After you finish up in the gym, the next thing that you need to tend to is the recovery. It’s not enough to just go into the gym and put in your workout session. In addition to that, it’s also going to be vital that you are making sure that you are giving your body a chance to repair the damaged muscle tissues, growing back stronger than they were before.
If you fail to give your body the opportunity to do this, you simply will not grow any stronger. Furthermore, the faster you can get the recovery taking place, the faster you can be on your way to optimal progress.
Let’s go over some of the key mistakes you could be making when it comes to your recovery and what you must do in order to get back on track again.
You Are Too Active
The very first mistake you could be making is getting up and moving around a little too much. Remember, you need to rest. This means giving your body a chance to relax.
Not running errands. Not playing a casual game of basketball with your friends. Not cleaning the house. If you can, plan for a few hours of down time after you’ve just finished your workout doing more relaxing activities such as reading, watching your favorite movie, doing computer work, or otherwise.
Obviously in some cases this may not always be possible, but the more often you can do this rather than move around for hours, the better your recovery rate is going to be.
You Fail To Eat
Another big error that’s often made is failing to eat. If you want to recover as quickly as possible, you must get food in. Some people fall for the trap of thinking that if they skip over their post workout meal, they will burn fat faster.
This is not the case.
You need to get in some high quality protein post-workout, with whey protein isolate being the best choice. If you are insulin sensitive, you can also add a small dose of carbohydrates such as a banana or some oatmeal. If you are insulin resistant, omitting the carbs and choosing glycine and glutamine would be a better choice.
Aim to eat this meal within 30-60 minutes of doing the session.
You Don’t Hydrate
Moving along, make sure you are hydrating as well. It’s easy to only think about the food-factor of good post-workout care, but you must also be thinking about your hydration needs as well. If you aren’t hydrating, you’ll be robbing your muscles of the full recovery they could be seeing.
Aim to drink at least 3-4 cups of water in the hours after the workout session. Drink more on those days that you have just done a particularly hard workout such as lower body training as chances are you are more dehydrated than you were before. If you are a heavy sweater, you might also consider hydrating with coconut water instead as it’ll provide you with the electrolytes you need for optimal recovery.
You Aren’t Getting Quality Sleep
Finally, don’t overlook the importance of getting high quality sleep. The amount of sleep that you get on a day to day basis is also going to rank very high on the list of things that will influence your recovery.
Sleep is when the body goes into deep tissue repair mode, healing all the tiny muscle tears that have occurred and ensuring that you are able to bounce back as quickly as possible between sessions.
You should be aiming for at least 8 hours of sleep each night, possibly even bumping this up to nine or ten on those very intense workout days. To help encourage a deeper sleep, consider avoiding heavy meals before bed, turn down your room temperature, and make sure all electronics are turned off.
So keep these quick tips in mind and you can make sure that you are moving forward with you workout routine, seeing the best possible results due to your superior recovery ability.