Any bodybuilder or avid weight lifter knows that the most important portion of muscle development is not the time spent in the gym, but the period thereafter. Of course, you need to push hard and maximize your time during a workout. But ensuring that your muscle tissue is rebuilding quickly and effectively is beyond vital. And this is where many people run into problems. Not can inefficient recovery sabotage your progress, but it can also hamper your day-to-day life. If you’re taking too long to regain strength and energy, you might find it difficult to do much of anything in the hours following a strength training session. These muscle recovery tips should help ensure you’re bouncing back as quickly as possible.
There are a number of different causes that can lead to muscle weakness and slow recovery. But the most common and unavoidable one is simple aging. As we get older, our bodies lose their innate efficacy toward rapidly delivering nutrients to growing muscle and regaining strength. This can lead to sometimes crippling fatigue after hard workouts. If you find this to be something that affects you, then there are measures that can make a difference. Follow these muscle recovery tips and see how much quicker you can recharge the batteries. Not only does this allow you to fend off fatigue, but also to get back into the gym more quickly for exponentially better muscle gains.
Top 5 Muscle Recovery Tips
Get ample sleep
Resting is, of course, important. Our bodies need some downtime to replenish after depleting strength training sessions. At no time does the recover process work more rapidly than while you sleep. Although it’s difficult for many (including myself) getting a good eight hours of sleep nightly — and especially the night after a hard workout — goes a long way. Sleep cycles can be disrupted by caffeine, which is why some advise against using it as a workout aid.
Hydration and nutrients
Often, muscles feel sore and weak for long periods after workouts due to dehydration. Even when people make an effort to drink all the H2O they need, they can still come up short. In many cases this is because they focus solely on loading up in the hours preceding a trip to the gym. In reality, dehydration builds up over long periods of time. Focus on getting eight glasses per day, every day. This additionally helps flush toxins out that can deter your muscle growth. In terms of nutritious, a well balanced diet is obviously going to help. And is you are likely aware, you’ll want to load up on protein before and after hitting the weights.
Stretching and rolling
Make sure you’re stretching out all of your muscles, not just on gym days but also on your off days. This is very helpful toward preventing injuries. Also, one of the best muscle recovery tips is to use a foam roller as this helps break up knots and areas of soreness. Plus, it can feel really good.
If a particular muscle or set of muscles is noticeably sore after you work out, applying ice for 20 minutes is a smart response. This helps reduce inflammation and expedite healing.
You’ll find a vast array of pre-workout and post-workout supplements in your local nutrition store, as well as online (where they are typically cheaper). Products that help your body produce nitric oxide can improve blood flow so that oxygen and nutrients travel more quickly to muscle tissue. This can provide a major edge toward accelerating growth and definition.