Today, we're going to discuss factors affecting workout recovery so you know once and for all how to optimize your recovery from each weight lifting workout.
The WLC System guidelines help you to optimize rest and recovery between weight lifting workouts.
Actually, you can't get any better recovery from workouts if you follow the WLC System guidelines.
This means you build more muscle in less time with WLC. But, what exactly are the factors that affect optimal recovery?
Powerful Workout Recovery Factors
These factors are very powerful and EACH ONE could be the difference in HUGE GAINS versus no gains at all.
- Every meal that you eat
Every piece of food that you eat should be packed full of vitamins and minerals. You should flood your body with nutrients that it can use. This means you can workout with a higher intensity and still recover properly.
- Amount of protein, carbs, and fat you are eating
Your body must have protein readily available to build muscle.
Carbohydrates are premium fuel for your workouts. You should never eat a low carb diet if you want to build muscle.
The right fats will create the optimal muscle building environment inside your body.
The correct combination of protein, carbs, and fat will help you recover faster from workouts and allow you to lift with a higher intensity each set of each workout.
- Amount of water you are drinking
Water really is an amazing substance. Did you know staying properly hydrated increases strength levels? It's true.
Staying properly hydrated will lead to better results in and out of the gym. Just a slight state of dehydration will halt fat burning altogether.
- How often you eat throughout the day
Carbohydrates and fat can be stored within your body. Protein cannot — yet, protein must be present within your body and available in order to build muscle.
You should have protein every 3 hours during the day. This will allow you to fully recover and increase the weight lifting intensity during workouts.
- The amount of junk food you eat
Junk food robs your body of precious nutrients. Stop eating junk food, and you will be able to raise the intensity of your workouts.
- Amount of quality sleep you get each night
I'm not sure there's anything more important for building muscle than getting proper sleep. Sleep is so important. If you aren't getting quality sleep, you will have to lower your weight lifting intensity or you will overtrain.
- Amount of stress in your life
Stress can absolutely demolish your efforts in the gym. If you get stressed out about things you cannot control, ask yourself: “Am I even going to remember this in 10 years?”
For example, many people get stressed out while driving. Is it really that important you make it to work 2 minutes earlier than normal? Will you care you were 2 minutes earlier than normal 10 years from now?
If you let the stress get to you, your life will totally change for the worse.
If you can successfully decrease stress in your life, you will build muscle faster — that's the truth.
- Physicality of your job
If you have a job that's physically demanding such as lifting heavy boxes, you will have to decrease the intensity of your workouts until your body becomes more conditioned.
- Intensity of each workout
The further you push yourself towards complete failure — the more stress you add to your body and the more time it takes to recover.
You can easily control the intensity level of each workout by stopping each set of any given exercise when the rep speed slows down. Then you can experiment by increasing the intensity after you have some experience.
- Frequency of each workout
If you workout more frequently to hit the muscle group more often (48 hours or so), you cannot expect to go to complete failure every set of every workout.
You can condition your body to take this type of punishment but there's really no reason to do so.
Decreasing the frequency of workouts allows your body to recover more fully, but it can also waste time in your quest to build muscle.
- Pre and post workout nutrition
If you eat the proper combination and the right types of protein and carbohydrates before and after your workout, you can get nutrients to the muscle faster and more efficiently.
For several hours after your workout you should attempt to flood your body with muscle building nutrients. Eat only the best sources of food and you'll recover very quickly.
- Supplementation including vitamin intake
The type and amount of supplements you take will affect your recovery. Vitamin supplementation can really help too. If you aren't eating a large variety of foods, you definitely need a multivitamin.
- Intensity and amount of cardio you do
The type of cardio you do, how often you do it, and how much you do can really effect weight lifting intensity during your workouts.
For example, many programs recommend High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) all the time for several workouts per week. HIIT can be pretty hard on your body and force you to take more time to recover.
- Current conditioning level
You can improve your conditioning level which will lead to better recovery between workouts. You can workout more often and condition your body to a higher weight lifting intensity. The body is amazing at adapting.
- Special recovery techniques
Static stetching, weighted stretching, dynamic stretching, foam rolling, massage, hot tubs, saunas, hot baths, and even ice baths can increase recovery time between workouts and allow you to increase weight lifting intensity.
Your genetics play a big role in your recovery from workouts. From your digestive system efficiency to how carbohydrate sensitive you are… your genetics are a HUGE factor in your recovery.
Workout Recovery Is NOT All About Genetics
When you look at the list above, you'll probably notice one factor that you just can't do anything about. Can you find the one factor above that you have no control over?
That's correct. Genetics is the only factor in the list above that you cannot control. You can do something to change and affect all of the other factors. Genetics is the card you've been dealt in life. You have to deal with it and simply cannot change your genetics.
Some people will recover faster from workouts than others when the exact same protocol is used. Some people will burn fat easier and build muscle easier than others. All of this is due to genetics, and we can't change that.
But, all of the other factors above can be controlled by you!
If you need more water, more fluids, more sleep, less stress, more conditioning, improved diet, and so on, you can add what you need or make changes to your program to increase recovery.
All you have to do is follow the WLC System guidelines along with the guidelines given for the WLC workouts.
Adjust your program as needed on a weekly basis to continue making progress. If you need more sleep, take a few naps during the upcoming week. See how your results are affected.
I simply want you to know that you can make changes to improve your rest and recovery between workouts.
I'm going to give you some special tips and techniques throughout the rest and workout recovery section of WLC for improving your rest and recovery.
Pay special attention to these techniques because they really can make the difference between average results and spectacular results.