You’ve worked hard, lifted hard, gone hard for years. As a result, you’ve built up a solid level of strength and overall fitness – either currently, or at least at some point along the way.
But it’s come at the cost of some aches and pains. Little (or big) injuries here and there have added up. And it’s starting to affect your training.
If this describes your current situation, one thing you need be focusing on BIG time is recovery between your workouts. Here are three tips you can incorporate into your routine that will make a WORLD of difference in helping you recover faster, fend off next day stiffness and soreness, and hit the workouts hard for a long time to come:
1 – Feed Your Body
Within the first 30 minutes after your workout, get optimum nutrition back into your body. Everyone’s nutrtional requirements are different depending on their goals,
activity levels, body size, etc … but here are three ideas:
— protein bar (try to get one with a good amount of protein, light on the sugar, and as few ingredients as possible)
— 1/2 bagel + 2-3 egg whites
— apple + low / non fat string cheese
2 – Perform Self-Massage
You have to look at muscle as bread dough. After you have worked it is stiff and hard. After your workout you need to kneed the muscle as you do with bread dough. Kneading the muscle will help the muscle relax, move toxins out and help move good stuff back in.
You can do this with a foam roll, with a lacrosse ball against the wall, even an empty two liter soda bottle (keep reading for a link at the end of this article that’ll take you to some specific self-massage exercises you can do).
3 – Take the Time to Rebuild
The most important time to recovery from your workout is when you sleep. You got to sleep 7 to 8 hours every day.
This can be tough, especially if you’re busy, but it’s SOO important in the long run to get enough sleep.
(At the moment, given my situation – we have a six week – old daughter – it’s literally impossible for me to get 7 to 8 hours per night … and I’ll tell ya, I can feel the difference. I don’t recover NEARLY as fast between workouts.)
So there you go. Give those three strategies a go and you will recover faster from your workouts and prevent next day stiffness and muscle pain.
– Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist
PS – If you are looking for other great ways to recover from your workouts, check this out: