Muscle recovery after exercise

Last Updated on

Muscle recovery after training is the most underrated stage of the training process in bodybuilding. Restoring muscle fibers after exercise is said too little for several reasons:

  1. The “zamichlennost” of modern bodybuilding. Doping significantly accelerates muscle recovery, which reduces the value of correct recovery work.
  2. Misunderstanding the essence of bodybuilding. Beginners believe that only training in which “muscles grow” is important. But in training, muscle fibers are injured, not grow! The result is overtraining and lack of progress.
  3. Inability to organize recovery. Lack of knowledge is the reason we are eliminating today.

Muscle recovery after training is the best accelerator of progress

For a deep understanding of the importance of muscle recovery after training, we outline 5 phases of the training process:

  • Trauma to muscle fibers. The phase lasts from start to finish.
  • Fast recovery phase. It starts immediately after the workout. It ends – after 30-60 minutes. During this hour, the hormonal background and those substances (glycogen, creatine phosphate) that were spent on training are restored.
  • Slow recovery phase. The central nervous system (CNS) and muscles are restored. Depending on the volume of the load and the correctness of the recovery, this stage lasts from 12 hours to 10 days. In the slow recovery phase, maximum efforts will be made to accelerate progress.
  • Supercompensation. In this phase, the body creates a “muscle reserve”, thanks to which the athlete can do more work than in the previous training session. Training only makes sense in the supercompensation phase! Depending on the severity of the load and the correctness of the recovery, this phase lasts from 1 to 5 days.
  • Loss of supercompensation. It comes after the completion of the supercompensation phase. After losing supercompensation, the muscle system returns to the pre-workout level.

Conclusion : a correct recovery allows you to:

  1. Increase the frequency of training, which significantly accelerates progress.
  2. Avoid overtraining.
  3. Reduce muscle soreness after exercise.

Correct muscle recovery after training allows you to avoid the most serious mistakes that a beginner makes at the beginning of his training path.

What causes muscle pain?

Muscle pain occurs due to “microtraumas” of muscle fibers and connective tissue. These tiny tears cause pain due to inflammation that occurs when the body works on muscle repair. This process can take several days, so sometimes it may take you 24–48 hours for you to feel pain. After this attack of pain, the muscles recover and as a result become stronger and denser. However, there are strategies for reducing pain after exercise, which you can read about below.

Muscle recovery and muscle pain

It is extremely important to be able to distinguish between “healthy” muscle pain and pain caused by sports injury. If the muscles begin to ache slightly on the third to third day after training and the aforementioned stiffness appears – this is the normal recovery process. However, if you experienced a sharp pain during the exercise, this is most likely an injury.

It is believed that muscle pain during recovery after training is caused by attempts by the body to remove lactic acid and other toxins from the tissues formed during the performance of heavy strength exercises. The feeling of “woodenness”, in turn, is a direct result of the active healing of microdamage to muscles.

Incorrect recovery in practice

Using the back and biceps training as an example, consider the examples of overtraining and undertraining, which kill 90% of your progress. Monday training

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg51033
Tilt thrustfifty31225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3551224
Deadlift705103

  In the case of the next workout on Tuesday, the picture will be as follows:

READ  Back muscle exercises
ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg31033
Tilt thrustfifty11225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3531224
Deadlift70163

  Regardless of what methods we use to restore muscle after training, 24 hours after the average (we take an athlete for whom the performance of tabular values is not an easy or difficult task) – this is too small. Training on Wednesday in case of correct recovery

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg51033
Tilt thrustfifty31225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3551224
Deadlift705103

  Thanks to the application of methods for muscle recovery after training, which we will discuss below, 48 hours after work in the gym, recovery is completed. But supercompensation has not yet arrived. Training on Wednesday (In our example. Everyone has their own recovery speed) is not the best option. Training on Wednesday with incorrect recovery.

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg41033
Tilt thrustfifty21225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3541224
Deadlift70283

  Muscle recovery after training is delayed, since we do not contribute to the healing of received microtraumas. Recovery is not yet complete. Training on Wednesday is not only pointless, as with proper recovery procedures, but also harmful. Thursday training with correct recovery.

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg61033
Tilt thrustfifty41225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3561224
Deadlift706103

  Supercompensation has come. After 72 hours, our muscles can surpass the result of the next workout in all respects. Training can be done today. Thursday training with incorrect recovery.

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg51033
Tilt thrustfifty31225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3551224
Deadlift704103

  The recovery is partially completed, but the body’s reserves did not last for the last approach. Carrying out a workout on Thursday with an incorrect recovery does not make sense. Friday training with correct recovery.

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg61033
Tilt thrustfifty41225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3561224
Deadlift706103

  The supercompensation phase continues. Training can be carried out both yesterday and today. Friday training with incorrect recovery.

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg51033
Tilt thrustfifty31225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3551224
Deadlift705103

  Recovery is complete, but supercompensation has not yet arrived. Carrying out training on Friday will not drive you into overtraining, but it will not bring any benefits either.   Training on Saturday with the correct recovery.

READ  Fitness training in the gym
ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg61033
Tilt thrustfifty31225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3561224
Deadlift705103

  Supercompensation begins to get lost, but only partially. Training is best done on Thursday or Friday, but work on Saturday is also the right decision.   Training on Saturday with incorrect recovery.

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg61033
Tilt thrustfifty41225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3561224
Deadlift706103

  Day of maximum supercompensation. You need to train here.   Sunday training with correct recovery.

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg61033
Tilt thrustfifty31225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3551224
Deadlift705103

  Supercompensation is almost lost, but the training still makes sense.   Sunday training with incorrect recovery.

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg61033
Tilt thrustfifty31225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3561224
Deadlift705103

  Supercompensation is partially lost, but training still makes sense.   Monday training for any recovery.

ExerciseWeightThe approachesRepetitionsRest between sets in minutesRest between exercises in minutes
Pull-upsBody weight + 5 kg51033
Tilt thrustfifty31225
Lifting barbell for biceps while standing3551224
Deadlift705103

  Supercompensation is completely lost. The muscles returned to the pre-workout state. Conclusion: correct recovery allows you to:

  • Conduct 1.5-3 times more workouts per month.
  • Get rid of the pain in the body.
  • Do not overload the central nervous system. Improve the emotional state after a hard workout.
  • Extend the supercompensation phase. Increase the efficiency of each workout.

Muscle recovery after exercise. Step-by-step instruction

Step number 1. Stretching Immediately after completing your workout, we stretch. Stretching allows you to:

  1. Reduce the concentration of lactic acid in the muscles. A decrease in the concentration of lactic acid reduces the strength and duration of pain in the muscles.
  2. Increase muscle elasticity. The more elastic the muscle tissue is, the better the muscles grow.

  Step number 2. Acceptance of sports supplements During the fast recovery phase (30-60 minutes), you need to “strengthen” the muscles with the basic building materials – protein, water and vitamins. Muscle recovery after training will be most effective when using these combinations:

  1. Amino acids BCAA, complex amino acids, water (or juice), vitamin-mineral complex (1-2 tablets, depending on dosage) and whey protein in milk (worse – in water). This is the most complete and most expensive option. Use it only if your bodybuilding budget per month exceeds 100,000 rubles.
  2. Amino acids BCAA, water (or juice), vitamin-mineral complex (1-2 tablets, depending on dosage) and whey protein in milk (worse – in water). An effective but expensive option.
  3. Water (or juice), a vitamin-mineral complex (1-2 tablets, depending on the dosage) and whey protein in milk (worse, in water). Option for the middle class.
  4. 2 chicken eggs, a vitamin and mineral complex, a liter of milk and water (or juice). A budget option.
  5. 4 chicken eggs and water (or juice). The most budget option. Optimum for students and schoolchildren.

  Step number 3. Nutrition For 3 hours after a workout, you need to make a protein-carbohydrate meal. There is no need to rush home in order to manage to invest in “some kind of window”. Haste will only increase catabolism and slow recovery. After a workout, it’s useful to walk at a slow pace for 15-60 minutes. Walking will calm the nervous system and speed up the recovery of the central nervous system. Then we “lubricate” both the muscles and the nervous system with a plentiful meal. The best combinations for a post-workout mass gathering meal:  

  1. Buckwheat (rice) + chicken breast + cheese + vegetables. The easiest and budget option for mass recruitment.
  2. Buckwheat (rice) + oily fish + pollock fish + vegetables. The optimal, but more expensive option for the fastest muscle recovery.
  3. Macaroni and cheese + vegetables. The fastest and cheapest option. Suitable for students who do not have the money and time to prepare expensive dishes.
  4. Macaroni and cheese + 5 fried (boiled) eggs + vegetables. For those students who lack option number 3.
  5. Buckwheat + pasta with cheese + pollock fish + salmon + vegetables. For wealthy foodies.
READ  Fitness exercises for all muscle groups

When training for weight loss:

  1. Pollock fish + vegetables. Budget, low-calorie option.
  2. Chicken breast + vegetables. An equivalent option, which is alternated with the first paragraph.
  3. Buckwheat + pollock + vegetables. A more high-calorie option that is suitable for men and girls whose weight exceeds 57 kg.
  4. Buckwheat + vegetables + a glass (250 ml) of kefir. The cheapest and fastest meal option. Calorie equivalent to the previous paragraph.
  5. Vegetables + 2 cups kefir. The best option for thin (less than 52 kg) girls who are eager to lose weight by a few pounds.

  Step number 4. Water procedures The most effective options for water procedures are:

  1. Contrast douche.
  2. Cold and hot shower.
  3. Rest in the bathroom with ice (2-10 degrees) water for 2-10 minutes.
  4. Relax in the bathroom with hot (more than 40 degrees) water.

Contrast dousing is the best option for a beginner who is not used to water procedures. Contrast douches not only accelerate muscle recovery after training, but also train the cardiovascular system and strengthen your health. We carry out contrasting pouring at home. In one basin we pour water at a temperature of 2-11 degrees. In the second – 47-55. Experts recommend first pouring hot water on yourself, but in practice the difference is not noticeable. Contrast shower – a more complex event, which requires extraordinary willpower. Pouring both basins on yourself in 5 seconds is much easier than standing in the shower and alternating hot and cold water for 2-3 minutes. A contrast shower is a less convenient option, as you may accidentally turn the faucet in the “hot” side too far and scald. Relaxation in the bath with ice water is practiced by many professionals. But for a beginner who has not tried pouring, this procedure is harmful. A novice’s body will respond to being in ice water for 2 minutes by excessive stress, which will slow down muscle recovery. If your cardiovascular system can withstand 10 minutes in ice water, then coughing, a sore throat (in the worst case, pneumonia), kidney disease, prostatitis and other unpleasant diseases will delay your recovery for several weeks or months. If you chose this option, start with 15-25 seconds and gradually increase the duration of this procedure. Relaxing in the hot water bath relaxes the nervous system. But too high a temperature harms the cardiovascular system. Famous among fans of “aesthetic bodybuilding” Zyz (Aziz Shevershyan) by his example, he has already proved that high temperatures after training are not only harmful, but, in some cases, a fatal solution. If you chose to relax in a hot bath, then make it warm (40-45), and not hot (over 50 degrees). In no case do not drink coffee tea or tea an hour before and after the bath and do not stay in it for more than 20 minutes.   Step number 5. Sleep. On a post-workout night, quality, long-term sleep is important. We go to bed a little earlier, with the expectation that it will take a little longer than usual to restore muscles and the central nervous system. If you usually have 7 hours of sleep, the next day after training, these same 7 hours will lead to a broken, apathetic state for most beginners. We increase the duration of sleep by 30-90 minutes. This will speed up muscle recovery and improve your mood.   Step number 6. Walk Walk in the fresh air relieves tension from the nervous system and accelerates muscle recovery. Spend at least 2 hours outside on the day after your workout.       Step number 7. Easy workout. Especially relevant for those who want to build muscle at home.We work out the same muscle groups as in training, but with a load of 20-35% of those values that we used yesterday. The best options are:

  1. Training with a universal expander or other rubber simulators. We use analogues of “gymnastic” exercises, choose an expander with minimal resistance.
  2. Work with your own body weight. Push-ups, pull-ups and squats are the best exercises for large muscle groups.
  3. Run. A light run for 10-20 minutes will accelerate muscle recovery after a workout.

  Step number 8. Pleasant things. This step can be taken on the day after training, if you have the energy left for this. Communication, meeting with a girl or friends, a favorite hobby – any business that gives you pleasure, removes the load from the nervous system and accelerates muscle recovery.   Step number 9. Massage Massage is one of the best remedies for recovering muscles and the nervous system after a workout. The best option is to make a “massage” from your soulmate, as this step, in addition to the recovery effect, leads to the release of the hormone oxytocin, which relaxes the muscles and central nervous system and strengthens the connection between you. Massage from a professional is able not only to accelerate muscle recovery after a workout, but also to work on “zimy” and posture problems. An option for happy people is a massage from the second half on the day of training with a trip to a professional masseur on the day after training.   Step number 10. Passive rest We train 3-4 times a week. From this graph it follows that there is not much time left for passive relaxation. Your training schedule will look something like this:

  • Monday. Training and active recovery.
  • Tuesday. Active recovery.
  • Wednesday. Passive recovery and training.
  • Thursday. Active recovery.
  • Friday. Passive recovery and training.
  • Saturday. Active recovery.
  • Sunday. Passive recovery.

Proper recovery in practice

So one training cycle will look in practice:

Day of the weekTimeActA comment
Monday16: 00-17: 00Gym workoutOptimal training duration – hour
Monday17:05Taking sports supplementsThe action can be performed up to an hour after the training is completed.
Monday19:00Dinner. Protein-carbohydrate mealWe have dinner for 3 hours after the end of the workout.
Monday19:45Water treatments. DoucheYou can perform up to 5 sets of dousing
Monday20:15MassageThis item can be excluded if you do not have a masseuse at home.
Monday20:45Pleasant business. Communication, hobbies.
Monday21:50SleepSleeping an hour more than usual
Tuesday7 a.m.Easy workoutCan be moved to the middle of the day, if you have such an opportunity
Tuesday7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Fees for work and work (study)
Tuesday16: 30-17: 30strollYou can increase the duration of the walk, meet friends (girl)
Tuesday17: 30-18: 00Massage
Tuesday19: 00-21: 00Watching a moviePassive rest

  The time and procedure in this plate can be changed. The main thing is to keep the maximum number of actions that make muscle recovery after training ultra-fast and comfortable.