Guys no longer care about regeneration and muscle recovery. Muscle development is their only interest. Well guess what if your muscles are sore as hell all the time there will be no muscle development whatsoever. On the other hand if you empower yourself with regular muscle recovery routine, you will create an environment in which it’s more likely you will grow your muscles.
Think of athletes. They can train every day and when they run into some problem they get over it very quickly. How is it possible? Well, in the first place they have a whole team that can take care of them, however what is important for you is that they also put a lot of focus on muscle recovery.
Obviously you don’t have so much money or care as athletes, but you can still get some inspiration from them.
Ignoring the importance of proper recovery is a big, big mistake. When you are training in the gym you are breaking your muscle tissue and you need to make sure your body has the best conditions to recover the muscle tissues again, so next time you hit the gym, you can train even harder.
The time you recover from each workout depends largely on:
- The amount and frequency of your weekly physical activities
- Your experience level
- Your age
- The things you do on weekly and monthly basis to improve your muscle recovery
Muscle Soreness and Physical Activities
Muscle soreness is directly proportional to the amount & frequency of your weekly physical activities.
If you play soccer 3 times a week and go mountain biking every Sunday, you will have much less physical energy and strength for the strength training than if you weren’t doing any kind of sport at all. You will also recover from your workouts much slower. This is just how it works. So, either find a way to cut down on your other physical activities or find a way to balance it. It depends on what is your goal and what is more important for you. Do you want to focus on improving your look and play sports just for fun once a week? Or do you want to just stay fit by going to the gym twice a week and focus on your soccer performance and winning competitions?
Make a choice, trying to focus on both will leave you frustrated, disappointed and without desired results. Muscle recovery takes time and when you spend 3 hours of intense training every day, your muscles won’t have the time to recover and the problems will arise.
Muscle Soreness and Experience level
When you start training you are not recovering very quickly. If you weren’t doing anything in the past five years and suddenly you put such a high physical stress like strength training on your body, then you will be sore as hell. Your body is not used to strength training and needs time to adjust.
When you train for 10 years it will be much easier to go often to the gym and be okay with it.
Even if you will do strength training for a while you will still be sore when you try new things, new approaches and new workouts. If you try a new workout it might take you three weeks until your body adjusts to its structure.
Muscle Soreness and Age
You cannot expect to recover as quickly as you did when you were a teenager. If you are in your 30s or 40s than no matter how experienced you are, guys who have at least some experience with strength training and are in their 20s will recover faster than you.
You have to account this into your expectations.
What Can You Do to Improve Muscle Recovery?
No matter how experience you are, how old you are and how many activities you do per week there are few things you can do on weekly and monthly basis to speed up your muscle recovery.
Things you can do to shorten your recovery period between workouts:
Massage can help you with blocked or contracted muscles. Just make sure you won’t work out in the following day or two.
If you are among those who can stand the air in sauna, you should go there on regular basis, it will do you only good.
Swimming relaxes your body and relieves muscles soreness.
Lying in the warm water for 15 minutes will improve your blood circulation and quicken your recovery.
Good sleep both in quality and quantity is a must. The higher your energy expenditure during the day, more time spend on the sun the better your sleep will be. Go to sleep before 11 p.m. and sleep for about 8 hours. You should go to sleep at the same time every day and wake up at the same time as well. Make sure there won’t be any interruptions during your sleep. If you won’t get a proper sleep you will be dizzy, unproductive and week during the day and in the gym, you will be risking an injury, your muscle recovery will take longer and you will put on only little muscle mass. You can also take a short nap in the afternoon.
Regular week off the gym
Probably the best thing you can do to improve your muscle recovery. Don’t worry you won’t lose muscle mass, quite the opposite, you will be probably even stronger afterwards.
Have a Balanced diet
Make sure you have a balanced diet that includes all the vegetables, fruits and is rich in omega 3 fish oil. Getting 70-100 grams of protein per day is an optimum (this doesn’t mean you have to get more than 70 grams of protein every day, it’s calculated from weekly recommendations).
Practice intermittent fasting
Fasting releases growth hormone that can help you repair your damaged muscle tissue. Personally, I have found out that it’s best to have two or three workouts per week that you do after about 18 hours of fasting.
Swim in a sea
Salt water and warm sun is very beneficial for your muscle recovery.
These are the things you can do on weekly basis and things you can do every twelve weeks to improve your recovery and regeneration, these things will not only help you with your muscle recovery, but will also improve your immune system. Let’s take a look on which of these you should do more often.
What to Do Every Week to Speed up Muscle Soreness Recovery
You should have something you do every week that will help you with your regeneration and muscle recovery from the workouts.
- Swimming is a great thing to help your muscles recover and rest for a while.
- Good night sleep is a must. Both good in quality and quantity.
- You can take a hot tub once or twice a week and just lay down in the water and relax.
- Balance diet is important, if have a good diet, you won’t be deficient in any macro or micro nutrient and you will support the work you do in the gym
What to Do Every Twelve Weeks to Speed up Muscle Soreness Recovery
When I design workouts I always introduce one or two weeks off after 8-12 weeks of intense training.
You shouldn’t go more than 12 weeks in a row without a break. Your body needs to rest after several months and 12 weeks is probably the best time to introduce it.
These two weeks can be used to go skiing and taking a vacation to a seaside resort, going to sauna few times, getting a massage etc.
Just make sure you break the workouts for one or two weeks. And don’t worry your muscles won’t disappear during this time. Quite the opposite. Usually when I take week off I’m much stronger afterwards.
Guys who are afraid of taking a week or two off often can’t progress and get injured. Don’t risk injury yourself. Take a break when your body needs it and demands it, it will do you only good.
You can read an article here on how to structure your year to get best both from workouts and weeks off here Weight Training: How to train intelligently efficiently.
Your Action Steps
Now take a piece of paper and write down things you do for your muscle recovery and things you don’t do. Write down why you are not doing them yet.
Then write down which of these things you should start doing and why. After that write down when you will do them and how you will make sure you do your best to help your body recover.
You can let me know how this article helped you to improve your muscle recovery by commenting below.
You can look forward to reading a another great article next week, we will be talking about tools you can use to track the progress you make.
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