Posts Tagged ‘recovery’

Why Rest and Recovery Is Important for Athletes

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

The Importance of Recovery

Exhausted Fitness Girl
When you first set out on your journey to bulk up and build the muscular physique that allows you to look and feel your best, or even pit yourself against other athletes in strength, endurance, and overall fitness challenges, you might be focused on working hard in order to build muscle and advance as quickly as possible. While this is certainly an important part of the equation, over time you’ll learn that there’s more to bodybuilding than simply lifting weights.

For one thing, you have to create a targeted diet plan that provides you with the proper nutrients and caloric intake needed to steadily put on muscle. But you’ll also come to the realization that rest and recovery time is nearly as crucial to your ongoing success as ramping up the amount of weight you lift and the number of reps you do.

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How to Relax After an Intense Workout

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Relax Fitness GirlThere’s nothing like pushing yourself to your physical limits and leaving it all on the field, so to speak, when you exercise. Not only does it make you feel like you accomplished something, but it also gets you one step closer to meeting your fitness goals, whether you’re shooting for 20-inch biceps, you want to bench press your own body weight, or you’re training for a marathon, just for example.

A good workout can boost endorphins, making you feel energized and amazing throughout the day, and it can also help you to sleep better at night. Unfortunately, it might have just the opposite effect, making you feel fatigued but amped up at the same time. If this is the case, you might be looking for a few good ways to recover and relax after an intense workout.

Here are just a few strategies that might help.

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Top 5 Benefits of Massage for Weightlifters

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Rock MassageWeight lifting is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world. Millions of people hit the gym every day to work out in the weight room and strive to achieve their own ideal physique.

The results are always impressive, but the damage done to muscles in the process can be a serious problem for some. It is highly recommended that weight lifters make regular appointments for massage therapy.

Good deep tissue massage can really break up scar tissue that could be hindering your progress at the gym or causing you unnecessary injury.

Any athlete can enjoy these varied benefits after just a single massage session.

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What is the Best Post Workout Nutrition?

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Swole Fitness Tips

Recently at Project Swole there has been some discussion of post-workout nutrition. I typically recommend Biotest Surge but several people in the last 6 months or so have suggested chocolate milk. The reality is that chocolate milk really might be the best and cheapest drink you can use post-workout.

The Study

In a recent study, novice weightlifters who trained to failure with 3 sets of 6 exercises each day and drank a post-workout supplement immediately after training, gained 5 pounds of muscle in only 8 weeks.

The proof is out there, experts have been touting it for years, and now you just have to accept it: post-workout nutrition is a necessity to maximize muscle growth.

Make sure you drink your post-workout shakes within 20 minutes of finishing your training, in order to take advantage of the most optimal anabolic window for growth. By doing this you will immediately reverse catabolism and kick-start protein synthesis, which puts you in the fast lane, on the highway to muscle recovery.

So, what are your options for a post-workout shake?

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What is Overtraining?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

How Do I Know if I am Overtraining?

Over Trained
Over Trained

Overtraining is not good. Your performance and quality of life will suffer if you are chronically overtrained. Beware!

Navigation

How to Detect Overtraining
Physical Signs & Symptoms
Psychological Signs & Symptoms
Impaired Athletic Performance
Immunological Signs & Symptoms
Biochemical Signs & Symptoms
Contributing Factors
How to Avoid Overtraining
How to Recover from Overtraining

There are plenty of signs be aware of when it comes to your body’s signals about pushing yourself too far. Over training your body will cause you to plateau or worse – regress.

The most common sign of overtraining is the total loss of motivation to train, and exhaustion mixed with some the symptoms listed below.
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How to Recover From Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Question of the WeekThis question of the week is a question to me, rather than a question to you. Let me know your thoughts on the subject after reading the article.

Let me tell you about a recent conversation with one of my friends over IM. This guy used to lift with me back in college, but he’s working on his own business right now and hasn’t touched a weight in almost a year. So they guy goes out and gets a gym membership and starts training again last Monday.

This is how the conversation went down…

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Back in Action: A Reflection on Intensity and Recovery

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Awww jeah… I’m starting to feel normal again. I can jump again, my grip strength is coming back, I can lift washing machines and driers again… weight training is good. Of course I still only weigh about 185 and I’m still pretty much weak compared to my previous peaks, but it’s coming back. So why is everything falling into place for me during my fourth week on Project Swole, even though I took it pretty easy for the first three weeks? There are three reasons that I can think of, and I want to explain each of them just briefly. The main reason for my quick recovery is muscle memory, which is assisted by my straight up intensity in the weight room, and I have helped everything along by starting slowly and working up to the higher weights and volume.

Muscle Memory

Since I have been weight training seriously since about 1995, my body remembers how to lift. My muscle fibers and neurons remember how to optimize themselves for power, strength, and performance. The rumor is that for the general athlete, you will lose strength in a quarter of the time that it took to gain it; and it will take twice as long as it took to lose it, to get it back. This basically means that you cut in half the time it takes to get back to your optimal performance level after a short layoff or injury.

Intensity

If you go into the weight room and train like a Sally, you will make about as much progress as a snail on fly paper. The general rule of thumb should be to treat the weights like you would your worst enemy. Those weights’ entire purpose for existence is to stop YOU from moving them. The weights don’t want to move, but if you don’t move them, the world will surely come to an end. This is how you must set your mind before each set. Just remember not to confuse intensity with forced reps, negatives, or overtraining with either too many training sessions or too many exercises. Training smart is the key to making progress.

To help build my intensity, I take a bit of inspiration from two of my favorite lifting songs, which I repeat to myself just before each max effort or heavy work set.

Mudvayne once said: “Dig!! Bury me! Underneath! Everything that I am!!”

Corey Taylor of Slipknot once said: “Get this or die! Get this or die!! Get this or DIE!!!”

I also snag a bit of psych from the great Ronnie Coleman who once said: “Yeah Buddy!! Light Weight!! Light Weight!!”

Easing into It

Whether you are just starting an exercise program, coming back from a layoff, or coming back from an injury, a HUGE facet of getting in shape again is to take it easy for the first 2-4 weeks. Don’t attempt any max efforts, don’t hit up forced reps and negatives on each exercise (actually don’t do this anyway), and don’t start lifting 5-6 workout sessions a week. All you will accomplish is to make yourself so sore that you can’t move around in everyday life. This week’s workouts have been really intense, and I have been paying for it since yesterday. Fortunately I am not too sore today, so I’ll be able to function in the weight room tonight when I try to pull (deadlift) a Project Swole PR.

If you do hit the iron too hard and end up with extreme soreness, you can do some of the following to assist in recovery:

  • Use a foam roller to massage and stimulate your muscle fibers.
  • Deep tissue massage to force blood into your injured tissue and release adhesions.
  • Alternating hot and cold showers.
  • Warm up your body and participate in vigorous stretching.
  • Find some weights, springs, bands, or use isometrics to do some exercises for the sore muscle groups with like 20% of your usual work weight, for 20 or so reps.
  • Don’t forget to eat and sleep properly.

With these tips and tricks, anyone can ease into a new workout program, or come back from an injury or layoff. Always remember to make it fun and be intense, but also remember not to mistake overtraining or unnecessary forced reps, for intense work sets. Lift w8 everyday.