Allowing your muscles to recover after a workout is as important as the workout itself.
Put very simply, the workout is the phase where your muscles are actually injured. The recovery phase is the phase where the muscles are allowed to heal and as they heal they grow, preparing themselves for the next workout.
It is very easy to be impatient, particularly if you are a beginner. You want results fast and you are probably of the opinion that the more you train the quicker this will happen but in fact it could not be further from the truth. The results of pushing yourself too much are pain and poor muscle growth.
Try to keep the following in mind the next time you work out.
1 Gentle Warm Up.
Do not do hard stretching at the beginning of your workout. This is a mistake many people make. Your muscles are cold and it is very easy to cause serious damage. Do your normal workout routine but use very lightweights with slow movements to begin with. You need to get the blood flowing through your muscles before putting them under strain.
2 Gentle Aerobic Workout
There is no harm in getting your heart pumping before a weight training workout. I’m not suggesting you do a 10K run but 5-10 minutes on a crosstrainer or exercise bike will help get the blood flowing resulting in more energy and power in your workouts.
3 Cool Down
After you have trained, cool down. This could be as simple as walking on a treadmill. Your muscles will be filled with lactic acid which needs to be cleared and a decent blood flow is needed.
4 Stretch After Your Workout
Now you can stretch. Your muscles are warm and ready. Stretching can help reduce stiffness and soreness that can develop over the next few days.
5 Eat Right
Your muscles have just used vital nutrients and these need replacing. Many athletes and seasoned weight trainers take a protein drink after their workout. Don’t allow your body to starve. You need to consume good fats, calories and protein. Starving yourself could result in the body using your muscle cells to feed itself; Totally the opposite to what you are trying to achieve.
This is a very important day as it is the day your muscles are actually repairing and growing. You can work out on consecutive days but work a different muscle group, never the same muscle group.
These suggestions may just help you get quicker results and reduce
the discomfort that often occupancies a hard workout.