You’ve crushed your workout, hit your macros perfectly, and now you’re at home wondering how to make things grow and recover even faster.
As a Personal Trainer, I am constantly training clients in the gym, but leaving them on their own at home to recover and return to me. In the Gym I can control their exercise selection, motivate their intensity, and ensure they’re getting exactly what they need out of their workouts.
Your workout in the gym builds a foundation for muscle growth and development. Each strenuous repetition causes minute tears in the muscle which need to be repaired in order to cause muscular growth. In order to repair these tears and build more muscle, we must properly rest and recover.
These are the three main things I have my clients do in order to recover and grow at home.
At Home Post Workout Nutrition
Immediately following your workout is the prime time to refill your muscles with exactly what they need to grow.
The main nutrients that I focus on Post-Workout are quality Protein and Quick Digesting Carbohydrates with minimal Fats.
The Amino Acids within the Protein will ensure that your muscles are properly recovering and rebuilding. You can look to Simple Protein Powders (Look at the Post “Which Whey To Go” for guidance) or Lean Protein Sources such as Chicken, 99/1 Ground Turkey or Quorn for our Vegan Friends.
When it comes to Carbohydrates, we want to quickly restore our depleted glycogen stores by filling our muscles via quick digesting carbohydrates. These can range from Fruits such as Bananas or Apples, to Simple Starches like White Rice or Potatoes. These choices will help to quickly refill your glycogen stores and prepare your muscles for tomorrow’s workout.
Although Fats have their place in every nutrition plan, it is better to keep your fats to a minimum after your workouts. Fats will slow the digestion of your Protein and Carbohydrates, limiting the effects that we are seeking to gain.
Sample Post Workout Meal
6 oz Chicken Breast
1 Cup White Rice
1 Cup Mixed Vegetables
At Home Stretching And Mobilizing
Most lifters are focused on getting into the gym and smashing their workout. The last thing on their mind is stretching and mobilizing beforehand. After all, does stretching really have anything to do with muscle building or weight loss?
Well when it comes to Recovery and Rebuilding your muscles, stretching matters.
During our workouts, our muscle fibers are shortened and can become overly tightened. By stretching and mobilizing at home, you can help restore your muscles to their resting length will promotes further muscle growth.
My rule of thumb is to stretch the muscles that have been trained during the current workout. The simplest way to do this is to chose two stretches for the area being trained, and holding each stretch for 3-5 minutes. As you progress in your flexibility, you can add in additional stretches and mobility strategies.
Sample Post Squats Stretching Routine
Pigeon Stretch Progression
Pancake Stretch Progression
At Home Sleeping And Recovery
We all go to sleep at the end of the day, but is your sleep optimal for your recovery and overall health?
The average individual is said to need roughly 6-8 hours of sleep. But when it comes to us, we need slightly more to promote further growth and development. Shoot for 8-10 hours of sleep for optimal recovery. This amount of sleep will keep you healthy, growing, and is shown to help fight injuries.
If you can’t reach this amount of sleep due to your schedule or social life, then break it up into 6-8 hours of sleep followed by an hour nap later in the day. In fact, there are entire countries (SPAIN!) that have national nap time during the day to make sure everyone has enough time to relax and be ready for the rest of the day.
Don’t underestimate your sleep, and don’t think you can make it up when the weekend comes.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Recovery truly matters. We need to add proper recovery habits into our daily routine to promote muscle growth, prevent injuries, and allow ourselves to smash tomorrow’s workout with everything we’ve got.
Put in the work at home and you’ll reap the rewards in the gym.