Share  • 
Login • Register • 

Tag Archives: recovery

  • I have just started weight training again after 25 years away! Is it normal for muscles to feel like jelly post-workout but feel normal again within 2 days? Am I overtraining?

    Well congratulations for getting back into an exercise routine after such a long period of inactivity! The hardest part is redeveloping the routine, but once you're there, training will become second nature.

    It is certainly normal for your muscles to feel like jelly after a workout, especially considering how long you have been away from any training. Your muscles have been completely de-conditioned to exercise (be it cardiovascular or resistance training), if you have been leading a sedentary lifestyle.

    The fact that your muscles feel normal within a couple of days could indicate a very rapid rate of recovery. This isn't a bad thing - your muscles may just be quite resilient to the trauma that causes muscle pain. Another explanation could be that you are not working the muscles hard enough to cause sufficient stimulus.

    A rapid rate of recovery does not indicate overtraining. There are many signs of overtraining - check out a blog post we have available on how to recover from exercise. However the most distinct sign of overtraining is that you are not making any progress - whether that be not gaining strength, losing weight, improving fitness etc. Of course, just because you are not making positive progress does not necessarily mean that you are overtraining as there are many other key factors to watch out for as detailed in that article.

  • Should I take a week off from training? If so, when?

    A week off is a vitally important aspect to your training.  This will allow your body to recover from the physical stress it has endured over the past training cycle.  Without this crucial recovery period, overtraining can be an unfortunate side effect.

    As a general rule of thumb, I recommend taking a week's break after 6-10 consecutive weeks of training.  6-10 weeks is highly variable, but so too are our bodies.  Sometimes after 8 weeks you will still feel great and be experiencing some great results.  However sometimes after 6 weeks you can just feel absolutely worn out.

    Another factor in determining when a week off is due, is based upon your results.  If your weight gains slow consistently, your fitness levels plateau or your fat loss comes to a halt, this may be an indication that it is time for a break.

    The beauty about the week off is that it allows you to recover physically and mentally.  However it also assists you in refocussing on your goals for the next period of training.  You can then go back into the gym feeling pumped, focussed and ready to train with some major intensity.

  • Can I do too much exercise? Will this lead to overtraining?

    Without a doubt, you can perform too much exercise. If you want your body to get anywhere, you need to allow it to recover. Even top athletes cannot exercise all-day every-day, otherwise their bodies would simply shut down.

    Recovery, recovery, recovery - it is so VITALLY important. More is not necessarily better.

    Of course, your goals will dictate the magnitude of exercise that is required. However, performing excessive exercise will work against you.

    Kek once mentioned that "muscle is more expensive to maintain than fat" - which is a very good way of considering muscle versus fat retention.  Muscle requires a significant amount of energy to maintain. You do too much exercise and/or don't eat enough - your body will turn on it's survival mechanisms and prefer to rid itself of the muscle mass rather than the fat mass.

    But it's not only muscle - if you perform too much exercise, your body will begin to do things to tell you to SLOW DOWN. Hormones begin to be secreted that halt progress in an attempt to survive and recover. You will feel tired and lethargic - hindering the intensity of your workouts. You can become moody and lose sleep. Furthermore, because your body can become so run down - this will encourage infection because your immune system will ultimately become very weak.

    Performing too much exercise can lead to overtraining which basically places your body in "survival" mode. Whilst overtraining is a vague term that covers a lot of situations, when you overtrain, your body stops progressing (or plateau) and your level of performance will decline significantly.

    Personally speaking, I used to think that "more is better". I employed this way of thinking when I first began my training regime (we are talking years ago now) and in a year I made next to no progress (it's so easy to live in denial).

    You also need to learn to listen to your body. There is no formula to determine the amount of exercise required. Your body is the best indicator of whether or not you are overdoing it. Feeling excessively run down is your bodies way of telling you to slow down. It can be hard for many of us to "skip" a gym session - but this discipline can be what separates good results from GREAT results.

    Unfortunately the importance of recovery is overlooked. Here's a good article that provides an overview on the topic:

    Recovery 101: Creating the Ultimate Physique

    And when you finish with that, there's a tonne of other articles on the website dealing with this VERY important issue :)

  • Should I consume dextrose after my workout?

    Absolutely - including cardio and resistance training.

    Dextroseimmediately post-workout will aid recovery and protein synthesis.  If you consume creatine, the resulting insulin spike will act as a transport system for the creatine to reach your muscle cells.  Plus, dextrose often makes your protein shake taste a lot nicer (particularly with those bitter hydrolysed WPI powders!)

  • I was told that you should not eat after weights because it will draw blood away from your muscles. When should I eat?

    Whether you're looking at building muscle, losing fat and/or increasing fitness, correct eating is essential to achieving that goal.

    I have heard theories just like the one you have quoted. There is also the idea that resistance training on an empty stomach encourages testosterone production, thus encouraging muscle gain. Another concept with cardiovascular exercise is to work on an empty stomach in order to 'tap into' your fat stores. Personally I'm not a believer in any of these theories for a number of reasons.

    By not eating prior to your workout, your body will be in a starved state. If your body cannot access the right nutrients in order to perform the desired exercise load, guess what's going to happen? Intensity suffers - period. There's a tonne of articles on Amino Z as to why intensity is a key factor in assisting fat loss, muscle gain or fitness improvements.

    Meanwhile let's assume you complete your workout. Your body is now in a state of catabolism - it's breaking down muscle and fat tissue in order to recover properly. Again if you don't feed your body, you are starving it of essential nutrients required for effective recovery. This will inhibit protein synthesis (ie. building muscle), slow down your metabolism (thus slowing fat loss) and run your body down significantly (decreasing fitness improvements amongst other things).

    In my opinion, one of the most important meals of the day is IMMEDIATELY after your workout (post workout). I recommend this to all of my clients. A serving of fast acting protein (eg. whey protein isolate) and carbohydrate (eg. dextrose) is an essential tool for getting your body back on track to build muscle, lose fat and/or increase fitness. I also recommend a pre-workout meal or shake in order to allow your body to perform at it's peak during the workout.

1 2 3 4
GIVE $10 GET $10
More info
10% instant price beat!