You go to the gym. You crush every rep of every set! Your muscles are shaking from the brutality they just barely survived. Now your workout is over, and it’s time to GROW! Or is it?
Are you making any or all of the vital mistakes I have listed below? If so, it’s time to make some corrections if you want to turn your hard work into brand-new muscle!
Once the workout is done you should stretch the muscles that were just targeted. This will not only help them recover more quickly and keep you more limber but may also enhance the growth process!
There is nothing wrong with doing some cardio (20-30 minutes maximum) after your weight training. But, it should not be excessive, or you will severely hamper the physiological/hormonal mechanisms that lead to muscular hypertrophy.
Your best bet is to separate cardio and weight training by about 5 hours for optimal progress.
After an intense gym workout your body is in severe need of nutrients, especially amino acids and carbohydrates, to replenish, restore/repair damaged muscle cells and feed the exhausted nervous system. Try to feed your body a high-quality meal no longer than 15-20 minutes after completing your final set.
As I mentioned, it is of vital importance to quickly consume the proper nutrients after a workout, and carbs play a very important role in this equation.
Since the body is primed to absorb carbohydrates to refill muscle glycogen after lifting weights it is best to take in the “fast-acting” or “high GI” variety.
Foods like white rice, white potatoes, rice cakes, and bagels will get into the bloodstream rapidly, which will elevate insulin levels and allow you to push nutrients into cells at a very quick rate.
Because whey protein is digested very rapidly it will supply your muscle cells with much-needed amino acids faster than all other protein sources.
This is extremely important right after an intense workout; so, failing to utilize the power of whey would most certainly be an error when the goal is more muscle!
The goal of the post-workout meal is to make sure that both carbohydrates and amino acids reach the bloodstream for distribution to muscle cells as rapidly as possible.
Since fats tend to slow digestion it would be a big mistake to include a significant amount during the post-workout feeding.
While there is nothing more important than proper diet and training when it comes to making progress, smart supplementation certainly can hasten the process.
So, if gaining muscle and losing fat are high on your priority list, take advantage of proven supplements like creatine, glutamine, HBM, and leucine by getting an efficacious dose of each as soon as you are done training, or with the post-workout meal.
In a perfect world all of us would be able to grab about an hour’s nap right after training to help our muscles and nervous system recover, but for most this is just not possible.
However, I highly recommend that at the very least you avoid physically strenuous activity once done in the gym and that you at least take a little time to just sit, relax, and comfortably consume your post-workout meal.
Weight training will only be effective if the body gets adequate rest to allow for the rebuilding process to take place.
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