As mentioned in earlier posts, muscle growth does not take place during the workout but rather takes place during the recovery stage. Our muscles grow when we are away from the weights and recuperating by taking in the proper nutrients and providing them the proper rest. A muscle typically needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild, and working it again too soon will most likely lead to tissue breakdown. Obviously, this is the last thing we want. This is the reason why you should never work the same muscle groups two days in a row. In this article, we will dive into some muscle recovery tips and actions you can take to amplify your gains.
Once you have finished demolishing those weights, don’t be so quick to get out of the gym. Find a corner and begin stretching those muscles. Not only will this help speed up the recovery process, but it will also help prevent future injuries. As you exercise, your muscles tighten up as they fill up with blood.
Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles in order to increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. These activities are an important part of any exercise program. Stretching helps you relax muscle tension and decrease soreness the next day. This is why stretching is recommended by many top muscle and strength coaches. So stretch it out!
Don’t Skimp on the Protein
While we are working out, we cause tiny tears in our muscles.
Our bodies repair these tears with the help of the protein we take in. This is why it is extremely important to ensure you are ingesting enough protein rich foods and shakes throughout the day. Without adequate protein intake, we risk blunting our muscle growth and delaying the results we are searching for.
Ideally, you want to consume protein at key points throughout the day. The most crucial times being:
- Pre Workout
- Post Workout
- Before Bed
By spreading out your protein intake throughout the day, you will ensure your body is getting a steady stream of amino acids to fill those tears and keep you on the course to muscle growth.
Water, And Then More Water
Along with all that protein you will be consuming, you are going to need plenty of water in your system to ensure it gets to where it needs to go within your body. Aside from helping all those essential nutrients travel inside your body, water also helps move harmful waste products out, which can also hinder muscle gains, among other things.
It has always been said to consume 8 glasses of water a day, but I would suggest shooting to double that amount. Intense exercise can sometimes cause slight dehydration and you’ll want to counter that fluid loss with extra H20.
Get Your ZZZ’s
There are so many benefits to proper sleep that I will not be able to get into all of them here. Countless studies point to these benefits and a simple google search on importance of sleep will show this. What is worth mentioning though is while we sleep, our bodies produce Human Growth Hormone, or HGH. This hormone is one of the primary compounds that allows muscles to recover and grow. Among its many other functions, our bodies need it to use the amino acids present in the protein we eat.
An important step to ensure you are getting enough sleep, along with the proper quality of sleep, is to keep a set schedule. Meaning, make sure to go to bed at a specific time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. This will help your body stay on track and get through all your sleep cycles which is also key to proper recovery.
Poor sleep also means lower energy, and lower energy ultimately means lackluster workouts. We know what that means for your muscle gains. We need to be able to pour everything we have into our workouts and anything less will undoubtedly hurt our chances of progressing.
Don’t overlook the importance of a good mattress. Quality sleep is sometimes (many times) not achieved due to tossing and turning throughout the night, which breaks your sleep cycle. This is most often caused by pressure points being aggravated by your sleep surface. Make sure to get a mattress that not only provides support, but also relieves pressure and keeps you in a comfortable position longer. There are some really great mattresses out these days that will surely improve your overall sleep quality. Be sure to check them out.
Putting It All Together
Utilizing these muscle recovery tips and taking the proper actions will help ensure you are well on your way to impressive results. Building muscle and strength is caused by a series of events, as opposed to one singular act. If you want to be serious about your results, you need to be serious about your game plan. And then you need to implement it. Don’t skip steps. Stay diligent and stay consistent.
I want to hear from you. Let me know down below which new steps you are incorporating into your routine and let me know how you feel after you do. Don’t forget this is a family and we learn from each other. Let’s keep our minds positive and the muscles growing. Until the next time. Stay pumped my friends.