Have you started a new rigorous workout program, but haven’t seen much progress? You might be working out too much. Maybe you’re one of those guys who can’t stop moving – always off to a new adventure, or constantly improving the home – painting the house trim or whatever – as long as you don’t have to stop doing something productive. The problem is that after you’ve had a big workout, the most productive thing you can do… might be nothing.
You see, the workout is what caused stress to your muscles, so technically your body doesn’t get stronger until after the workout. That’s when your muscles are repairing from that stress, building bigger stronger muscle. They have to recover first! Here are some tips for better ways to recover, so your body gets the strength you’re working so hard for:
Don’t lift every day
If you’re hitting the gym every day, you’re not giving your muscles a chance to repair. Lift every other day, about 3-4 days a week. Or, if you really don’t want to change your daily habit, then switch from upper body to lower. And you don’t have to completely rest on your days off, just do different stuff. Take a walk in the woods. Throw a frisbee with your dog. Jog down to the local pub.
Drink a protein shake
It’s best to have some protein within an hour after working out. This will prevent your body from burning your muscles for energy, so that they can start repairing right away. A lot of guys are working out to get lean, so they try to skim back their food intake at the same time. It won’t work, and you’ll end up weaker. If you want to be strong and lean, it’s better to build up your strength first, then work on cutting back on calories after you’ve stopped a rigorous workout program.
Get more sleep
Studies show that sleep is super important to recovery, and you’ll probably break through some big plateaus if you can get more. If you have a hard time getting Zs for whatever reason, make the time to figure out what will help. Experiment with different alarms or lower room temperatures. Skip the caffeine. Meditate before bed. Do what it takes. You’ll see a huge difference in your strength and your sanity.
Take a cold shower
Many cultures have been using cold water therapy for centuries. Hopping in a cold shower after a workout will constrict your veins, which keeps lactic acid and other toxins away from your muscles. As your body warms up, your circulation improves, flowing good nutrients for repair. Studies show you’ll sleep better if you take a cold shower about an hour before bed too! Cold water therapy has many more benefits, and the recent popularity of Wif Hof (aka Iceman) has shed new light and research in this method to recovery and health.
Find a new Netflix show to binge on
Seriously! Go ahead and be lazy on a Sunday afternoon with some good football or Netflix binge. You’ve gotta get your head wrapped around the fact that recovery is what makes you stronger, not the load on your squats. So, take rest as seriously as you take your work. That’s the only way you’re going to see significant improvement.
And if you want to get stronger in the interview process, as well as in the gym, give Madden a call. You can stop scrambling hard to find a job – we’re here to help you to effectively build a career that’s suited for your talent and skills.