By: Ian Pearson
Yes, working out in the gym is definitely one of the most important steps when it comes to building muscles and improving your performance, but there’s something almost equally important that mustn’t be overlooked either. We’re talking about your post-workout recovery process, so be sure to stay with us if you want to know how to speed it up. Here are five useful tips on how to get it done, so check them out!
Push your limits, but be careful not to overdo it
Yes, we’re sure that you’re already familiar with ‘no pain, no gain’ saying, and we know that you’re probably tired of hearing it over and over again, but you know what? That’s exactly what you should do if you want to create the much-needed stimulus for muscle growth. Pushing your limits is definitely one of the best ways to build those muscles and accomplish your fitness goals much faster, but you should be careful not to overdo it. Once you put too much strain on your body, it won’t be able to recover properly after a workout as the damage will accumulate over time and your body will be focused on repairing it, instead of building new muscle. So, step outside your comfort zone and push a bit harder, but be sure not to destroy yourself along the way!
Don’t skip the stretching
Even though a lot of people find stretching irrelevant and unnecessary, the fact is that this is probably the most underrated factor which plays a huge role in muscle growth. Your muscles simply won’t be able to grow as much as possible if they don’t have necessary flexibility and pliability, so don’t forget to stretch after your workout as those exercises can provide everything your muscles need in order to grow. One of the best ways to incorporate stretching into your workout routine is to actually plan it in advance, as you’re more likely to skip it if you don’t plan it. Just take at least 20 minutes to stretch and cool down after an intense workout, and you’ll instantly feel much better. Such exercises will relieve muscular tension and the soreness you’ll experience later on, so don’t neglect them and you’ll see a fantastic improvement.
Take your pre-workout diet seriously
Contrary to popular belief, muscle-building process isn’t just about lifting the weights and working out in the gym. Another extremely important factor is your pre-workout nutrition and your diet in general, which play a huge role in the process of recovery as well. You should definitely pay attention to the foods you’re choosing, so make a wise choice and fuel your body with quality ingredients that can speed up your recovery. Remember that digestion is a quite lengthy process, as carbs and proteins you ingest before your workout will still be circulating in your body even when the workout is done. That’s exactly why high-quality lean protein is an absolute must, as well as some complex carbohydrates – especially if you’re going for an intense workout. In order to avoid cramps or other digestive issues, you should consume your meal at least two hours before a workout. On the other hand, your post-workout meals should consist of potassium-rich foods, as this mineral is essential when it comes to your muscular energy. Mashed potatoes and bananas are never a bad choice, so be sure to eat them after your workout is finished.
Make sure you get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep at night is vital as it improves your overall quality of life, and it gets even more important when intense workouts are a part of your everyday routine. However, it’s still common to hear that a lot of people get less than six hours of sleep, which simply isn’t enough at any level. Sleep isn’t meant just for relaxing – it’s actually the time your body takes to restore itself, which is why you need at least eight hours of it every night. Seven hours will also do the trick, but anything less than that is insufficient. When you’re sleep deprived, you’re likely to become more and more mentally weaker, which can negatively affect all aspects of your life – including your drive in training sessions. You can always opt for taking quality night protein before you go to bed, as it provides a slow digesting protein source that releases amino acids to your muscles over a long period of time. This is an ideal pre-bed option that will certainly improve your process of recovery, so be sure to give it a try and you definitely won’t regret it!
Don’t forget to take your post-workout protein
Even though we’re aware of the fact that chugging your post-workout shake can seem a bit funny, especially if you’re a bulky guy who drinks his shakes religiously, the truth is that such shakes can significantly speed up the process of recovery by feeding your muscles and providing them with the necessary fuel. Everyone knows that post-workout protein is essential, especially when you haven’t eaten for hours, so be sure you take 20-50 grams of protein after each workout, depending on your bodyweight. Of course, whey protein is one of the most popular protein supplements, which is why a lot of people use it on a daily basis. Apart from being really convenient and easy to mix, it also has a great absorption rate which is highly required after a rough training session. If you plan to use it, just choose quality over taste or cost, because that’s the best way to see results that really make a difference.
As you can see, there are so many ways to improve your process of recovery and speed it up a little bit, in order to boost your muscle growth and feel much better after your workouts. First of all, don’t be scared to push your limits, because that’s one of the best ways towards better results. Make sure you incorporate some stretching exercises into your routine, too, and don’t forget to pay a lot of attention to your pre and post-workout nutrition. Foods rich in protein and potassium are an absolute must, as well as a good night’s sleep, so be sure to fulfill all of these conditions and you’ll see a fantastic improvement!