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You might have heard that recovery is just as important as training, but this is simply not true.

Recovery is actually even more important than training. If you are not recovering adequately from your training sessions, then you are pretty much wasting your time.

The world is incredibly stressful nowadays and it’s all too easy to skip your rest and recovery in the hope of getting more training in, but it’s a fool’s economy. Resting after workouts and allowing time for your body and mind to recover will get you optimal results. 

Why you aren’t making gains

If you are training hard but hitting a plateau with your PBs, fat loss or muscle gains, then this could be the reason why and the answer is to tone it down, don’t ramp it up. Don’t work harder, work smarter, and ensure you are allowing your body enough time to recover after each session – and of course make sure you are feeding your body with proper nutrition.

Does this sound like you?

If so, then stop going ham with overtraining, and take a step back to figure out if you are being smart about your training.

Things to look at

Calorie intake during recovery

Knowing what calorie goals you should be hitting is important and obviously this will vary depending on a few different factors – if your main goal is fat loss, you still need to eat enough to fuel your muscles and recover properly from your training. It’s better to be in a small caloric deficit and recover well than to be in a huge caloric deficit and falling off plan because you feel like shit, can’t get to sleep and are sick of eating rice cakes!

Why protein is essential for recovery

Protein is essential for muscle repair and is massively helpful for satiety, so don’t sleep on getting your protein in. Your muscles get built and repaired during recovery so it is important to fuel the muscle cells with plenty of protein. Everyone’s ideal protein intake will vary, but most people can go for between 2-3 grams per kg of lean body weight – also divide this up into 30 – 45g per meal or snack so your protein intake is divided up throughout the day.

Getting enough sleep for adequate recovery

Lots of people get their training and nutrition sorted but neglect one of the most important things and that is sleep! Sleep is essential not only for your physical health but also your mental wellbeing, and is especially important when you have been training hard or hope to lose excess fat. Ensure you are getting at least 8 hours of good quality, uninterrupted sleep per night.

How alcohol can affect recovery

Most people like a drink – even if it doesn’t like us back sometimes – but unfortunately alcohol can have a massive negative impact on recovery. Not only does it negatively impact your body’s ability to synthesise protein, but it can disrupt your sleep leading to poor sleep quality, and lets not forget about the calories in alcoholic drinks – not to mention the inevitable 14” Meat Feast that is irresistible after a few too many!

Stress and recovery – not a match

Stress can have so many far reaching effects on your overall health and wellbeing – far too much to get into here – but it’s fair to say that stress can have an adverse effect on your recovery, so if you can reduce your levels of physiological stress and mental or emotional stress, then this will definitely help boost your recovery and you will see much better results.

If you have come up against a wall and can’t seem to fight past it, or just not getting the results you expected from your training and nutritional plans, then maybe it’s time for a rethink – try working in some more recovery time into your schedule, and you might find that this is much more sustainable and actually involves less training and more food! Focusing on recovery works, and can lead to a happier, healthier you! 

If you are having some trouble or are in need of guidance, why not drop us a line and we will see if we can help.

Primal Bite

  • Recovery is vital to successful training sessions
  • Many things can negatively affect recovery
  • Muscle growth can be hindered by inadequate recovery time