People spend hour upon hours in the gym. Lifting weights, doing supersets, compound sets, plyometrics, Olympic lifts and cross training. For various different reasons, such as bodybuilding, fitness modeling, athletic performance, rehab or maybe just to be healthy. The type of weight lifting you’re doing or even the reason your weight lifting doesn’t really matter if you miss one huge aspect of your routine. A post workout routine for weight lifters is imperative for success no matter why or how you’re lifting weights.
There are two main areas we need to think about when talking about a post workout routine for weight lifters. The first is a post workout stretch. This routine can have an immense effect on the quality of your weight lifting. Spending hours in the gym, pumping blood into our muscles, stimulating activity in them, then all of a sudden were done. Muscles are tight and bulging from the lifting. Left un-stretched these muscles will stay stimulated and activated. After weeks of this the muscles will stay over active all the time, becoming tighter and shorter. If you didn’t already know, a short muscle is a weak muscle. So we’ve spent all this time trying to improve these muscles by lifting weights and what ends up happening is the muscle becomes less efficient. A post workout stretch is imperative for optimum muscle function. The second area that needs to be addressed is a post workout meal. All that work you’ve just put in at the gym can be nullified if you done refuel and feed your muscles the right way and at the right time. There is a 90 minute window post workout that your body starts muscle resynthesis. If you don’t have the correct macronutrients digested within this time frame your muscles will not fully recover and rebuild. What you eat post workout is just as important. You’re not only rebuilding the muscle, your also refueling. Most of the calories your body uses for fuel come from carbohydrates; so about 60-70% of your post workout meal should be from carbohydrates. I think everyone knows protein is the body’s building block and they are needed post workout. Yet, not as many as everyone thinks, only about 20% of post workout calories should be from protein. I like to use the analogy of your muscle is a block wall, protein is the blocks and carbohydrates are the workers. Carbohydrates do the work of building muscle with protein being the building block.
No matter why or how you’re lifting weights, a post workout routine for weight lifters of stretching out the over activeness, eating a post workout meal in time and eating the correct type of calories are crucial for proper recovery, rebuilding and maintaining for your muscles. Make sure the hard work you’re putting in for bodybuilding, fitness modeling, athletic performance, rehab, or just to be healthy is going to stick. So, stretch, eat and relax after those hours of supersets, compound sets, plyometrics, Olympic lifts and cross training.[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Josh Morrison is the owner of Optimum Performance Training in Mt Zion, IL. He has a M.S. in Performance Enhancement, B.A. in Physical Education, certified as an NASM-PES, NASE-CSSE, NASM-CPT, NESTA-CPT, Human Kinetics-Advanced Exercise Nutrition and APEX-FitPro. [/stextbox]