Without proper recovery, your results will be minimal at best. It’s extremely important to put a focus on what you do following your workout to ensure you not only recover and refuel, but put yourself in a position to reach your health and fitness goals. Post-workout recovery should be the first thing on your mind as soon as you complete the last rep of your workout.
In order to get the most from your post-workout recovery, I have put together some key strategies for you to implement in order to maximize your results.
1. Drink a protein shake
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that a protein shake for post-workout recovery has made the list. It’s been recommended for years to follow up your workouts with a liquid form of protein. Liquid is absorbed and utilized by the body much faster than a whole food meal which allows the system to shuttle it out to the muscle quicker to help speed up and kickstart the recovery process. Taking in a Beast Protein shake will allow the protein to be broken down into amino acids which when absorbed by the muscles can help build and repair the torn down muscle fibers. This process helps the muscles to come back bigger and stronger (hypertrophy).
We recommend Beast Protein. The specific formula used in Beast Protein helps the body get an immediate release of amino acids into the bloodstream thanks to the whey isolate, which is then followed up by another release from the whey concentrate, and finally several hours later another release from the casein protein.
2. Get enough sleep
You should be striving for a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. Rest is actually where your body forces change when it comes to your physique. Sure, you can say that your workout is breaking down the muscle fibers but, in the end, if you aren’t allowing them enough quality rest to recover and rebuild, all of that work in the gym was for nothing – which leads us into the next major strategy for recovery. Figure out a way to get to bed earlier so you can hit the sweet spot of seven to nine hours of quality sleep to help enhance your post-workout recovery and be ready to tackle the gym the next day.
3. Hit your daily macros
Food is your best friend (we all like to eat, right?). While a protein shake for post-workout recovery is important, so are all of the other calories you should be consuming during the day. Focus on hitting your caloric needs for the day to ensure you are providing your body and muscles with all of the macro and micronutrients needed to recover properly from intense bouts of exercise.
Workouts demand a lot from the body and if you want to improve your post-workout recovery, your daily nutrition can’t take a backseat. If need be, try using MyFitnessPal to track your macros and ensure you are taking in the ideal amount of each to achieve your weight loss/muscle building goal. The app also helps you stay accountable by providing you with a visual of how many calories you’ve already consumed as well as how many you have left to finish off the day.
Remember, your nutrition will ultimately make or break your success. If you’re in a caloric surplus and you’re trying to lose weight, it’s simply not going to happen. Inversely, if you are trying to add quality muscle mass but you are in a caloric deficit, it’s going to be extremely hard to put on any size at all. That’s why it’s so important to nail your nutrition.
4. Actually rest the muscle group
Hitting the same muscle group day in and day out is only going to leave you frustrated, sore, and potentially with an injury due to overuse. In order for a muscle to grow, it needs to rest (similar to what we touched on in #2). The time you take resting the muscle group will allow those muscle fibers to build back up and become stronger than prior.
To get the most from your post-workout recovery, you are going to want to leave 24-48 hours between workouts where the same muscle group would be used. You also need to take into account that when you hit back you are also hitting biceps and when you hit chest, you’re hitting triceps. Take that into account when you are setting up your weekly workout schedule.
5. Use a foam roller
Sore muscles can not only ache but they can also contain knots that limit your mobility. In order to break up those tight and sore muscles, a foam roller can be used. While you may have never used a foam roller before, that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to implement. There are several articles online and videos on YouTube that show you how to properly use a foam roller so I’ll save you the time in this article from listing it all out here.
In a nutshell, using a foam roller can drastically improve your post-workout recovery. It can do so by increasing blood flow to the muscle, reduce overall soreness, release knots and tension in the muscle, and improve your flexibility.
6. Take a cold shower
Following an athletic event, you may have seen athletes utilizing an ice bath. They are doing this to improve post-workout recovery even if it’s following a game/match and not specifically a workout in the gym. A cold shower has similar benefits (not many people have the means to fill up an entire bath with ice to soak in).
The role of a cold shower is to reduce post-workout muscle soreness. This is a great way to follow up your workout in the gym and then slam down a protein shake after you dry off and get dressed. It makes for a simplified process that can lead you down the path to reaching your health and fitness goals.