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The Importance of Recovery Days

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As your Los Angeles Personal Trainer, I can attest to the fact that getting ripped isn’t just about pumping iron. Planned rest and recovery days are vital to your muscle development.

Most new clients don’t realize how the human body works.  What we do when we train is we break down the muscle tissue.  All of the gains in tone, firmness, strength, muscle size and metabolism building comes from the recovery period – that’s the days and nights after the actual workout.  Your body’s mechanism for self-repair is what gives us the results we are looking for.

One sure way to fail at reaching your fitness goals is to overtrain. Overtraining not only causes mental burnout and injuries, it also stalls progress. It can be a constant source of frustration when results are slow to come by even though you’re putting in constant effort. Most good trainers would agree that recovery is just as important as lifting.

Your training program isn’t going to be effective without pre-planned recovery time. As a matter of fact, it can actually be dangerous to ignore. Pushing past the point of fatigue will mean more injuries, inflammation and bad days.

We all know about DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). A day or two after a heavy lifting session you’ll probably find yourself stiff and sore. Your range of motion will be affected as will your flexibility. Without proper rest periods you’ll find injuries to become more common.

Enhance Your Recovery

  • Hydration. Actually, staying hydrated is a key component in all phases of your workout program. And it’s just as important to continue to hydrate on your off days. Dehydration will slow your metabolism and delay the recovery process so keep your water bottle handy all day, and use it.
  • Sleep. It’s probably hard to find anyone who gets enough sleep these days but it is crucial to your health and fitness goals. An article published by the University of New Mexico states:

“Studies show that one or two nights of poor or little sleep won’t have much impact on performance. However, consistently getting inadequate sleep, which is the case for many of us, can result in changes in hormone levels, particularly those related to stress, muscle recovery, and mood. Elevated levels of cortisol and HGH may interfere with tissue repair and growth. Over time, can could prevent a recreational or serious athlete from responding to training, and lead to injury and overtraining.”

  • Nutrition. Your body does a lot for you and you need to be sure to keep it fueled properly. Recovery isn’t a free ticket to eat junk or cave in to cravings. Ensuring the proper balance between proteins, carbs and fats and you’ll reap major benefits in your recovery and progress. BCAAs really do help!

Treat your recovery days just as you would a scheduled workout day for optimal performance and gains. If you’d like professional help reaching your fitness goals contact me today.  Or just make stuff up.  That’s probably just as good 😉

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