Importance Of Recovery In Bodybuilding

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O ne of the keys factors in bodybuilding or any exercise plan is recovery. There’s a lot of conflicting information on the internet regarding recovery and rest after exercise. It is true that you’ve got to work hard to improve performance. If you do not invest your time in post-workout recovery, hard training can cause yourmuscles to collapse.

There are many bodybuilders out there working hard in the gym to build a stronger body but do not realize how much recovery is important in obtaining maximum performance.

What Is Recovery and Why It Is So Important?

Recovery can be defined as a resting stage between different workout sessions. Recovery from an exercise or athletic competition allows your body to adapt to stress and overcome it. Recovery is not about just performance; it also reduces the risk of injuries and prepares your body for the next training load.

When you exercise, you stress your system. Repeatedly stressing your system makes your body adapted to respond to stress. Exercising and working out creates micro-tears in your muscles. These micro-tears can grow and cause your muscles to be inflamed when you don’t

give your muscles time to recover from micro-tears. This can be dangerous because not giving recovery time so your muscles can result in overtraining syndrome (OTS) and decreased performance. OTS can compromise your immune system, leading to muscle and joint pain [1].

Enhancing the recovery time allows the bodybuilders to heal their muscles and maximize their performance while avoiding the side effects.

Benefits of Recovery:

The following are some potential benefits of post-workout recovery:

1. Promotes Muscle Healing and Growth:

Many people who exercise believe that muscles are built during exercise, but it is not true. Your muscles grow when you rest during workout sessions because rest gives muscles the time to recover. The muscles grow in mass when they’re given proper rest.

When your immune system repairs the damage to muscles caused by exercise, your muscles restore themselves and become fitter than they were before. You’ll notice that you’ll notice less muscle mass by training every day than the person who trains the muscles only 2-3 times a day.

2. Prevent Injury:

If you have exercised with delayed onset muscle soreness, you probably know how hard it is to do the most basic movements. Post-workout recovery not only prevents injury but also takes muscle soreness away. Skipping rest days after exercise can result in multiple strain injuries, which does not let you hold the correct form [2].

3. Makes Exercise More Sustainable:

Sustaining the exercise routine is the goal of everyone, but committing to a fixed routine is difficult. The importance of recovery days is that it helps you be consistent with your workout routine. If you expose your body to overtraining, such as working out too hard to achieve the desired weight, it will be hard for you to push through the “initiation phase.”Recovery days make exercise more sustainable, as well as prevent your body from working out.

4. Encourages Better Sleep:

A peaceful night’s sleep is important for those who exercise regularly. If you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, you cannot concentrate on working out and end up injuring yourself. It is important to rest for a few days to recover from sleep debt. Sufficient sleep will help in muscle growth and recovery and improve your performance [3].

How Many Days Are Recommended for Recovery?

When it comes to making significant progress, bodybuilders struggle hard to increase muscle mass. However, there’s a myth that more muscle mass growth is only achieved when you exercise hard. But this is wrong because your muscles grow slower when you train them hard, as they’re not provided enough time to recover and heal.

For bodybuilders, the recovery days required between workouts must be 4-5 times per week instead of 6-7 times. Your recovery days are actually growth days, and when you give your muscles the time to grow, you progress much faster.

If you want to boost the healing and growth of your muscles on recovery days, you should maximize your protein intake for better results.

Top 3 Recovery Techniques:

The following are some techniques to apply during recovery days:

1. Ice Bath: An ice bath pushes the blood away from muscles by constricting your body’s blood vessels. When you’re warmed up after taking the ice bath, blood flows back into muscles and supplies more oxygen to speed up muscle recovery.

2. Massages: When you get a massage, more blood and oxygen flow into muscles and deliver more nutrients, removing lactic acid and buildup that causes muscle soreness [4].

3, Eating and Hydration: Proper hydration is the most important aspect in recovery days. Nutrition and hydration go hand in hand to restore energy’s supply to your body and enhance recovery.

Conclusion:

Resting between your workout sessions is essential for recovering your muscles from injuries. Recovery days prevent your muscles from strain injuries, encourage better sleep, and help you reach your goals.

References:

  1. Venter RE. Perceptions of team athletes on the importance of recovery modalities. Eur J Sport Sci 2014;14:S69–76. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2011.643924.
  2. Järvinen TAH, Järvinen TLN, Kääriäinen M, Äärimaa V, Vaittinen S, Kalimo H, et al. Muscle injuries: optimising recovery. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol 2007;21:317–31. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.berh.2006.12.004.
  3. Mah CD, Mah KE, Kezirian EJ, Dement WC. The effects of sleep extension on the athletic performance of collegiate basketball players. Sleep 2011;34:942–50. https://doi.org/10.5665/SLEEP.1132.
  4. Weerapong P, Hume PA, Kolt GS. The Mechanisms of Massage and Effects on Performance, Muscle Recovery and Injury Prevention. Sport Med 2005;35:235–56. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256- 200535030-00004.
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