FIVE TIPS TO ACCELERATE RECOVERY NATURALLY
Written by Charles Poliquin
Recovery is the forgotten element in most sports training. Paying attention to your recovery processes will maximize the training response by allowing you to train intensely more frequently. Now, finally, pro teams such as the Chelsea Football Club, the Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, the Chicago Bears, now hire sports nutritionists to develop recovery program for their teams.
Here are five important tips that will allow you to maximize growth.
• Four to five times weekly, stretch your muscles thoroughly. Besides the well known injury prevention and increased flexibility benefits of stretching, regular stretching maximizes the hypertrophy process by stretching the fascia, allowing room for the muscle to grow. After a very brief cardiovascular warm-up (2 to 5 minutes, just enough to break a sweat) stretch the targetted muscle group with P.N.F. stretching. Consult a physiotherapist or a coach certified under me. Visit my website to find a certified coach near you. Finish off with static 4-6 stretches of 15 seconds duration. The combination of these two stretching methods is more effective than using one method alone. Static stretching makes permanent the rapid gains made with P.N.F..
• In my opinion, deep massage of the connective tissue is probably the best recovery boosting method. In my practice as a strength consultant with various national teams, I have routinely, in all athletes treated, observed 2-10% strength gains 24 hours after such treatments. Why such a gain in strength in elite athletes?. To be quite frank, I do not really know. However, I have observed countless number of times such gains. Bear in mind that deep massage has quite a few names: Rolfing, Neuro-muscular Reeducation Massage (N.M.R.) etc…. A final tone on deep massage, it is as fun as getting the inside of your nostrils scraped with a mentho-lyptus coated potato peeler. Believe me, it is no day at the beach, but the rewards are worth it. If your strength does not increase the following workout, seek a better therapist.
• Do not sleep more than 8 hours in a row. If you sleep too long, you are not eating often enough. If your schedule can afford it, have your afternoon nap ending 1.5 hours before your workout. It will give half an hour to eat your pre-workout meal, an hour to digest before starting your workout.
• Abstain from alcohol. Alcohol will slow down your muscle mass gains by:
1. interfering with energy production in your workouts by inhibiting certain enzymes.
2. messing up your sleep patterns. The reduced quantity and quality of sleep will minimize your recovery for the following workout. A evening partying at the pub on a Friday will foul up your sleep until the following Tuesday.
3. by decreasing your natural testosterone production, one of your main anabolic hormones. A study in Finland has shown that the occasionnal alcohol binge decreases your natural testosterone production for a period as long as three days.
• Pay attention to your sleeping patterns Record the quantity and quality of it in your training diary, if you have problems falling asleep, your training intensity may be too high. If you feel like you can never sleep enough, your training volume may be too high. A variety of self-hypnosis and relaxation cassettes are available on the market. Try them before falling asleep. A number of athlete have reported enhanced sleep quality and diminished sleeping time needs after using them. Many nutrients such as Phosphatidyl-choline, Phospatidyl-serine, and magnesium can help you achieve greater quality sleep.
If you follow the guidelines above, I am confident that you can achieve you lean bodyweight gain in record time.