How To Recover for Optimal Performance - Part 1

Do you think that strength, speed and power development is dependent solely on the intensity and frequency of your workouts?  Research now shows that the secret to getting bigger, faster and stronger lies in how effectively and quickly you recover from those killer workouts.  Because recovery and training are two parts to one whole, you should think of recovery as the legal form of performance enhancement.  To excel, your training regimen must include a recovery regimen.

We will tackle this subject in a two part series, so here are the five "Keys To Recovery" in our Top 10 list.

Keys to Recovery

1. SLEEP

You need to get at least 8-10 hours of sleep every night.  Consider it part of your workout, and schedule it just as you would a training session.  You cannot “catch up on” sleep--the body doesn’t work that way.

2. HYDRATION

Your body requires water.  According to The Institute of Medicine, men should drink 13 cups or 3 liters of fluids per day; women should drink 9 cups or 2.2 liters per day. This does not include the additional amount required due to loss from exercise.  If you get thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Drink!!

3. NUTRITION

Surprise--your body requires proper nutrition properly timed.  The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 25 grams of quality protein with 0.5 to 0.75 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight within the first 30 minutes post-exercise.  Your body requires 0.7 – 0.85 grams of protein per pound of body weight, preferably spread out over 5 meals (~every three hours), to develop muscle mass.

4. SUPPLEMENTATION

It's challenging to ingest the quantity and quality of nutrition our bodies require to remain healthy.  Nutritionists suggest augmenting your meals by adding some key supplements: whey protein powder; Omega-3 (1200 mg); BCAA with L-Glutamine (5G); Creatine Monohydrate (5G); and Citrulline Malate (2G).

5. PREHAB EXERCISES, MOVEMENT PREP AND STRETCHING

Sitting down at a computer all day makes it difficult to maintain bio-mechanical integrity and correct joint and tissue function when moving.  Prehab exercises can help you correct these deficiencies (http://www.prehabexercises.com/compensation-patterns/).  Additionally, strength and power without flexibility = an injury waiting to happen.  However, stretch after incorporating movement prep/dynamic stretching (studies show stretching cold muscles makes you temporarily weaker).

Recovery--your secret weapon

If you really want to maximize your gains from all the training hours you invest, then you need to prioritize recovery.  Incorporating the keys we've discussed will give you a distinct advantage over your competition, as well as increase your athletic longevity!

Check in tomorrow for Part 2!

Sources

http://www.coreperformance.com/daily/recovery/5-recovery-secrets-of-endurance-athletes.html

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110413p18.shtml

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1008372-11-easy-postworkout-snacks-science-work/#slide=1

http://www.gssiweb.org/Article/sse-120-recovery-techniques-for-athletes

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011244-top-10-moves-recover-workout/