We all hate that feeling, the delayed onset muscle soreness. It’s a bitch!
I complain of it, my clients complain of it (all the time I may add!) and it’s always challenging to get the correct dosage of exercise, doing too much or too little.
As I’m typing this my legs are soooo sore!! Was a struggle getting down the stairs this morning, woke up 10 minutes earlier than normal in anticipation of this feeling!
But there are some great ways to help speed up the process of recovery. Some short term and some long term.
We should all know that we deplete our glycogen (energy) stores when we train and our muscle and other tissue is broken down and we get in to that fatigued state.
Anyways, here’s a few ways to help recover from training
If we get to the point that we’re not improving our lifts or performance every week, the workouts become shitty or you miss them and you constantly feel tired than it’s a sure sign that you need a break, a download week. Allow your body to recover, restore itself, let your immune system fire up and your inflammation settle. That way, you’ll get back to where you were in less time, hopefully meaning less chance of injuries and all that mentioned above (fatigue, inflammation, poor performance).
So every 6 weeks or so, go slightly lighter, complete maybe half the reps and focus on proper form and good technique.
If you’re hitting it hard 6 x a week on heavy strength programme you need to chill out! All that DOMs isn’t great. It doesn’t mean the workout will be any less effective if you’re not sore. The muscle fibres are damaged and going back the next day to hit them again may just tip you over the edge. Instead, focus on split body parts if you’re training 4 or more times a week, allow that muscle group to rest and hit another part the next day. Alternatively, if you hit 3 sessions a week, takes a days break in between and go for the full body workouts. The rest will be just about right.
Sleeps a big one, it’s where all the hormones play a part in recovering your body, your CNS system and a lot of other things. Getting little sleep can really hinder your performance and recovery. You’ll see a dramatic increase in fatigue, appetite, and pain from the workouts. The more sleep you get the more anabolic hormones come out to play, and they’re the ones that hep you get stronger and leaner. Turn off your TV, phone, lights an hour before bed, the blue light from those doesn’t help your rest at all!
Eat your greens and consume a good amount of nutrients around your workout. When I train legs, I always have more carbs post workout simply because I’m recruiting more muscle fibres and my glycogen stores would be depleted severely. And we need that glycogen to help recover! Foods such as sweet potato, rice, quinoa are all good sources of Low GI carbs and will help ‘reseed’ your muscles.
Foam rollers are pretty good at helping post workout or when you’re sore the next day. Bear in mind it can be excruciatingly painful when rolling around your IT Band after a quad session!! But it will help relieve some damage built up there and hopefully get the oxygen flowing around the muscle again.
TDT is an awesome spray too!! Apply it after some heavy sessions and let it do it’s magic!! With the added minerals absorbed by your skin, they say the recovery rate increases as a result and DOMS is far less noticeable the next day!! The added magnesium might help you sleep better too… Check it out here, I know it works for me http://transdermaltechnology.co.uk/products/
Have a go and play around with these recovery ways above and let me know what works for you!