Fitness Tips: How to Train and Recover Like a Pro
April 28, 2022
Did you know that only 30 percent of adults in the United States strength train? The American Journal of Preventive Medicine recommends about two muscle-strengthening workouts per week, and the benefits of this training can be great. Creating a consistent workout routine takes planning, but anyone can learn to train and recover like a pro with the following tips.
Here’s everything you need to know.
1. Warm Up and Cool Down
Stretching is extremely important to include in your routine and allows you to leverage your workout for better gains. Stretching encourages quicker muscle recovery as it reduces the buildup of lactic acid after your workout.
A good warm up prepares your cardiovascular system by slowly raising body temperature and increasing blood flow. The same is true of a good cool down – allowing your body to gradually decrease heart rate and blood pressure. By warming up and cooling down properly, you are preparing for a better recovery, too.
Want to warm up like a pro? The fitness teams at Texans Fit are equipped with personal trainers who can teach you their warm up tips and tricks.
2. Plan for Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks/Meals
Food is fuel - and an important part of feeling strong and alert during your workout. With increased activity comes the need for increased caloric intake and frequency of eating throughout the day.
Pre-Workout: Foods with carbohydrates make great pre-workout snacks. Carbs fuel your muscles as you use them repeatedly throughout your workout. Think foods like oatmeal, fruit, yogurt and granola, or toast.
Post-Workout: After a workout, recovery and replenishing what was lost is top-of-mind. Protein promotes a speedy recovery. Think foods like chicken, fish, yogurt, milk or eggs. Electrolytes are the minerals needed for your neurons to work properly. Think coconut water, watermelon, dairy or avocado. Omega-3 fatty acids also promote a speedy recovery and reduced inflammation. Think foods like fish, flax seeds, chia, nuts or blueberries.
Planning your meals based on your goals. With proper pre- and post-workout nutrition, you will feel your best during and after workouts.
3. Take Time for Recovery
Strength training creates small tears in your muscles that is rebuilt during recovery. Your body uses blood to carry nutrients to the muscles and rebuild. This is commonly known as inflammation. While painful, it is necessary to properly recover.
Strength training is intense work on a specific muscle group, meaning your muscles will ideally need plenty of recovery time before your next training session with that muscle group. Depending on your body, you should take 24-72 hours to recover the muscle group worked.
Muscles begin growing during rest periods. Ideally, for each muscle group you’d like to strengthen or grow, you should train twice a week.
Your post-workout meal, like we discussed above, is also a significant part of good recovery.
4. Create Consistency
As you get started, you'll figure out what you like and what you don’t like to do in the gym. This self-discovery in your workouts will help you to create a routine.
Your workouts don’t need to be monotonous, but a consistent schedule will yield the best results over time. Consistency helps your body to adapt to the work and recovery process.
Try scheduling a two to three group fitness classes each week and sticking with those class formats and times. Texans Fit offers a wide range of group fitness classes at all locations with classes like High Intensity Interval Training, yoga, cycling, and more.
5. Listen to Your Body
Listening to your body is important before, during and after a workout. As you begin your fitness journey, you’ll learn more about your body and how it responds to certain types of workouts. This is important to be conscious of as you progress.
Where many people use an app or journal to log workouts, you can also log how you feel before, during and after workouts. This will ensure you’re conscious of how your body feels and remember how you feel after specific types of workouts.
Some days, a full workout just isn’t best for you and your body. But remember, movement is medicine. Try lighter activities like a walk or a Yin Restorative yoga class. Be aggressive enough to know when to push through, but smart enough to know when you’ve pushed too hard.
6. Take Your Time
Finally, take your time. It can be easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing – your gym partner, on social media or others around you in the gym – but you’ve got to run your own race. Your goals are specific to you, so train for yourself.
7. Ready to Train and Recover Like a Pro?
Remember, trial and error is okay. You won’t achieve perfection on day one, and you’re not expected to.
Now that we've gone over a few of the best ways to train and recover like a pro, are you ready to get started?
Finding the right gym for you is a great first step. With state-of-the-art facilities in Katy, Rosenberg, and Meyerland, Texans Fit provides state-of-the-art fitness facilities to the Houston area. Check us out online or contact us today to get started.