Recovery Methods For The Drug Free Lifter
Sore muscles, aching joints, and fatigue are just some of the feelings you experience after a hard day in the gym. The soreness is so extreme, it’s even hard to walk. Every single one of us has been there. The aftermath of a hard leg day is nothing short of pure torture. The agony of walking down steps, sitting on hard surfaces, and even things as simple as standing up, become difficult. The problem is we can’t stop it. As serious athletes and lifters, we cannot help but go all out in whatever we do. We know the pain will be there, but the rewards are worth it. However, there is one problem. When you are in the gym giving max effort every single day, it can be difficult to recover. Compounded on that, is the fact that here at Max Effort Muscle, we pride ourselves on being drug free. We do not have the luxury of the short cut that is anabolic steroids.
The issue we have is not that we do not go hard enough in the gym, the problem lies in our recovery. Exercise is only a stimulus for growth. The real muscle growth and improved performance comes from recovering and being able to go just as hard tomorrow as you did today. So what can you do to recover? What can you do to ensure that you are able to give 100% in the gym or on the field? Here is a list of the top 5 recovery modalities for a drug free lifter.
The first and most important method of recovery is already built into our natural life: sleep. There is no better method of improving recovery like getting an extra hour of sleep. Every single athlete knows the feeling of trying to perform while sleep deprived. The feeling of being tired, having a lack of energy, and just not feeling 100% can all result from a lack of sleep. When you are not getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night, you are most likely not getting the most out of your performance. A recent meta-analysis conducted by Greg Nuckols stated:
The biggest takeaway from all of these studies is that nothing beats making sure your head is on your pillow for enough hours each night. Both studies examining the effects of sleep extension (increasing time in bed to 9-10+ hours per night) found marked performance improvements in high-level athletes in a short period of time, while all other interventions had mixed results.
Bar none, getting more sleep will always improve performance and recovery. However, of course this isn’t always practical. Most people have busy lives and want to spend time with their families or have a social life. However, the more consistent you can be about getting at least 8 hours, the better you will recover.
The next recovery method is something that you do every single day. The second important method you can implement to help speed up your recovery is to practice proper nutritional habits. Healthy nutritional habits will allow you to get the proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to recovery properly. A diet that consist mainly of whole foods and adequate protein levels (0.8-1g of protein per pound of body weight a day) will allow the body the be properly fueled to take on even the most demanding exercise routine. In addition to eating high quality, nutrient dense foods, proper water intake will aid in recovery as well. Try to get in at least 1 gallon of water a day.
The third method of recovery is supplementation. Not everyone is able to get all of their nutrients via food alone. Here at Max Effort Muscle we strive to provide you with the best supplements for performance and recovery. Our industry leading post workout provides 10g of BCAA in a 2:1:1 ratio, along with 5g of glutamine per serving. Our delicious tasting post workout currently comes in 5 flavors that will allow you to make the most out of your workout. If you are looking for a 0 calorie, delicious post workout drink, we have the product for you. In addition to the post workout, we also have 3 amazing protein flavors that will do the job as well. Protein is made up of BCAA’s so you will be sure to recover, and our Tri-Blend Protein provides you with a unique dosage of three different types of protein. Whether you want to take it post workout, as a mid-day snack, or at night time to get an extra boost, our protein does the job.
The fourth method of recovery is movement. Blood is the natural healer of the body and the super highway for vital nutrients. The day after a hard workout be sure to move around a little. Get some blood pumping, do some yoga, go for a walk, just do anything that will get the blood back moving in your system. The worst thing you can do after a hard workout is to just lay around. Your body needs to continue to move and have blood flowing through your system.
Lastly, if you want to be able to recover properly, you need to make sure the program you are on follows proper periodization rules. You simply cannot max out every single day and expect to feel 100%. This is absolutely critical if you want to be able to perform optimally and be in the sport for a long period of time. While this does not mean you cannot go 100% every day, it does mean that you do not need to hit a max effort attempt every time you step in the gym or on the track. Taking a max effort lift every day or running until you puke will only set you up for long term failure. Make sure you are incorporating lower intensity or recovery days within your programming. Not only will your body thank you, but so will your performance.
Whether it’s in the gym, court, field, or mats, as part of Max Effort, we always give our best. We stand for what is right, we fight for everything we want, and we always give MAX EFFORT. Use these tips to help yourself come back stronger and you will be sure to be performing your best.
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