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Easy recovery strategies that anyone can use.

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We all pull up sore and tired from hard sessions in the gym. Unfortunately there isn’t a magic pill to save you from feeling the fatigue after you have crushed a solid session or week of training. However, there are few easy things you can do to help you recovery faster, allowing you to train hat the intended intensity every time you step into the gym.

1. Immediately post training session: You hear us harping on about this all the time and for good reason! Spending 5 – 10 minutes after each session to perform an adequate cool down goes a long way in your recovery process. It will assist in reducing your body temperature, reducing your heart rate back to resting, restoring blood flow to your entire body and calming your nervous system. This process can include a few simple methods including:

a) Steady State Aerobic Exercise: A great way to restore bloody flow to your entire body whilst providing a very low aerobic stimulus. This will not only help with immediate recovery after a workout but having a more efficient aerobic system will help you recovery after every workout!

b) Static and Dynamic Stretching: Stretching is a great way to promote blood flow necessary for adequate recovery and to relax your nervous system after a big training session.

c) Breathe: Taking a moment to focus on your breath is one of the best ways to place your nervous system into a para-sympathetic state. This is where your body will recover as it is a low stress environment. So next you finish up a session, lay on a foam roller and spend 5 minutes just focusing on breathing.

d) Ice Bath Therapy: Although it can be a little uncomfortable to begin with, ice baths can reduce perceived fatigue and soreness which will make you feel better. If you feel better you are more likely to train better! If you train better you will achieve your goals faster!

2: Once you leave the gym: Most of the time you are not in the gym, so the hours of the day you are not training you can use some simple techniques to help you be ready for the next day’s training session.

a) Eat: Definitely one of my favourite pastimes! Ensure you have a good quality meal within 90 minutes after your training session is vital to optimise the recovery process. Just like a car performs better with better quality fuel, so does your body. This combined with a healthy eating throughout the day will set you on a path for success. Side note: I get asked about protein supplements quite often. My answer is always to first try to get a good quality meal in before relying on a protein supplement. They are called ‘supplements’ for a reason. If however this is the only this you can get your hands on after a session then it is better than nothing and again try to consumer within 90 minutes after your session.

b) Drink water: Dehydration is one of the biggest factors in a lack of performance and ultimately lack of recovery. If you are dehydrated your system can’t run effectively with will reduce your capacity to recover and perform. Losing 2% of your body mass due to dehydration can have detrimental effects to your performance! A simple guide to get you in the right direction is drinking half your body weight (in pounds) converted to fluid ounces. I’ll let you do the maths on this for the Litre convertion.

c) Sleep: It goes without saying that getting enough sleep and good quality sleep will improve your recovery rates. Sleep is where your body repairs itself the most. Ensure you have good sleeping strategies in place will have you feeling and performing better every day! You sleep cycle works in 90 minute periods, so a guide is an 8 hour sleep which gives you 30 minutes grace for 5 full sleep cycles.

Recovery is just as important as the workout itself. These are simple but effective tools you can use to optimise your success in the gym and form good lifestyle habits. If you would like more information come and grab me in the gym or shoot me an email at mitch@gw-performance.com.

Recover hard,

Coach Mitch