June 27th 2015
Weekly News: Kati’s Fit Kit
Results are in the Recovery!
Announcements: We will be closed on Saturday, July 4th, to observe Independence Day! We will however be at the Concerts on the Green at Warner Center Park, in our Breakthrough Booth! Come join us for a Firework Extravaganza! For more information, click here.
Results are in the Recovery
If you work hard and are consistent in your training, but don’t feel like you’re getting the results you should be, then keep reading… this one’s for you! The problem may not be your workout program itself, so much as what you are doing BETWEEN workouts. One of the biggest speed bumps to making progress with fitness goals is under-recovering from your training.
The harder you train, the better the results, right? WRONG! The harder you train, and the better you recover in between training sessions is what gets results. As the intensity and frequency of your workouts builds, your efforts to recover must build too. Results happen when training and recovery go hand in hand.
Here are a few areas to take a look at in your recovery. They could each be expanded on in great detail, but here are the basics:
1. Sleep – If you aren’t getting between 7 to 8 hours a night, you are not recovering enough. During sleep not only does the body repair itself, but it oxidizes fat at a higher percentage than any other time. Lack of sleep throws your hormones out of whack, and there is a large amount of scientific research to link sleep deprivation to high body fat levels.
2. General Nutrition – Obviously we know that what we eat has the largest effect on whether we gain or lose weight. But even if you don’t have a desire to change your body composition, the foods you eat will of course have an impact on your progress in your training. To keep it very simple – eat clean! Meaning eat lean proteins, veggies and fruits for the most part, and keep processed foods to a minimum. While training days can generally be a time to eat a few more carbs post-workout, don’t fall into the trap of “rewarding” yourself with a trip to the fast food drive thru every time you come home from the gym.
3. Post Workout Nutrition – Building on topic 2 above, let’s continue talking about post-workout nutrition. After your training, your body needs to replenish glycogen (your energy stores), increase protein synthesis (increase muscle size and/or quality), and decrease protein breakdown (repair muscles from the workout). Immediately following your workout, your muscles are primed to accept nutrients to stimulate muscle repair and growth. Directly after your training you should consume at least 20 grams of protein and between 30 to 50 grams of fast digesting carbohydrates. For the most benefit, this should be done as soon as possible after your workout, but no later than an hour. If you can eat a meal, that’s great! However, realistically you might not be able to get a meal (or feel like you want to eat) that soon. This is where a high quality protein supplement comes in to save the day. So next time you are packing your gym bag, don’t forget to throw in your protein powder, or ask us for an individual packet of Warrior Whey after your next training session at the gym.
4. Foam Rolling and Stretching – Foam rolling and other forms of self-myofascial release like using the massage stick and lacrosse balls should be a part of your daily routine, including your days off from training. This self massage is important to help relax triggered muscles as well as fascia that is restricted or painful due to trauma, overuse or inactivity. In terms of your training gains, this will allow you to re-establish proper movement patterns, that will in turn enhance your ability to perform in your workouts. A few minutes of stretching areas that are chronically tight on most of us like the hips, thoracic spine and shoulders is also important for recovery. However, stretching does not replace foam rolling! Imagine a triggered muscle like a knot tied in a bungee cord – you can stretch the bungee so that it lengthens, but that won’t untie the knot.
If you can hit a few of these bonus recovery tools, so much the better:
Massage – If you can add this in once a week or even once a month, a skilled massage therapist will be your best friend!
Contrast Showers – After your training sessions, or even on your off days, hot/cold showers are a great tool to add to your recovery tool box. Start with 2 minutes of hot, follow with a minute of cold, and repeat at least once, finishing with cold. The contrast between the temperatures dilates and constricts the blood vessels, creating a pump of sorts that helps flush toxins, increases circulation and reduces muscle soreness.
Unplug – Spend a few minutes each day doing something relaxing, preferably something that doesn’t involve a screen. Read a book, go for a walk, meditate… be creative!
Results come in how you recover from your training, not just the training itself, so get friendly with your foam roller and enjoy that post-training protein shake!