#254 – Getting Started #7: Recovery
A wise man once said: you don’t get strong from lifting weights, you get strong recovering from lifting weights. In today’s episode Coach Matt and Scott discuss the most important things you need to know about recovery so that you get the most out of your strength training.
Many factors affect your ability to recover from the work you do in the weight room — nutrition, sleep, job stress, children, taxes, your mortgage. Some of these we can control, and some we can’t. Of the factors we can control, we really care about two:
Food is fuel for your body. You need lots of protein to rebuild muscle that is stressed from heavy lifting in the weight room (and build new muscle on top of that), carbohydrates to fill and replenish the glycogen stores that power heavy working sets, and fats to maintain healthy cellular function. Without it, the adaptation piece of the SRA equation cannot happen. Trainees that under-eat protein may even develop tendonitis, a sign that their body is not adequately recovering from the stress from prior workouts. Likewise, trainees that restrict carbs too severely may feel weak or “gassed” too early in their workouts.
Underweight trainees undergoing linear progression need to eat a LOT of food. The amount of calories required to grow new lean mass — muscle, bone, and connective tissue — is difficult to measure, but we know it’s a large number. Males should be eating at least 200g of protein every day (more for larger trainees, a 6ft+ male will likely need 225g or more), and females should be eating 150g of protein.
Overweight trainees already have adequate energy surplus, stored in the form of body fat, to fuel their workouts, so they need fewer calories, specifically less carbs and fats. Their protein intake should remain high.
Sleep is equally important. There are hundreds of articles and studies that discuss the benefit of a solid 8 hours of sleep each night, but trainees should pay attention to their sleep quality as well. Turning off your cell phone, TV, and other digital devices an hour before bed, sleeping in a cool and dark room, and taking time to mentally calm down before hitting the pillow are a few ways to ensure that you get both quality and volume of sleep.