5 Golden Rules For Faster Recovery
Faster recovery with these 5 golden rules
It is important to include recovery into your structured training programme. It allows your body to regenerate and repair itself as well as replenish energy stores for future sessions. With inadequate recovery, you can find yourself hitting plateaus or find your performance reducing because of a negative supercompensation cycle. There are many tools out there claiming they can help you recover faster but some of these are inaccessible or inconvenient to most, too expensive to engage with effectively or simply do not work. Engaging in the complicated recovery tool can be effective, however, the marginal gains received by some methods can be far outweighed by correct manipulation of the following 5 golden rules for faster recovery.
RELEVANT: Is Protein Overrated? The Protein Myth
5 Golden Rules For Faster Recovery
THE VIDEO: 5 Golden Rules For Faster Recovery
Sleep is the time the body uses to regenerate damaged muscles as a result of training. Sleep is an underrated recovery tool as the body enters its peak resting state, a state of repair. There is very little stress being put on the body and a supportive mattress can help to attenuate this stress free state. You should aim for between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to maximise recovery but of course, there are distractions which can get in the way of this.
Start by switching your phone off 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Electronic devices including your TV emit blue light which, suppresses melatonin production, the chemical which helps your body relax. If you have a night mode on your phone then, this emits a more night friendly wavelength of light which, doesn’t suppress melatonin. Better still, commit to going phone and TV free for 30 minutes before you sleep!
Nutrition is a complex subject. Consuming the right number of macronutrients is one thing, but timing is another. Recovery from a high intensity training session whether, be it a resistance training session or a prolonged run, begins immediately.
Proteins as we know are the building blocks used for muscle growth and repair. Consuming protein whether, it comes from meat, protein shakes or specific branch chain amino acids will aid recovery. BCAAs are essential amino acids for growth and repair and supplementation of these may boost recovery.
You should look to consume protein regularly throughout the day and with a little bit of planning the day before, this is easy to regulate. Consuming all your daily requirement for protein in one bolus will enhance recovery for up to 3 hours post exercise but after this time, the body goes back to its resting rate of protein synthesis. If you consume smaller quantities of protein at regular, intermediate intervals throughout the day, you can maintain protein synthesis and stimulate recovery throughout the day.
Protein shakes are great for easy, quick protein intake, but be aware of contamination in products and look out for a batch tested logo to be sure of what you are putting in your body.
Only a small percentage of protein should be from exogenous sources beyond your diet. Supplements should be used for that exact purpose… supplementing what you cannot get out of a healthy, balanced diet.
Carbohydrates are the fuel your body uses for most activities during the day and during exercise. After a prolonged, intense session, your glycogen stores may be depleted and without replenishment, you may find yourself without energy for your following session. Think about the kinds of carbohydrates you are using. Carbohydrates are split into 2 types, sugars, and non-sugars. Carbohydrate consumption stimulates insulin production which stimulates carbohydrate digestion and absorption. Sugar carbohydrates are digested quickly and provide fast release energy, however, if they are not used, they are stored as fatty acids. After a session, a small amount of these types of carbohydrates may be beneficial to quickly stimulate glycogen replenishment and protein synthesis. Non-sugar carbohydrates take longer to break down due their complex structures. As a result, these carbohydrates can fuel the body for longer and take longer to turn into fatty acids. These carbohydrates can replenish your glycogen stores for a longer time without the negative effects of sugary carbohydrates.
Look at food labels to examine the quantities of each type of carbohydrate.
Overtraining is easy to do. You get into a rhythm of training a different attribute every day of the week and don’t give your body ample opportunity to recover. Recovery allows you to make progression throughout a structured programme so faster recovery is desirable. If your recovery isn’t great then, you may find yourself hitting a plateau, struggling to increase your weights even if you believe you are training at your maximum every session. The reason for this is that the intensity doesn’t overload your body in the same way as it would if you were fresh.
Think of sprinting. To improve your sprint performance you must run at close to 100% for each repetition. If you don’t recover effectively, even if you feel you are giving 100% effort, you may be training at around 80% of your maximum which, doesn’t hit the intensities required to generate adaptation. This continues in a vicious circle and a prolonged negative supercompensation cycle can not only cause plateaus but also reduce performance over time.
Mobility is the ability to perform movement over a large range of movement utilising core control, stability and proprioception. This is often confused with flexibility which is the ability to work through an active and passive range of motion.
Two individuals with the same flexibility may not have the same mobility due to differences in core strength, balance, proprioception or stability.
Mobility is essential to put the body back into an optimal position after exercise or to alleviate abnormal movements picked up as part of day-to-day life as well as improve range of motion and strength as well as any niggles and pains experienced during day to day activities. Moving effectively over a large range of motion is important to maintain technical competency in the gym and reduce muscular imbalances which can result in injury.
Engaging effectively with these guides can help you achieve faster recovery. They are simple and may only require a small adaptation to your current practices. There are many other tools you can use such as contrast bathing which, can boost your recovery but if you are not engaging with these basic 5 methods then, the marginal gains brought by more complicated methods can be negligible in comparison.