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Muscle Recovery Explained

Muscle Recovery Explained

Muscle Recovery Guide - how to speed up muscle recovery?

What is Muscle Recovery and How Do Muscles Recover?

How to speed up muscle recovery? To push the limits of our bodies, we train harder and faster. All these workouts put a lot of stress on our muscles. The constant wear and tear lead to various damages to our muscle fibers. Is there a point in putting our bodies through these damages on a regular basis? The answer is yes.

To build stronger and gain more muscles, we need to first push the existing ones to the limit. Then only we’ll be able to enhance our fitness and performance. Once the muscles get damaged during workouts, recovery comes into play. Muscle recovery is a critical part of training but unfortunately, it is neglected a lot. Why this happens is that people don’t really understand the science behind stress and recovery. Exercising every day without recovery won’t build your muscles but will destroy the existing ones too.

In order to understand your body better for training, you need to understand the dynamic between stress and recovery. To better understand recovery let’s understand two important terms i.e. Homeostasis and Stress.

What is Muscle Recovery?

Homeostasis is the ability of our body to self-regulate different processes to maintain stability. The body does all this by keeping different variables (pH, temperature) in check. Stress on the other hand is a type of stimulus that disturbs the ability of the body to maintain homeostasis.

Stress can be of many types such as physiological (exercise, pain, muscle tear, dehydration, etc), chemical (hormonal imbalance, acid-base imbalance in the blood, etc), psychological, emotional, social, etc. Here, by stress we mean physiological that occur due to workouts/exercises.

Our bodies are designed to tackle stress in two ways either we adapt to it or we perish. Recovery is the response of the body for restoring homeostasis. When our body goes through physiological stress followed by sufficient recovery that enables it to adapt and restore homeostasis, it is considered healthy.

However, when an adequate opportunity for recovery is not provided to the body, it leads to injuries and illness. This condition leads to what many describe as overreaching or overtraining.

How Do Muscles Recover?

As mentioned before, recovery is a critical part of training and adapting your body to the training cycle. Muscle recovery is a multi-step process that includes resting, refueling, rehydrating, repairing, and restoring the body back to its homeostasis. Recovery is an equally important and time-consuming process. Depending on the style of your workout, you should devote sufficient time to recovery. Hastening this process will only do damage to your body. Professional recommend that “Hitting it hard” in the workout, must come with “Quitting it hard” for recovery after that.

Recovery can be broadly classified into three types.

1) Instant Recovery

This type of recovery happens immediately. It happens in that short span of time you give to your body in between different reps.

2) Short-Term Recovery

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This happens at a slightly longer duration than instant recovery. Short-term recovery happens when you are done with one set and move on to the other. The time given to the body in this interval counts as short-term recovery.

3) Training Recovery

This type of recovery happens in the time interval between two sessions of workouts. This is one of the most important types of recovery. An adequate focus should be given to this type of recovery as it offers the maximum benefits to the body.

Dos and Don’ts of Muscle Recovery | Dr. Josh Axe

Courtesy of Dr. Josh Axe

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