DrMehta@docsportsmed.com 937-610-3278

How much recovery do you need?

January 13, 2017
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Athletes continue to workout harder and train longer to get their goals. But how much recovery is needed to maintain optimal performance? High intensity athletes including powerlifters, weightlifters and crossfiters workout similar muscle groups at variable intensities and intervals. For example, powerlifters train at much higher intensities than weighlifters and tend to squat less frequently in a weeks span. This allows the larger muscle groups more recovery time to be able to meet the demand from the increased intensity. In addition different muscle fibers require different muscle recovery. Slow twitch muscles are aerobic, adequate for constant activity at a lower intensity. These muscle groups do not need much recovery time between sessions. In contrast, fast twitch muscles are made for high intensity workouts requiring periodic bursts of energy and need frequent rests to allow recovery. In addition the type of exercise specifically involving a majority eccentric component of exercise has a role in recovery. Repetitive eccentric contractions for example in squats requires extra recovery time often due to overtraining.

Here are some tips to help you maximize recovery between workouts:

  1. Nutrition
  2. – increase protein intake
    – Consume quality carbohydrates as soon as possible after workouts
    – Balance diet with healthy fats and a good multivitamin
    – Hydrate enough to replace water lost by sweat

  3. Metabolic Clearance

    – Active recovery – light intensity and gradual warm down
    – Alternate between showers and ice baths
    – Use compression garments to increase circulation

  4. Tissue Quality – fully relaxing muscles is important to effective future workouts by decreasing tightness and pain

    – foam roll
    – Massage, osteopathic manipulation and physiotherapy can make a big difference
    – Stretching and mobility exercises
    – Dry needing/Trigger points to help with muscle tension and pain

  5. Proper Rest – good quality is the most important factor in recovery and effectiveness of workouts

    – Adequte sleep – time varies between individuals, but keeping a record of sleep helps
    – Power Naps – 45 minute post training naps provide enough down time to prepare for the next training session
    – Meditation reduces sensory input”s allowing recovery to being quickly

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