For those of you who are true gym junkies and spend endless hours working out, kudos to your dedication, but you’ve only mastered one piece of the puzzle. So many eager athletes, newbies or versed, skip on proper recovery to enhance their results, because the simple truth is, weight-loss and muscle-building both happen in the hours after you drop the barbell.
9 Part Guide to Bigger CHEST (if clicking doesn't work- right click and hit "Save link As")
These methods are painfully simple, yet too frequently overlooked precisely due to their simplicity. Let’s see what you can do to enhance those grueling efforts, and make the most of your training by preventing injuries, keeping your energy levels high, and keeping your hormones in the right balance.Follow @AboutLifting
Build a sleep schedule
If there’s a single factor in your recovery that you cannot skip, that would be getting enough quality shut-eye every night. Without ample sleep, you not only risk getting injured in training, but you also decrease your performance, increase cortisol production, and diminish the level of testosterone, which we all know is the key to building muscle and burning fat.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you can aim for a solid seven to eight hours every night. However, keep listening to your body. If you wake up drowsy and sluggish, that might mean that you need an extra half an hour or more. Then again, consistency and timing also matter, so give your body a schedule to adapt to, and watch those gains boom.Follow @AboutLifting
Factor in those rest days
If your response was “rest what now?”, then you definitely need to rethink your entire workout program. Not getting at least two or three days of active rest per week can wreak havoc on your entire body and lead to accumulated fatigue.
No matter what your ultimate goal could be, make sure that you have enough time between workouts. That means that those Monday evening chest and back supersets cannot be followed by a Tuesday morning leg workout. Also, exercising days on end without rest means that you’re putting too much stress on your body and not letting any of the effects sink in. And on those rest days, don’t turn into a sloth, but go out for a walk, stretch, do some light yoga, whatever floats your boat, as long as you get some blood into those muscles.
Pack the pipe
A somewhat new and still under-utilized method, but a very effective one you should definitely consider, is using marijuana concentrates to induce relaxation, help you sleep better, and ease that overwhelming inflammation which leads to sore muscles. These can be consumed in various forms, including smoking, vaporizing and dabbing.
This is a simple and safe way to help your muscles recuperate, while you might also experience an improved appetite – something every bodybuilder appreciates when you have to consume as many as 5000 calories per day or more.
Try some SMR
It’s easy to get on a foam roller after your workout, go back and forth a few times and convince yourself that that will do the trick. However, while this is a nice way to reduce immediate tension and help with soreness to an extent, your most sensitive spots and knots require much more pressure and movement to heal. The type of massage known as self myofascial release (SMR) is a powerful way to find those trigger points, and use your own hands to help them relax and recover.
However, this requires a certain level of anatomical knowledge and skill, in order to be able to make the most of this approach. You can find various tutorials online as to the best methods for each muscle group, and you can target those muscles that were under the most tension during each workout – meaning that Monday chest supersets are followed by intense pecs-massage.
Spice up your bath
Although some have already started using contrast baths to help their muscles recover, there is a far more comfortable method that you can use on a regular basis without shocking your body with cold and hot treatment. Try filling your tub with lukewarm water and adding Epsom salts to dissolve, and soak yourself in this mix – these mighty goodies are brimming with magnesium sulphate, which is basically a dream-come-true for your sore body.
Spend at least 15 minutes in this wonderful warm bath, and your body will be extremely grateful. Epsom salts help reduce swelling, relax your connective tissue and they are very beneficial even for your joints. Schedule one just before bed, and you’ll sleep like a baby, helping your body make the most of two handy recovery methods in a single go.