Optimal Recovery = Optimal Growth/Progression
Okay there's a little more to it that than, but simply put, is you are recovering correctly you are going to make more progress, makes sense right?
So let's break it down, what's the most important variables for recovery:
So from a training perspective, a higher protein intake is going to be important, it’s the fundamental building block for muscle growth and recovery.
Studies have suggested that trained individuals should consume between 1.2 grams and 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, with endurance based individuals at the lower end of this range and strength/power and hypertrophy individuals at the higher end.
Carbohydrates and fats are also key, carbohydrates being our primary energy source and fats a supporting energy source along with having joint support benefits. It's also important to note, that a well balanced diet is fundamental for a strong immune system.
The importance of hydration is hugely under valued, I mean come on we are made up of 60-70% water. We have all felt a little sluggish, demotivated and anxious, mild dehydration has been shown to cause these symptoms, also water is key for transporting nutrients to our muscles to recover.
Furthermore a lack of hydration can cause cramps, lack of muscle activation and blood flow delivery issues, so those session where you just can't get going and you feel flat and fatigued could be down to a poor water intake, which clouds our blood,making our body inefficient at delivering oxygen to our muscles. Its recommended that our water intake should be between 1.5L-2.5L if you are doing more strenuous exercise this can be pushed up to 3.5L-4.5L over the day.
Stretching/Soft Tissue Release
This should be an obvious one for most people, but we are all guilty of saying ill do it tomorrow. I think we can all say we have felt tight/ sore after training and sometimes even worse over the following day(s), where we have what we call DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
Stretching, rolling out, sports massages are all so important for maintaining good muscle and connective tissue health. This improves range of movement, muscle length, lactic acid and scar tissue removal and reduces muscle soreness and inflammation.
Remember, the more you train, the more you need to recover. If you find it difficult to spend 45 minutes on a rest day to do it all in one go, split it up pre and post training, try to get 3-5 minutes in every time you train.
If we are talking purely recovery, sleep is fundamental on immune system and nervous system health and recovery.
Also, its key for muscle growth and recovery as it enhances muscle recovery through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release. It's recommended that we get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Probably the most overlooked variable for recovery. Sometime less is more, we need time to recover we need time to refuel.
Its something we are all guilty of and that’s over training, we try to squeeze out ever ounce of growth and progression but sometimes it's actually hindering our progression and growth due to us being to fatigued, which has a roll on effect of lengthening our recovery period further.
In a training block the point in which you should look at taking a deload should be when you progress begins to decline consistently over a few sessions. This will generally be between 8-12 weeks.
Let us know in the comments if you think we have missed anything and what your opinion is on the topic.
Thanks Xullux Team.
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