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One of the most overlooked aspects to building lean muscle mass and transforming your physique is proper rest and recovery.
This is where many people seriously delay their progress. What is the point of busting your butt in the gym if you don't take the necessary steps to let your body recover and grow back bigger and stronger?
It is shocking to me how many people are lifting weights every day and training to put on serious muscle mass but fail to learn about proper recovery tips and techniques.
The following are 5 tips to help you recover from even the most intense workouts. These 5 tips will help you build the most amount of lean muscle mass possible following a great workout.
Once you break down the lean muscle tissue and create those great micro tears during your workout, the period of recovery begins starting immediately with your post workout nutrition. That is where we will start with Tip Number one.
Tip Number One: Perfect Post Workout Shake
You have a 45-minute window following an intense resistance-training workout where your body is literally begging for muscle building nutrition.
Many of you are making crucial mistakes when it comes to post workout nutrition. The key to a great post workout recovery shake is speed. You don't need to be eating food during this time. Liquid nutrition is best as this will be digested immediately.
The formula for optimal post workout nutrition is a 2:1 ratio of simple sugars and fast digesting protein. For the sake of convenience and cost, I recommend whey protein and dextrose powder.
Whey protein is a fast digesting protein source and is ideal for post workout nutrition. Dextrose powder is a simple sugar with a 100 glycemic index, and mixes easily with the whey protein.
You should be consuming about 1 gram of whey protein for every 5 lbs of body weight and 1 gram of dextrose for every 2.5 lbs of body weight following an intense resistance-training workout.
Tip Number Two: Minimum of 7 Hours of Sleep
This is a big one. If you are not getting an adequate amount of sleep you will never reach your physical potential. Sleep is probably the most important tip on this entire list.
You have to understand that your muscles will only grow when you are resting. They don't grow in the gym. Sleep is when your body is at its busiest repairing the damaged muscle tissue and unleashing the important muscle building anabolic hormones.
Not only do you want to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, but you want to make sure that you are getting quality and consistent sleep. 7 hours is no good if you are constantly waking up in the middle of the night.
Tip Number Three: Casein at Night
Casein protein is a very high quality form of protein that digests very slowly. This is why you should be taking one serving of casein protein at night right before you go to bed.
Since casein protein digests so slowly, it will literally be drip-feeding your muscles as you sleep and will aid in the muscle recovery process.
25 Grams of casein protein at night seems to be a perfect amount to give your muscles enough anabolic fuel for maximum growth.
Casein protein takes anywhere from 4-6 hours to digest completely and this time will allow your body to repair damaged muscle tissue for longer periods of time while you sleep.
Tip Number Four: ZMA Daily
The combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B 6 represents the recovery supplement ZMA. ZMA supplementation daily is a great way to boost your body's recovery and muscle building capabilities.
ZMA will aid in your body's recovery process, helping to heal broken down muscle tissue faster as well as increase your body's ability to increase free testosterone.
Clinical studies have also been shown that it can help increase muscle strength significantly when compared to a placebo during a strength-training program.
Daily supplementation with ZMA is a great way to boost your physical potential and increase the speed of your recovery.
Tip Number Five: L Glutamine Daily
Besides whey protein, L glutamine may be the most important recovery supplement for the serious weight lifter.
I am sure most of you have heard of L glutamine, but probably are unaware of what it really does.
When you are lifting weights intensely, you create a huge demand for L glutamine in your body.
L glutamine is thus considered an essential amino acid in the human body. When you are creating stress in the body by working out and breaking down muscle tissue, your body is in need of more L glutamine to recover, repair, and function properly.
By supplementing with L glutamine it will help keep your nitrogen levels in the body in check, which will maximize your protein synthesis and muscle building capacity.
Training intensely can also lower your body's immune system. You will be more susceptible to the common cold and other illnesses. L glutamine supplementation has been shown to boost your immune system and offset this effect.
Getting into the proper routine with your recovery and rest periods is a vital step to maximizing your body's muscle building potential.
Not allowing your muscles and body to fully recover from a workout and then training those same muscles again will put you at serious risk for injury and over training.
Over training is when you are overworking your muscles and not giving them enough time to fully recover. This is a bad thing as your muscles will stay in a perpetual state of damaged and never fully repair and grow.
Over training can kill your gains - Overnight! Stay away from overtraining by ensuring your body is fully recovered and energized.
By following these 5 steps, you are giving your body multiple ways to recover and rebuild bigger and stronger.
How to Build A Fat Burning and Muscle Building Weight Training and Nutrition Plan
Don't know where to start? Don't know how to create a weight training program to reach your goals? Don't know how many calories you should be eating? Need help designing your weight training and nutrition plan? Read this guide on how you can build a successful weight training routine and nutrition program. Click here to find out how.
All the best,
As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.
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