Tips For Faster Muscle Recovery
This is the biggest mistake people make when they want to gain strength:
they push harder in their trainings without thinking about the appropriate recovery.
Recovery is the crucial part of every strength building progress. So be smarter and don't let this happen to you.
How to make sure you will get the most out of your workouts:
- Plan your weekly workout intensity. Always plan to follow your hardest session/day with the easiest one
- Add more intensity in a smart way. First add an easy extra session/day to your weekly schedule. Wait until you get used to new number of workouts before turning it into a harder one.
- Create recovery habits. Choose strategies from the list below and adapt them to your lifestyle:
Research has found many benefits of using the combination of hot and cold baths to boost recovery.
Contrast showers are great for blood flow and faster muscle recovery
The practical way to adapt this to your lifestyle is to add contrast showers to your routine.
Shower 1 minute with cold water and then switch to hot water for 1 minute. Keep alternating for a couple of minutes and do this every time you take a shower.
The king of recovery is sleep. Simply put, sleep rules the whole process of muscle growth and recovery. During sleep is when your growth hormone starts to do the real work. Aim to get your 8 hours of sleep whenever you can. Find out why sleep is important for muscle building here.
There's No exercise that can make you stronger if you don't respect the basics of good sleep and nutrition
Keep in mind: Where recovery strategies bring you ahead, alcohol will bring you behind with your workout progress.
Nutrition will make or break your progress, so learn how to do it right the easy-way! Get a simple but effective Nutrition Guide tailored to your goal.
Muscles need to be used if you want to increase the blood flow to them and speed up recovery. Make your rest days count for muscle building by adding light activity. A 20 minute walk or slow jog will do it. If you're looking for more fun, try incorporating a day of different sport per week, such as rock climbing or swimming, a great addition to your calisthenics routine.
But remember, rest days are not just meant to relax muscles, they provide you a short mental break from the training mindset that allows to push harder when you get back to work.
Though not as effective as massage, this type of „self-massage“ is worth trying. It can contribute greatly to your overall recovery. Also, it's simple and you can do it at home everyday, making it easy to stay consistent and create a recovery habit. If you don't know what a foam roller is and how to use it, find out more about foam rolling here.
Research shows swimming to be very effective recovery strategy. Among other things it efficiently reduces the blood lactate levels induced by workout (the feeling of soreness of muscles) and thereby greatly improves and speeds up the recovery. If you can't swim outdoors consider visiting the pool once a week and see how it affects your performance. You might discover a new potential to gain strength!
Never underestimate the effect that psychological fatigue and stress have on your muscle recovery and training performance. That's why the cutting edge sports research is now investigating the ways that brain impacts muscle recovery.
Meditation is just one way of learning to control your stress levels, the key is to find an activity where you practice mindfulness and body awareness.