Rest and Recovery; if you’re not doing this…it is time to start.

I used to be one of those people who would train and train and train, 7 days a week for like 3 hours in the gym sometimes even 4 hours. The only information I had was from the old flex magazines I have stashed away in my box (can’t let go of the classics). Even back then I was always obsessed with making up my own programs so I would take different programs like Arnold’s mic it up with Ronnie Coleman’s and maybe Jay Cutler’s and I would just come up with an insane and long program that I would make sure keeps me in the gym as long as possible.


Back then I had no knowledge on reps, sets, conditioning, differences between powerlifting, strength training or hypertrophy training. I just read a lot and noticed the common rep ranges and sets bodybuilders used depending on what they were training at the time. And back then all I wanted was to grow big, have super swole Coleman legs and just be jacked and swole as f*ck! (Pardon my French, haha). 
I thought that’s how I would get big, training everyday and just straight up pushing to the max. And I can tell you my biggest reason for not resting (I am sure which is also why not many people rest) is because when I started out I was so scared that resting will result to loss of gains(this was the formula in my head; rest=loss of gains). And many people out there as you’re reading this I can bet you anything think the same and I am fortunate I did research and I loved the weights even before I knew it can be a fulfilling career. 

Now what about those people who don’t have guidance, aren’t as passionate, are doing it as a by-the-way kind of activity or even those who just don’t know where to even start sourcing the information from?

Well worry not, this is where people like me (Fitness professionals who loooooooove to research, educate and empower) come in and try and explain in the simplest and hopefully most comprehensible way possible.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REST AND RECOVERY

REST: Time spent sleeping and not training or exercising. This means you’ll want to keep your heart rate down. You can literally do anything you want, so long as it doesn’t involve exercising.

RECOVERY: Commonly referred to as “active recovery,” this technique can help relieve muscle soreness, improve flexibility, and restore energy storage levels. This is where popular methods of cross-training (any exercise that isn’t running) come in. Active recovery should not be a way to avoid rest, but a way to help the body repair itself after hard workouts.

Now that we have the definitions which I am sure you all understand I will go as to why Rest and Recovery is very important when I comes to your Health and Fitness Goals.


OPTIMAL RECOVERY=COMPLETE REST + ACTIVE RECOVERY 

Why?


This is why Rest and Recovery is very important for athletes:

-Restore glycogen stores, 

-Build strength, 

-Minimize fatigue, 

-Reduce injury risk, 

-Avoid mental burnout,

-Body repair.

According to research I have read so far especially the article by Elizabeth Quinn for about.com the following are some of the most commonly recommended by the experts: 

1. Rest: Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from just about any illness or injury and this also works after a hard workout. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Resting and waiting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace. It’s not the only thing you can or should do to promote recovery, but sometimes doing nothing is the easiest thing to do.

2. Stretch: If you only do one thing after a tough workout, consider gentle stretching. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover.

3. Cool Down: Cooling down simply means slowing down (not stopping completely) after exercise. Continuing to move around at a very low intensity for 5 to 10 minutes after a workout helps remove lactic acid from your muscles and may reduce muscles stiffness. 

4. Eat Properly: After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. 

5. Replace Fluids: You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. 

6. Try Active Recovery: Easy, gentle movement improves circulation which helps promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body. 

7. Massages: Massage feels good and improves circulation while allowing you to fully relax. Foam rolling is also very important.

8. Take an Ice Bath: Some athletes swear by ice baths, ice massage or contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold showers) to recover faster, reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury. The theory behind this method is that by repeatedly constricting and dilating blood vessels helps remove (or flush out) waste products in the tissues. 

9. Get Lots of Sleep: While you sleep, amazing things are taking place in your body. Optimal sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. During sleep, your body produces Growth Hormone (GH) which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair.

10. Avoid Overtraining. One simple way to recovery faster is by designing a smart workout routine in the first place. Excessive exercise, heavy training at every session or a lack of rest days will limit your fitness gains from exercise and undermine your recovery efforts.

My motto of the day👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾

Stimulate the muscles, refuel the body, rest and recover. Have a good week people.


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