Your ability to recovery between sessions may be JUST as important as the actual gym session. While everyone focuses on the session in hand, most forget that we actually improve and grow AFTER we leave the gym.
Even if you have the best gym routine in the world and are performing it with 100% effort, you must optimize your recovery in order to adapt and grow. As we know, bodybuilding is a lifestyle; simply an hour of training per day won’t cut it. You must optimize every minute, 24 hours, 7 days a week.
We all know how vital sleep is. In fact, some research shows it’s just as important as your training and diet.
Poor sleep is linked to obesity, poor carbohydrate tolerance and nutrient portioning, decreased strength, muscle mass and pretty much every disease or health issue in some way.
Sleep is also absolutely key to your recovery after the workout, helping in numerous ways. One of the biggest ways sleep can benefit you is its link to Growth Hormone (GH). Growth Hormone is released throughout the day with the majority being released when we sleep. As you can see in the graph, we get a big spike shortly after hitting the pillow.
Poor sleep can mess with these GH releases and means you have less total growth hormone. This is key, as GH is the main hormone responsible for cellular repair and growth, playing a vital part of the recovery process.
Good sleep also helps optimize other key hormones, such as testosterone and cortisol along with your testosterone to cortisol ratio. In general we know testosterone is mainly anabolic (growth) and cortisol is catabolic (breakdown), so optimizing these levels is key for recovery and growth.
We all know protein is vital for recovery and growth. This is of particular importance following the workout. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m talking about the next 24 hours post-workout, not just the magical “30 minute window”.
After training you are in somewhat of a catabolic state. But that’s a good thing, as long as you fix it. Basically, the whole idea of training is digging a little hole and breaking down muscle. However, following the workout you must fill that hole by optimizing recovery.
Protein helps in several ways. Firstly, the amino acids in protein go straight to the muscles and help with cellular repair. A high protein meal / shake also shifts your body from a negative protein balance into a positive protein balance by stimulating Muscle Protein Synthesis. This means you switch from a catabolic state which was induced by the workout and transition into recovery mode.
Protein also spikes Insulin, which plays an important role in reducing cortisol after the workout. As discussed, if cortisol is elevated for too long it can impair recovery and messes the body’s natural cortisol to testosterone ratio.
Linked to the importance of GH discussed above, some studies have even shown that post-workout protein intake can enhance GH production which is key for cellular repair.
Finally, if you really want to take your recovery to the next level then add in a complete post workout shake, such as RE-KAGED. Not only does it have 28g of rapidly absorbing protein isolate, it also contains 7g of glutamine, creatine HCI and an extremely high EAA, all of which have individually been shown to enhance recovery and reduce muscle soreness post-workout. Here are some examples.
There are several other supplements that you can add into your toolbox to optimize recovery and improve gym performance in the subsequent session.
Citrulline:One study found 8g of Citrulline taken during the session delayed fatigue and improved performance, allowing participants to complete more reps. Following the workout it reduced DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Sorness) (Pérez-Guisado et al., 2010).
Creatine: Several studies have found a slight decrease in soreness following creatine supplementation. However, it should be noted most of these studies are for interval training or cardio. For weight training, creatine is still the number one supplement for adding muscle mass and strength (Deminice et al., 2013; Santos et al., 2004).
Carnitine: Although it’s mainly used and known as a fat burner, increasing the use of fatty acids into the mitochondria (human engine), it can also improve recovery. Several studies have supported this, showing it reduces DOMS after the workout. Take your KAGED MUSCLEL-Carnitine before the workout or CLEAN BURN to enhance fat oxidation and recovery (Volek et al., 2002, Kraemer et al., 2003; Spiering et al., 2008).
As you can see, there are multiple ways to promote recovery. However, for someone who’s performing hardcore weight training one of these methods alone isn’t enough. If you want to recover from workouts such as Kris’s DTP you need to use multiple methods. If not, I promise you will be sore as hell and unable to train that muscle for a few days.
Follow this advanced workout nutrition plan to maximize recovery!
Post Workout – Take RE-KAGED.
This combo provides you with the whey protein, glutamine and amino acids that can all further the recovery process, while boosting growth hormone levels which will also aid in cellular repair.
In summary, you must remember that your ability to recover is paramount to your long-term success. Quite simply, the quicker you can recover the more frequent you can train, with more intensity and workout volume. These 3 factors are the key principles behind muscle growth and strength adaptations.
Bassini-Cameron, A., Monteiro, A., Gomes, A., Werneck-de-Castro, J. P. S., & Cameron, L. (2008). Glutamine protects against increases in blood ammonia in football players in an exercise intensity-dependent way.British journal of sports medicine,42(4), 260-266.
Deminice, R., Rosa, F. T., Franco, G. S., Jordao, A. A., & de Freitas, E. C. (2013). Effects of creatine supplementation on oxidative stress and inflammatory markers after repeated-sprint exercise in humans.Nutrition,29(9), 1127-1132.
Kraemer, W. J., Volek, J. S., French, D. N., Rubin, M. R., Sharman, M. J., Gómez, A. L., … & Hakkinen, K. (2003). The effects of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on hormonal responses to resistance exercise and recovery.The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research,17(3), 455-462.
Pérez-Guisado, J., & Jakeman, P. M. (2010). Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness.The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research,24(5), 1215-1222.
Santos, R. V. T., Bassit, R. A., Caperuto, E. C., & Rosa, L. C. (2004). The effect of creatine supplementation upon inflammatory and muscle soreness markers after a 30km race.Life sciences,75(16), 1917-1924.
Spiering, B. A., Kraemer, W. J., Hatfield, D. L., Vingren, J. L., Fragala, M. S., Ho, J. Y., … & Volek, J. S. (2008). Effects of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on muscle oxygenation responses to resistance exercise.The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research,22(4), 1130-1135.
Volek, J. S., Kraemer, W. J., Rubin, M. R., Gómez, A. L., Ratamess, N. A., & Gaynor, P. (2002). L-Carnitine L-tartrate supplementation favorably affects markers of recovery from exercise stress.American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism,282(2), E474-E482.