Updated: Mar 10
If you're at all interested in making sure your body can perform at its best, then it's absolutely crucial that you get on top of your recovery.
There are so many ways to take care of your body after a hard session or at the end of a really intense week. To stop myself from prattling on for hours, I'm limiting myself to talking about my 5 favourite recovery methods to use after sessions and on my days off.
Here we go!
5 - Doing Nothing
Yeah ok it's a little bit of a cop-out, even for the bottom of the list, but hear me out.
In order to really let your muscles return to 100% potential, you've got to let them rest. Make sure that you're not pushing yourself too hard; remember to take a day off once in a while so you don't overwork yourself or end up with an overuse injury.
Once a week, take a day to watch films, play video games, binge watch a Netflix series - do something that truly lets your mind relax! Your body will thank you.
4 - Muscle Gun Therapy
This one's not for the faint of heart - trust me. Using a muscle gun tests the mettle of even the strongest among us by playing wit your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems' responses, meaning that they basically have to test your pain threshold before they start helping you!
I do love a good 20-ish minutes with a muscle gun though; once you've overcome the pain, your body really eases into the punishment and gets loads of blood flowing right to where it's needed most!
3 - Active Recovery
If you're the kind of person who can't stop working out, this will probably be your favourite. Instead of going all-out for one of your training days, just go for a walk instead. Let your joints move freely and gently, getting precious blood and nutrients circulated throughout the body.
Active recovery is when we help our bodies repair themselves by adding a little bit of movement. For some people this might be swimming, others it might be walking, and for some it might even be an intense stretching session or an hour of yoga.
2 - Eating Right
Choosing between this and number 1 on the list was very, very difficult, but I think I made the right call. Getting your diet right is really tough (I'm still working on it too), but once you nail the right elements, you'll notice massive improvements in your body's ability to recover from training.
Making sure you get the right amounts of protein, carbs and fat will allow your body to grow and repair itself more effectively, letting you come back to the gym after each session with more energy, less stiffness and a heck of a lot less pain.
1 - Sleep
Yep, you heard me.
Sleeping well is the most important thing you can do for your body. Ensuring you get between 6-8 hours, eliminating screen time at night, making sure your room is quiet and that your sleep is as restful as possible are all factors which will massively contribute to better performance under the bar.
Sleeping too much or too little can affect your hormonal balance, causing your body to react as if you're experiencing large amounts of stress, so aim for that sweet spot between 6 and 8 hours and you'll kill your next session in the gym.
What are your favourite ways to recover? Let me know any way you like! If you're interested in improving your recovery, get in touch and we'll see what we can do!