion, muscle flexibility and force production, about 24 hours after your training session. Compensating for muscle fiber damage and returning to the gym prematurely will increase your risk for injury potentially sending you in for physiotherapy.

Ensure you have 24-72 hours rest between intense training sessions involving the same musculature. Less rest is needed between sub-maximal training sessions.

11. Hydrate


Dehydration can reduce performance potential, but also delay the recovery process. Exercise and an increased metabolic rate both increase the body’s need for water and electrolytes. It has been suggested that the minimum amount of fluid intake per day for males is 3.7L/day and 2.7L/day for females.

You can also refer to a post I made earlier on hydration here : Health & Fitness 1.2 – Water And Walking : The most underrated activities, cause we love to complicate!

12. Get your nutrients


Recovery is a time where proper nutrition is essential. Protein sources are required to rebuild muscle tissue and to supply the building blocks for various cells, tissues, enzymes, and hormones. Depending on how often you train during the week, protein recommendations can range from 1.0 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

Carbohydrates, on the hand, are muscles major source of energy; therefore, eating carbohydrates is essential at refueling your body’s glycogen stores. Your body refuels glycogen at a higher rate within 3.0 to 60 minutes post workout so it’s important to consume a post workout snack or shake during this time. It has also been shown that including a small amount of protein in this snack speeds up the rebuilding and recovery process.

13. Massage it out


Massage from a therapist or self-massage AKA self myofascial release (SMR) with foam rollers, massage sticks and even baseballs can reduce muscle stiffness, promote circulation and induce a state of relaxation in the muscle, although research has been equivocal. It might be painful during, but SMR can be performed the night of a hard workout to remove scar tissue, adhesions in the muscle and restrictions in the fascia (a type of connective tissue that wraps around the whole body).

Gently roll a baseball or massage stick over all major muscle groups until you find a sensitive spot. Apply direct pressure until the pain dissipates. Roll over the muscle again and repeat if necessary. Even if massage doesn’t speed up recovery, it might make you feel better compared to not getting massaged in the first place.

14. Others

There are various other non-traditional methods that athletes swear by, in order to aid their recovery. However, they’re expensive and since an athlete’s livelihood depends on his/her body, it only makes sense for them to take excessive measures to take care of it.

  1. If you’ve noticed, during The Rio Olympics 2016, Michael Phelps had various red-purple spots all across his back and arms. Its the consequences of somethings called as “The Cupping Therapy” and Michael Phelps swears by it. And as a proud winner of 28 Olympic medals (23 of which are gold) and as a person who has more gold medals than 108 countries, I think his credibility cannot be questioned.
  2. You must’ve seen a lot of athletes step into tubs filled with ice or ice-cold water as they believe a cold dip of 20-30 minutes significantly improves their way to recovery.
  3. Another advanced procedure to that is Cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is widely used to relieve muscle pain, sprains and swelling either via soft tissue damage or postoperative swelling. It can be a range of treatments from the very low technology application of ice packs or immersion in ice baths (generally known as cold therapy) to the use of cold chambers (whole body or partial body cryotherapy) and or face masks or body cuffs with controlled temperature, sometimes called hilotherm.

As you now hopefully know, recovery is a crucial component of any fitness-related goal. Whether you want to get stronger, faster, or better, you’ll need to weave each of these tips into your daily recovery plan to ensure that you get the results you want out of your hard work! Do you have any secret recovery tips you swear by? Or have come across more athletes that swear by a different procedure? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!


The Travellothoner.


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28 thoughts on “Workout Essentials – Recovery!!

Add yours

  1. I’ve been on the high function “super fitness” side of this equation. And your head is definitely in the right place the issue is it’s been over complicated by people selling you lightning in a bottle.

    1. Constant nutrition is important, pre and post don’t mean crap. This is just the perfect time to sell you magic beans and elixirs. Food before and after workouts steals blood to digestion slowing your recover and bogging down performance.

    2. Active recovery workouts are key. Instead scheduled low weeks just work in an hour or two of low workouts keeping your HR low. Walking in the woods, dragging a sled, water aerobics….etc you should be able to talk easily the entire time.

    3. Variability: no one mentions this because I can’t sell in a 12 week program you fall in loves with a do 4 times a year until you injure your self. Your regiment should be a template of continuously rotating exercises. Look at my training logs(in my blog http://www.Ryan my exercises, reps, breaks, days on, days off rotate constantly. Nothing is the same and I am literally only using kettlebells and steel clubs. When I went to gyms it I wouldn’t do the same exercise for 6 months.

    4. Your on the money with water drink it till your eyes float.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Check out my recent blogs on recovery. Rest is essential, so many people come to me with no clue of why they’ve hit a wall (overtrained and fatigued). It’s amazing how many people think they can just ‘go hard’ all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi. Do have any advice to a single person(male) how he can do his training/workout in his home gym. Everyday in the morning before work and in the afternoon after work. I need a “light” end of the tunnel. I can’t find it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You could start with doing some stretches and some walking/running to begin with. Take it easy initially, see what you enjoy and what suits you.. Once you’ve got a regular routine, you could slowly amp your regime up!

      Liked by 2 people

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