No pain No gain... right? Depends on the duration of the pain. When we are training we are tearing muscle to build it bigger and stronger. A healthy recovery from a work out session should last 1to 3 days. If you're sore longer than this then you may be injured or over training.
Rest and recovery are vital to the process of breaking down and building. We want to prevent scar tissue from forming and prevent injury. We also want to repair the self inflicted damage we sustained while exercising... so we can do it again the next week... aka the building process.
Sometimes when beginning a new training regimen the muscle soreness can be a bit overwhelming. Insert common phrases- #thestruggleisreal #painisweaknessleavingthemind #toolegittoquitheyhey. This is common and can be intense for the first three weeks. After that three week hump the muscle pain will still be present but not as bothersome. There are a few tricks to make the process more manageable, but nothing that can safely and completely mask the pain from recovery.
Proper recovery ensures maximum muscle gains and helps prevent future injury. So I have compromised a list for recovery, wether its from injury or the growth process.
First on the list is SLEEP! This is free, can be performed from almost anywhere, and is one of the most important factors in recovery. Sleep is like plugging in to recharge a battery. I could write a whole separate article on the benefits of sleep and recovery... its that important. So just do it. The average adult needs 8 hours. The average stressed adult can need up to 10 hours.
Second on the list is nutrition. How bout dat. We are essentially breaking down our body to build it up. We need to have a proper nutrition plan in place or we will just be breaking down and not ingesting the proper things to build it back up. Carbohydrate sources and placement is key to recovery and delivery of protein. Protein is equally important to recovery. I actually have written a 12 page pamphlet on this... its called a meal plan. If you need one you can cash me outside... or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third on the list are supplements!!! Supplements are things added to supply a deficiency or reinforce a whole. It is really hard to derive all things needed in your diet from only food sources, especially when training vigorously. I have tried and I was literally eating all day long. It was exhausting. The supplement industry has broken down the main ingredients needed to accelerate athletic performance into little powders, thus making it easier to swallow. I have listed a few of my favorite supplements for recovery below. They are not in any particular order.
Amino Acids or BCAA's
They can be found in most protein sources, but as a supplement they are unbound. This means the can absorbed faster and help prevent muscle catabolism. Muscle catabolism is when your body uses its own muscle to fuel activity. This commonly occurs during "cardio" sessions. Aminos are the building blocks for new cell development.
My two favorite sources of aminos are- Amino Hydro and BCAA black ice extreme. Here is a link to both. https://www.americanmadenutrition.com/collections/supplements/products/amn-blackhawk-edition-black-ice-aminohttps://www.americanmadenutrition.com/collections/supplements/products/amino-hydro-blackberry-lemonade?variant=6833868865571
Creatine helps hydrate muscles during exercise and helps replace glycogen storage burned during training. It also helps with ATP production, which means more reps per set. Our amino hydro has creatine, but so do most pre-work out supplements.
When exercising or healing, sometimes the body can use more glutamine than muscles can make. You need nitrogen to help repair tissue damage and aide in organ function. Roughly 1/3 of nitrogen comes from glutamine. Supplementing can help fill and replenish storage.
Natural Test Boost
If building muscle was a movie then testosterone would be the director. Testosterone is key to protein synthesis. That's the bodies ability to build and repair the tissue damage that occurs during exercise. This is easily another topic that could turn into a 12 page article. Long story short-Testosterone levels can be decreased with intense training or long periods of stress where cortisol levels are increased. Levels also start declining naturally from age. (As early as 30) This includes women too, yes we have testosterone. We have formulated and excellent test booster for men and women. Test formula for men, Birthday Suit for women. Here are links.