You have to train hard and surpass your comfort zone to achieve the results you desire. No one ever got the body they have dreamed of by giving 80%. But, when you train hard, proper rest must be achieved afterward as well. Recovering after a workout is just as important as the workout itself. When you weight train, tiny tears are made in the muscle fibers. This is beneficial, because this is how growth occurs and regardless of your workout goals, 99% of people need to gain muscle mass. Just because you gain size, doesn’t mean you will get bulky either. You have to train bulky and eat bulky to get that body builder look. But, almost everyone should be increasing muscle mass. Not only will it help trim you down and cut you up, it will increase your caloric expenditure, making you burn more calories throughout the day.
As I said above, working out tears muscle fibers. In order for growth to occur, these fibers must have plenty of recovery time. Studies suggest 24-48 hours of rest is necessary between workouts on that particular muscle group. This gives the muscle plenty of time to go through protein synthesis, where protein will go in and repair the muscle tissue. The muscle is then able to recover and become a little bit stronger after each session.
In addition to proper rest time, proper nutrition is vital as well. In short, some protein rich food or drink is a necessity 30 minutes post workout. This short period of time directly after a workout is crucial to recovery. Make sure that an adequate balance of carbohydrates is also included. These carbs are absolutely necessary to assist in protein synthesis and help reload glycogen and glucose stores in the muscle tissue. Without any carbs in your post workout nutrition, the muscle may take up necessary protein needed for recovery and convert it into glucose to aid in energy restoration. It could also slow protein synthesis, delaying muscle recovery and providing for tightness and soreness in the oncoming days. Chocolate milk is a great, cheap alternative to expensive post workout drinks, and has been university proven to be one of the best post workout drinks.
So whether you are looking to be a competitive body builder, lose weight, or just stay healthy, make sure to properly rest after a workout. The last thing anyone wants is to put the time and effort in the gym without seeing any results, which is exactly why many people don’t see the outcome they should. Make sure to allow for a minimum of 24 hours rest after training each muscle group, though I strive and prefer for a full 48 hours. Then, make sure to get something in your stomach 30 minutes post workout to speed and assist in protein synthesis and the growth and repair of muscle tissue. Follow these easy recovery steps, and your work will be allowed to properly be paid off.
By Sean Spire – a fitness professional, specializing in athletic development, weight loss, post-rehabilitation, and the geriatric population. With a degree in Exercise Science from Florida State University where he was a scholarship athlete in swimming, he currently resides in South Florida where he pursues his passion – helping people live life the way it is meant to be lived. More articles and tips can be found on Sean’s blog – http://www.aspirefitnessandhealth.com/
Photo By M.V. Jantzen