Muscle growth and repair is affected by what you do pre and post workout. Your body does not get stronger during workouts, it gets stronger during rest. If you are tearing your body down day after day with no rest and poor nutrition, you’re asking for an injury and lackluster results. To help maximize your recovery:
- Train at around 85% capacity – It’s impossible to train at 100% every day. I save those all-out efforts for 1 rep max days, benchmark WODS, competitions, the Open, etc. By training at around 85% I find that I stay healthier and can make the most out of each training session, instead of walking around completely annihilated from one day of work and then having to scale to around 50% for the following couple training days.
- Take Pre/Post Workout Nutrition Seriously – About 1-2 hours before your workout make sure you are taking in high-quality lean protein and complex carbohydrates. There is a 1-2 hour range based on how your digestive system handles food during intense efforts. I am perfectly fine eating an hour before I workout, some people need to push it to 2 hours to avoid cramping. Post workout, I always have a protein/carb shake ready to go. This could be: whey & apple juice, whey & tang, whey & gatorade. Depending upon your goals you may want to substitute your carb for sweet potato, fruit, etc. I am talking specifically from my experience training to complete in Olympic Lifting. True Core has an awesome nutrition program rolling out soon that will include individualized meal plans based on your body composition or performance goals. More on that at a later date!
- Stretch – It sounds so simple. But I know for a fact many of you skip out on post-workout stretching (I am even guilty of it myself!). We also offer yoga on Sundays at 9 am where our resident yogi Larisa focuses on postures to help you recover from the week’s workouts; take advantage of it!
- Sleep!!!!!! – At least 7 hours a night. However, if you train at a high volume, you may need up to nine hours a night!!!! My advice: limit cell phone/tv time in the 30 minutes prior to your bedtime. Make sleep a priority in your life and you will notice the difference almost immediately!
- Supplements – I try to keep my supplements simple. I typically stick with creatine, magnesium, and fish oil. I take a high quality fish oil supplement that Coach Bryant recommended. Throughout my pregnancy, I just have taken my Prenatal Vitamin (that I also bought under Coach Bryant’s recommendation) and cut out the other supplements. If I am cutting weight for a meet, I cut out creatine to lose any water weight I am holding onto because of it. I also go on and off creatine depending upon where I am in my training cycle.
- Limit alcohol – Alcohol has a negative effect on protein synthesis, can lower testosterone levels, causes dehydration, can increase fat storage, and impacts muscle recovery. Try to limit your drinks to 1-2 a week. If you’re paying attention to your nutrition and the quality of your sleep, this should be a no brainer. In regards to nutrition, alcohol is just empty calories.
- Rest/Active Recovery – Your rest days are just as important as your workout days. Not seeing the gains you want? Not recovering fast enough? Rest more. Active Recovery is great! This includes activities like walking, easy bike rides, casual swim. This DOES NOT include going on a five mile run. That is NOT active recovery. That is a workout. Mobility drills, ROMWOD, and Yoga are all great options for your rest day as well. Take your rest days just as seriously as your workout days and you will reap the benefits.