Back To Basics Part 1: How To Recover From Workouts
In this new series, I will be going back to the basics. Whether you are brand new to ResoluteFIT or you have been here for a few years, it is always good to get a refresher on the basics.
Before we start, check this chart out. It tells a great story regardless of where you fall on it. Everyone is on a path to their health and wellness goals, and we, as Coaches at ResoluteFIT, are here to help you along that path. We are here to help you reach your goals faster than if you did it by yourself, reduce your chances of injury, and make the process more fun and enjoyable. Coaches may even be able to give you shortcuts to your goals, but whether or not the shortcut works depends on where you fall on the graph below.
So, without further delay, here are the Back To Basics for Recovering From A Workout!
Not Good: You finish a workout and consume nothing for hours.
Good: You finish a workout and consume a whey protein shake and banana.
Better: You have a small snack of some carbs and protein an hour or so before a workout, and after the workout consume a whey protein shake and banana. Then you have a meal within 1 hour.
Best: You do everything in "better" but also eat unprocessed food all day, along with proper meals and snacks based on your caloric needs. You also drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day, if not more.
Why: Nutrition can be complex. We don't want or expect anyone to go from "Not Good" to "Best" in a short amount of time. It takes some people years to progress to "Best" on their own. If you want to speed it up, we recommend talking with our Nutrition Coach! As to why it is the most important aspect of recovering from a workout, it is literally what repairs and fuels your muscles. A workout, by definition, causes little micro-tears in your muscles (in a good way). The protein that is consumed goes to repairing these muscles and making them stronger! If you don't get your protein requirement, then guess what is going to suffer? Your muscles. You will be more sore than your peers, and will make slower progress! As far as energy goes, think of your body like a race car. Race cars get high quality high octane gasoline. This allows them to perform top notch. Our bodies are similar - if you put high quality food in, it will perform well. If you put garbage in, it will be like trying to workout in sludge. The goal is to eat all natural, unprocessed foods, in healthy quantities for your caloric needs. Your InBody scan gives you an idea of how many calories you need, just remember, its the caloric requirement on a full rest day!
Not Good: Finish a spicy workout, put your gear away in a hurry, and dash out to your car to leave.
Good: Finish a spicy workout and spend 2 minutes on a foam roller.
Better: Finish a spicy workout, spend 5 minutes on a foam roller, and do a few light stretches or lacrosse balling.
Best: Finish a spicy workout, spend 5 minutes on a rower or bike at a very light speed, focused on big slow deep breaths, then foam roll and stretch.
Why: A proper cool down after a workout sends signals to the body to start the recovery process. By just getting in the car without any cool down, it delays the recovery process and increases the likelihood of tight and overly sore muscles. "Best" cool downs help flush out the lactic acid, which can reduce post workout soreness!
Not Good: Less than 6 hours of sleep.
Good: Between 6 and 7 hours of sleep.
Better: Between 7 and 8 hours of sleep.
Best: Over 8 hours of sleep.
Why: Sleep has been said to be the single best performance enhancing "drug" of all time. The more you sleep, the more your body can repair itself. This goes for your muscles, as well as your brain. It's no surprise that professional athletes put a priority on sleep and often get 10+ hours. Now for those of us in suburbia with kids and regular jobs it is certainly harder to get 10 hours a night (laughable really), but if you currently get 6 hours, try to get 7. If you get 7, try to get 7.5 ... the difference pays off big time.
As this is "Back To Basics" we are going to leave it there for now, but we have more info in older blogs if you are interested. Check them out below! Also stay tuned for Part 2 in the series next week!