Active recovery technique after training
The restoration of the body is the return of the physical parameters of the body to normal, as well as the improvement of adaptive capabilities after performing physical work. It should be emphasized that the main goal of recovery in bodybuilding is to increase the physical parameters of the body (muscle volume, strength indicators) compared to the initial level. In this article, we will consider the technique of active recovery after training.
Active recovery is any activity that has low intensity but differs from your usual sport. Recovery from physical activity plays an important role in any sport. But in bodybuilding, it is of tremendous importance, because the increase in muscle volume directly depends on the quality and duration of rest.
Why is it important to rest after a workout?
Strength training is stress for the whole body, and not just for the loaded muscle. The cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine and musculoskeletal systems experience a shock load. And the harder the training, the more shocked they are after it. Until the body returns to normal, and the reserves of energy spent in the gym will restore (preferably in excess), the process of muscle growth will not start.
In sports medicine, it distinguishes four main phases: fast recovery, slow recovery, super-compensation (over recovery) and delayed or delayed recovery. Each phase we can characterize by different processes in the body. By influencing these processes, you can achieve a faster and more complete recovery of the body after training. If you`ll neglect the knowledge of recovery, a training plateau and overtraining can quickly develop.
Post-Workout Recovery Phases
First of all, our body goes through a phase of rapid recovery. It comes immediately after training and lasts up to half an hour. During this time, there is a restructuring of the metabolism from catabolic to anabolic processes. The body seeks to restore homeostasis: there is a replenishment of ATP, creatine phosphate, glycogen, secretion of stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, etc.) returns to normal, the cardiovascular system normalizes, anabolic hormones (insulin, steroids) begin to flow into the blood.
The second phase of active recovery
After the body reaches metabolic equilibrium, repair processes begin: the synthesis of proteins (including contractile ones), enzymes and amino acids are activated. The water-electrolyte balance is restored, and nutrients that are used to build and repair damaged cells begin to be quickly absorbed from the digestive system.
The third phase begins 2-3 days after the workout and lasts about 5 days, in many ways, it is similar to the previous one in the current processes. However, the difference lies in the fact that the increase in the functional and morphological characteristics of the athlete’s body in this phase begins to exceed the initial level. The fourth phase is a return to the pre-training level of all physical parameters in the absence of a repeated adequate load during the third phase.
Why is active recovery so important?
It is with the help of active recovery that an athlete can use all the resources of his body. With active recovery, the muscles and ligaments both relax and work. But, taking into account the fact that the type of activity during relaxation differs from the load in the gym, the muscles use all their growth opportunities.
Active recovery is aimed at performing exercises with low intensity, but high enough to increase blood flow and enhance the cleaning of enzymes responsible for muscle damage and residual fatigue. Thus, active recovery plays a huge role in minimizing the symptoms of residual muscle pain.
How to control recovery?
There are several indicators that should be monitored during recovery. First of all, this is the pulse. It is this indicator of the work of the heart that first of all shows how effectively you are recovering. It should be 2 hours after training, in a sitting position below 75 beats per minute. If your heart rate is higher, you should think about heart problems or overtraining. A similar indicator is blood pressure.
The athlete’s sleep should be strong and productive. With the wrong training regime, the process of falling asleep can disturb. First of all, in the first half of the day, there is a feeling of drowsiness, unstable sleep at night. The athlete’s well-being most often worsens when it is not restored. This is one of the main, but not very specific signals. Pain may occur in the heart area. And, most importantly, progress – is available only with full recovery.
Types and methods of active recovery
Many athletes recommend swimming as a way of active recovery. The pressure of water on the muscles improves the efficiency of blood circulation and detoxification. Therefore, it helps in recovering from intense physical exertion. In water, the pressure on the joints decreases, this can help bodybuilders and those who work with a lot of weight.
A good way to recover from intense strength training is called cardio. But it’s important to remember that cardio training should not be intense. It is better to perform exercises with low intensity and concentrate on the rhythm of breathing and pulse.
The methods of active recovery include cycling, and active games – volleyball, basketball, and even walking. In fact, active recovery practically means active recreation.
In this article, we examined the basic benefits of active recovery for an athlete. Of course, each athlete for himself chooses the appropriate method of rest. And do not dwell only on active recovery. After all, after intense training, passive recovery should also be used. Do not forget about the benefits of good sleep, massage and proper nutrition.