Why muscle recovery begins before training
When it comes to recovery, all conversations boil down to post-exercise nutrition and timely nutrient intake. We will tell you why eating and taking drugs before the training session is not less important.
Author: David Sandler
Remember the times when painful pain after training was considered an indicator of the quality of your work in the gym? You know this feeling "I barely drag my legs and without a grimace of pain I can not overcome even a flight of stairs"? Well, perhaps you do not even know this feeling.
But those days when I reached the heights of a weightlifter's career, and in a fashion were terrible baggy pants and high hairstyles, muscle pain was considered a prerequisite for intense muscle growth. Suffice it to say that many experts literally understood the commandment "no pain, no gain" and considered the pain to be the only proof that the efforts at the training were not in vain.
Fast rewind time until the moment when people decided to listen to scientists. The results of scientific experiments persistently told us that muscular pain is not only not a necessary condition, but it can also become a serious obstacle to the coveted goal.
Around the same time a group of researchers and enthusiasts presented a revolutionary approach to the diet and training process for the general public – the principle of "timely intake of nutrients" was formulated, which is still the cornerstone of a good training program. It should be noted that this principle has become a good news for the bodybuilding industry and a truly epoch-making event for manufacturers of sports nutrition.
Finally, we believed that for effective muscle growth we need full-fledged, but not excessive loads in combination with proper nutrition. But we still do not agree on what to consider as a "full" load and, more importantly, what preparations, when and in what quantities should be taken to stimulate maximum muscle growth.
However, the light at the end of the tunnel is still visible. We know for sure that the success of the training program largely depends on the effectiveness of the recovery processes, and grueling training will bear fruit only if these "fruits" have enough time to ripen, fill with juice and prepare for another exhausting training session.
If you read my articles, you know that I always thoroughly study the theoretical basis and can not resist the question of "why". Let's not break the tradition – let's see what happens in the muscle tissue during training stress, and what argument is behind the theses about the importance of recovery processes. I want to emphasize once again that our training goal is to damage the muscle tissue, which forces the muscles to become stronger, thicker and more resistant to stress factors in the future. But you already know that, right?
A good and at the same time not too complicated example of how our body reacts to the impact of stress factors is the reaction to the cut. We do not bleed and do not die from a banal scratch, but all because at the very moment when you cut your finger, the receptors send signals and call the "emergency team". And after a few moments, blood coagulation factors rush to the cut site and begin to implement a plan to prevent excessive blood loss.
First of all, the coagulation factors fill a gap with the help of a "temporary patch", and then other mechanisms that ensure a complete restoration of the normal tissue structure are included in the work. If the coagulation mechanisms did not work properly, we would try to avoid the slightest scratches in every possible way, and contact sports, probably, would cease to exist.
In the case of deep wounds, the process takes much longer and sometimes requires our participation. The restoration result does not always look aesthetically pleasing, but the damaged area eventually becomes stronger. Similar processes occur in muscle tissue during training stress, although they are realized due to several other mechanisms.
Easy training is like a scratch, exhausting – like a deep wound. The duration of recovery is directly proportional to the degree of damage, and too strong a breakdown can lead to undesirable consequences, such as loss of fitness and a reduction in strength.
Now it will be easier for you to understand why I chose the cuts and scratches as an example. During the exercise, micro lesions and damage to the muscle tissue occur. Protein molecules, which are responsible for the normal structure of the tissue and give strength to muscle contractions, begin to disintegrate. The reparation system creates "temporary latches" that still hold the tissue structures in place, but the muscle is already seriously weakened.
In addition to the breakdown of protein molecules during the ruthless training, the formation of final products of metabolism occurs. With the increase in the number of approaches, more and more muscle fibers are involved in this process, and this happens until the complete failure. All this time the body is trying to repair damaged muscle areas and derive the final products of metabolism, but the ongoing training loads negate all of its efforts. Ruthless internal struggle at the cellular level during training is a cruel but necessary step towards overall success.
But sooner or later the training comes to an end, and the body begins to count the losses on the battlefield. After a while, the "night brigade" comes on the scene, which takes to rescue the victims and proceeds to recovery and regeneration. Finally, relief comes: the internal struggle ceases and the processes of reparation receive a green light. They work tirelessly; sometimes it stretches for a few days and resembles a fierce battle. All this time, recovery processes need an influx of nutritional and structural elements: first, nutrients are needed to create a temporary patch, later – for a full restoration of the structure and function of the damaged tissue. We must take care of the constant supply of nutrients, take into account the time that is required for recovery, and avoid additional stressful effects on the damaged areas.
If you carefully read my materials and tried to combine all the details of the mosaic, you should have noticed that I talk a lot about the importance of drawing up an adequate training program that gives the body not excessive but reasonable load, and leaves room for restoration. You also know that for a successful recovery it is necessary to provide the body with fuel and building materials.
Every second of the exercise in the muscles, hundreds of processes occur, which are repeated thousands of times. And that these processes can occur on an ongoing basis, the muscle tissue must become stronger, faster, stronger and more resistant to external loads. Specific stress to which you expose muscles, causes a specific adaptation.
Although the lion's share of attention goes to "torturing the muscles" during strength training, endurance exercises can have no less, and, perhaps, more serious consequences for the body. This means that recovery processes are important for all types of exercises. The harder you work in training, the more time you need to recover.
Thus, even before the training program is compiled, each athlete must answer two questions. What load will make the body work at the limit of its capabilities, and what should be taken to ensure the maximum recovery for the next training session?
If I had all the answers, you would not read this one or any other material on the training process. You would not have problems with what drugs to take and when to do it. In a word, it would be an ideal world in which we all so want to be, do not we?
It is the lack of unambiguous answers that motivates me and other experts to look for formulas that really work or can be useful, and sweep aside the dummies that will never help anyone. And today I can tell you exactly what will not help and will not work under any circumstances. Wrong choice. The desire to get everything at once. Neglect of technical aspects. Inconsistency. Lack of motivation and training through the sleeves.
Moreover, the confusion in goals and the desire to "embrace the immensity" will not allow you to concentrate on solving individual problems and will lead to defeat on all fronts.
Simply put, you must clearly define one goal or several goals. You have to realize that everything takes time, you have to admit that nothing happens overnight. You will need years to go all the way and achieve the ultimate goal – to become stronger, faster, bigger and better.
But there is one thing that you should always remember about. You need to load the muscles with fuel so that they have the energy, tools and structural materials for a quick and effective recovery. It's simple, right?
Once, all the talk about choosing the time for taking nutrients was reduced to post-workout recovery. Then came the results of promising studies that showed that a pre-training cocktail can prepare the body for a fierce battle. Since then, much, let's say, began to get out of control.
Pre-training complexes turned into a set of "canned stimulants", and post-training cocktails were drowned in the flow of advertising and greatly exaggerated declared properties of products. You are trying to convince yourself that to start the training session, you need to give the body a powerful push and to increase the mental focus to the limit, and the so-called "anabolic window" is largely determined by what time of the day you are engaged.
Meanwhile, studies have shown that the drugs are best taken for 30 minutes (or less) before the start of the workout. During the training session, give all the best, do additional repetitions, but remember that everything is fine in moderation. Even during training or soon after its completion, fill the body with essential amino acids for recovery, electrolytes for hydration and key catalysts for biochemical reactions to accelerate the overall recovery.
The right combination of nutrients taken at the right time will ensure the needs of the "emergency team", which creates "temporary latches", and will be an excellent springboard for the "night brigade". In the future, a continuous flow of key amino acids will provide the body with building material and will become a decisive factor for the processes of restoration, repair and strengthening of tissue structures.
Ask, what about the training time? Regardless of when you train, you should only think about approaches, repetitions and rest between them. Let's face it: no matter what your training program is, nothing will replace a good full-fledged approach to basic exercises for target groups, especially if you, like me, just want to look your best.
I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about. Stop it. Look in the mirror, and then read the last sentence again. Talk less, work more. Many strange things that we surrounded ourselves, we really do not need. Of course, if you do not set specific goals and do not try to learn to perform circus tricks, standing on the ball, holding the umbrella in one hand and juggling with the other hand.
So stop for a minute and think about it. Do you want to fight with windmills or do you need something that will help to harvest a rich harvest?
I hope you caught the basic idea
Recovery begins before training, not after. I remember the old wisdom and I am ready to applaud the one who formulated it first: "Proper preparation is the key to the success of the training process." That says it all. Go to the hall and start working with redoubled energy. And make sure that the muscles are loaded with fuel, and you will not waste their strength and time.