Exercise Recovery 101
We know that if you want to increase your muscle mass you have to engage in resistance training that suits your goals. We know that if you want to run a marathon, you have to implement a running program and gradually teach your body how to run really long distances without breaking down, and also teach your mind how to stay focused and motivated. With all training regimes we generally tend to place great mental focus on what we have to DO in order to achieve a certain goal. What I mean is that we tend to focus on how hard we can train, how much we can lift, how many runs we need to do, how many rounds are to be finished, and generally how we can improve day-by-day in order to reach success, whether that’s an aesthetic or athletic goal point. What isn’t considered in a great deal of training protocols is how much rest we need to give our bodies, so that they can recover, replenish, learn and grow. And, additionally, how supplementation can support recovery, not simply just getting #gains.
Rest from training is not a complete recovery. Rest days are implemented in training protocols so as to decrease the stress we place on our bodies, from the Central Nervous System (CNS) all the way to the individual muscle cells. Rest days are an opportunity for the body to swing into action and mobilise recovery systems, that we all innately have as part of our biology, to repair muscle tears, replenish neurotransmitters, clear toxic build-up of reactive oxygen species, metabolise lactate in the muscles, and more. When we reflect on this, it certainly seems as though the body is still really busy on rest days and sometimes supporting the body to perform restorative and replenishing functions can come as an after-thought, even though it’s essential to all athletic performance.
Recent scientific enquiry has proven that recovery on a cellular level and on a systemic level need to be complete for the muscle cells to have functional integration at the level needed for optimal performance. Different training stresses also have different rates and modalities for recovery. Consider resistance training, technically there are three states of rest: 1) time between reps; 2) time between sets; and 3) time between sessions. The optimal duration of rest times will vary on an individual level and will be based on the individual’s ability to perform restoration and replenishment, as previously mentioned. Recovery is defined as the ability to meet or exceed performance in a particular activity, and it is well acknowledged that most exercise-induced adaptions take place during the recovery process! So, understanding all of this, makes it more logical to accept that full training recovery is essential to optimal training performance, and there is a simple way to support this with supplements
When it comes to supplementation, it can be difficult to know where to start. If you’re just beginning a fitness journey, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to buy everything that is recommended to you in order to achieve your desired outcome. However, with supplements, we believe that simple, clean and health focused is always best. Amino acids are needed to support almost all physiological systems in the human body; but also, amino acids are essential for muscle building, so taking those post and intra-workout can be a great place to start. Amino acids support recovery from a cellular level and are well-integrated quickly. We believe that super-greens supplements are also a great way to fill gaps that most people’s diets leave. Super greens provide a wide, varied micronutrient profile that is rich in minerals and vitamins that support most body functions. Our Gut Doctor and Brain Doctor supplements are also rich in antioxidants, pre-biotics, probiotics and vitamins that boost and support immune functions.
With recovery the key take away points are: 1) listen to your body and understand the difference between an over-loading phase and over-training induced performance reduction; 2) look at your recovery process and learn how you can eat, train and recover in the way to optimise performance outcomes; and 3) choose supplements that fill gaps in your diet and support your desired health outcomes.