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What's the best recovery method?

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  • What's the best recovery method?

    I want to maximise my muscle recovery after days of moderate to intense workout.

    For example, Tuesday was weights, with me getting pushed further and harder than ever previously.
    Wednesday was a 6km run/jog
    Thursday, just an hours walk, but I spent much of the day on my feet.

    Today (Friday) I'm not planning to do anything. But would Thursday have interfered with recovery from Tuesday?
    Today my muscle soreness has peaked, too.

    And what should I be eating/how much, on recovery days?
    How many days should I take off?

    I'm sorry for being all over the place with questions, but I guess I just need some advice/guidance on recovery. I want to tone my muscles as quickly and as effectively as possible (and not lose the tone I have gained so far)

  • #2
    I think you are worrying about it too much. Just workout hard with weights a few days per week. Sprint days are optional; don't bother with them if you're too sore. On all other days do low-moderate intensity exercise for overall health and well being.

    The low-moderate intensity exercise should actually help improve your recovery capabilities, aid in recovery, improve your immune capabilities, and improve your mood.

    I really think these days people worry too much about overtraining. In reality, unless you're doing endless amounts of exercise, you'll never have anything to worry about. Most people don't get enough exercise anyways. And in my opinion, pretty much anything you do should be good for you, as opposed to sitting around all day. Get an hour of exercise per day in, and you can't go wrong. A little more isn't going to hurt.

    And if you find yourself getting burnt out, back off a bit on the high intensity exercise. You can even take a week off (from the high intensity stuff) once every several weeks if you want.


    • #3
      In terms of what to eat, what's your body comp like? I'm assuming you're in decent shape.

      In simple terms: workout days eat a litte more than recovery days, including some starch - potato, sweet potato, preferably. Eat a varied diet, get all your vitamins and minerals, and stick to Real Food. That should do it.
      Travel, eat well, and learn about life - three things I love to do

      Curious about what YOU should pack next time you're on the road? Check out my Definitive Guide to Backpacking Nutrition


      • #4
        Anyone can overtrain, whether you're just getting started or hardcore, or somewhere between. Overtraining comes from pushing yourself harder while not allowing for recovery, whether that might come from not increasing your protein with increases in exercise or not allowing sufficient recovery.

        Track your progress to find the optimal rest time for you. It is ideal to use a heart monitor when running, so you can compare your speed at your target heart rate.

        When I first started doing long walks I rarely felt energized and well-rested. Increasing my protein did it, but had I taken longer rest between hikes it would have had the same effect.


        • #5
          Most of the time, the best way to determine whether you are recovering properly or not is how you feel (I.E. if you are sluggish throughout the day, heavy legs, falling asleep in the middle of the day, etc.).

          The best recovery tool is sleep. If you ensure that you are getting a quality 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, you should be ok as you will be in a good place hormonally.

          Basically, just go by feel. If you are feeling tired and sluggish, back off a bit or take a day off. Listen to your body, it will tell you what to do!
          My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:


          • #6
            Some very good responses there, thank you guys!

            Body composition:
            Female, 26
            12-13% body fat