Useful Tips

Fast and high-quality muscle recovery after training


One of the main conditions for obtaining results in bodybuilding or fitness is recovery. Recovery involves returning the physical condition to normal and adapting to further stresses to improve athletic performance. Thus, without proper rest, there will be no results; over time, the athlete will reach a “plateau” or, worse, get the opposite effect. Therefore, it is important for athletes of any level to know methods of accelerating recovery after training.

How long does it take to recover from a workout

There are several phases of the muscle repair process.

  1. The first phase begins immediately after the end of the workout and lasts about an hour. At this time, the body especially needs the nutrients necessary not only for further muscle growth, but also to replenish the energy reserve, after significant costs. Therefore, during this period it is important to eat food and sports supplements based on proteins (amino acids) and carbohydrates. But this is only a partial recovery.
  2. Full muscle recovery can last from two to five days, and the larger the trained muscles, the longer they recover. For example, small muscle groupssuch as biceps, triceps recover in 1-2 days, medium and large muscles: back, chest, legs, deltas up to 4-5 days. Although the duration of healing as a result of damage to muscle fibers depends on the resulting microtrauma. The recovery process also depends on the individual metabolic rate.

Muscle recovery methods after training

Share active and passive muscle recovery.

  1. Passive recovery - complete rest and rest from any loads, that is, abstinence from them for 2-3 days or until complete recovery. This method is suitable for all athletes, especially if there are symptoms of overtraining. The only drawback of the method, with frequent use, is the lack of adaptation to new loads, the athlete stops in development.
  2. Active recovery - implies a set of active measures, such as: cardio load for 10-20 minutes after training, muscle stretching to remove lactic acid and toxins, as well as sports massage.

Recovery phases: fast recovery phase.

This phase begins immediately after the workout and consists of 2 processes. Recovery time: 30 minutes. At this time, glycogen and creatine phosphate reserves are restored, the secretion of stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, etc.) returns to normal, the cardiovascular system normalizes, anabolic hormones (insulin, steroids) begin to flow into the blood, i.e. going on restoration of hormonal balance.

Detailed article on glycogen. Be sure to read it if you still believe in the myth that glycogen can be depleted in 20 minutes of running.

Also, in the near future after training (and preferably during) body water balance. Of course, this process is quite fast and short. It is enough to drink water after training or drink water between sets during the course of it (which is preferable). Recovery takes literally within 10-20 minutes. Please remember you can drink during training. With any physical activity, the body loses fluid. Intense muscle load is usually accompanied by an increase in body temperature, and the sweating process protects the body from overheating.

By the way, they usually don’t talk about it, but a person sweats even at rest. At room temperature, the skin secretes about half a liter of sweat per day. Sweating process performs thermoregulation function, as well as excretory: along with sweat, metabolic products and excess salts are removed.

When sweating, dehydration occurs. If you have a thirst, congratulations, your body is experiencing a slight lack of water. Clearly, signs of dehydration occur with a loss of 2% of the total body weight.
If you fill up the lost fluid in time, this will not affect the overall performance of the body.
If a person does not compensate for the loss of electrolytes, then with a decrease in the volume of blood circulating in the body, the kidneys secrete the rhinin enzyme, which leads to a narrowing of blood vessels and an increase in blood pressure. And the body is forced to redistribute the fluid, pulling it out of the tissues and small vessels in order to direct it to the vital organs - the heart, lungs, kidneys and brain.

Of course, dehydration during exercise is not so critical that it could affect your health, but even a slight loss of fluid leads to a decrease in the working capacity of the body. This means that the overall performance of the training will also be reduced. In short, drink water, guided by even the slightest thirst and don’t worry, “you won’t be flooded” and “the lungs will not suffer”.

Slow Recovery Phase

After the completion of the first phase, when metabolism comes into equilibrium, protein synthesis processes begin. In this phase, healing of damaged muscle cells and tissues takes place.

Training itself is stress and muscle breakdown. We stubbornly tear and stretch our muscle fibers. As a result, local micro-fractures are formed, which our body seeks to heal. This process is called compensation, i.e. the muscle is restored to its normal state.

Also passes energy recovery phase. If you do not restore the body's energy reserves (ATP, creatine phosphate, glycogen), then there can be no talk of any muscle recovery. The speed of energy recovery for each person is INDIVIDUAL, but the average physiological indicator is 15-18 hours. Yes, you need to replenish glycogen reserves not exactly within 1 hour (protein-carbohydrate window - a myth) after training, and within 24 hours.

Only carbohydrate can go into glycogen. Glycogen itself is a “conserved” carbohydrate, our body’s energy gold reserve, which our hunks store from glucose that comes with food.
When the blood glucose level decreases (for example, after exercise, hunger, etc.), the enzymes break down glycogen to glucose and thus its blood level remains within the normal range, so that the brain, internal organs, and muscles (in training) receive energy. Therefore, you need to keep the bar of carbohydrates in your diet at least 50% of the total calorie content. By consuming a normal level of carbohydrates (about 60% of the daily diet), you keep your own glycogen to the maximum and force the body to oxidize carbohydrates, rather than being refined and carrying out the ketosis process.

What physical activity is permissible during muscle recovery after training?

The benefits of cardio workouts after exercise are the acceleration of the elimination of lactic acid from the muscles, that is, the breakdown products, and this significantly speeds up recovery. Cardio should be light, without raising the pulse to the limit. Walking on a track, stepper, orbit track, as well as an exercise bike, is suitable.

Stretching allows you to return the muscles to normal, maintaining their elasticity, preventing their enslavement. Squeezed and enslaved muscles are prone to injuries, recover more slowly and grow.

Nutrition for muscle recovery throughout the day

  • Breakfast: immediately after sleep - sports nutrition (amino acids or protein shake).
  • After half an hour: complex carbohydrates + simple (cereals: oatmeal, brown rice, wheat, corn + honey, dried fruits, fruits).
  • Snack: fruits or berries with cottage cheese.
  • Dinner: Complex carbohydrates (cereals rich in fiber) + vegetables and herbs, eggs or lean meat.
  • Half an hour before training: full cycle amino acids.
  • Immediately after training:BCAA.
  • After half an hour:gainer or protein shake in milk + banana. Or use carbohydrates (cereals, vegetables, fruits) and proteins (cottage cheese, eggs, or meat) instead of sports meals.
  • Dinner: Protein-rich foods (meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs) + vegetables with butter.
  • Before bedtime: dairy products, amino acids or casein protein.

Without a night's sleep, all methods and powers will go down the drain. It is at night that all recovery processes occur, both in muscle tissue and in the central nervous system. Anabolism (growth) of the muscles requires rest for 7-10 hours, but no less. It also does not interfere with sleep during the day, for example, after training. This will significantly speed up recovery. More on the benefits of sleep after exercise →

Sports Nutrition and Vitamins for Muscle Recovery

During the day, and not just after power loads, athletes need more nutrients, vitamins and minerals than untrained people. The rate of assimilation of nutrients from food is much slower than that of sports nutrition and pharmacy dietary supplements, therefore, for the speediest recovery and prevention of catabolism, it is necessary to provide "first aid" as a sports meal.

Full-cycle amino acids and BCAAs

A full-cycle serving should be taken before training or at bedtime, while BCAAs are necessary immediately after training and after a night’s sleep. Amino acids not only accelerate muscle recovery and growth, but also prevent destruction under the influence of cortisol, which is produced after training and sleep.

Supercompensation or Super Recovery Phase

Supercompensation - This is the most important process. Exactly this phase marks muscle growth. After the muscle has healed its micro-fractures, with the proper amount of energy and nutrients, supercompensation occurs - a thickening of the muscle tissue so that the muscle can withstand such loads in the future.

IE GIRLS: if you want a priest like that of Usmanova, you need to eat with a small surplus of calories. You can’t lose weight and pump something, alas, these processes are parallel and disjoint, more about this in the article: "Is it possible to lose weight and pump up at the same time?".

This phase begins 2-3 days after training and lasts about 5 days, in many ways it is similar to the previous one in the current processes, but the difference is that the increase in the functional and morphological characteristics of the athlete's body in this phase begins to exceed the initial level. But of course, recovery depends, first of all, on your training: if the load was light, then the muscles can recover even in a day. If the load was too heavy and voluminous, then the recovery time after such a training can be from 1-2 weeks.

Plus, in this phase one of the most important recovery processes occurs - nervous system recovery phase. Everyone knows that it is the nervous system that controls our body. And if the nervous system is excessively loaded, then the quality of training and well-being will fall faster than the ruble at 98. Vitamins, a good, high-quality sleep and the absence of stresses will help you balance your balance.

IMPORTANT: It is at this phase that the next workout of this muscle group should fall out!

Alas, the theory cannot unambiguously answer the question - how much exactly do you need to rest between workouts. Everyone has their own answer to this question. Too many subjective factors affect this (sleep, food, body condition, rhythm of life, weather, degree of workload at the last workout, work, etc.), which are exclusively in your jurisdiction.

With frequent training the body does not have time to fully recover. And each subsequent training takes place against the background of a decrease in the functional capabilities of the body, which leads to overtraining. Our body is capable of much, but an early rise, a lack of quality sleep, an unbalanced diet and general stress greatly limit our capabilities. So with daily training, we are 90% likely to exhaust ourselves both physically and mentally, and at the same time we will undermine the quality of training and the time spent in the gym will be wasted.

And who told you that frequent training will benefit you? The rule "the more the better" in this case does not work, giving way to another - "better less, but better." So forget about five to six “so-so-trainings” per week with insufficient recovery time. Make yourself really work at least two to three times a week, be active in everyday life and listen carefully to your body. With a high probability this will give you much better results.

With rare physical exertion - the supercompensation phase passes, and all of you stomp on one place, starting almost every time from scratch.

Most of us will benefit from limiting intense training. up to 2-3 per week, and on other days, take walks and simply organize outdoor activities. If you feel that you do not have time to recover, go 2 times. If vice versa - increase physical activity during training. But on average, recovery takes about 2 days.

Vitamins and Minerals

With intense loads, athletes need all the minerals and vitamins for muscle recovery, especially B vitamins, ascorbic acid, zinc, magnesium. You can take courses of vitamin-mineral complexes designed specifically for athletes, adhering to the dosages and manufacturer's instructions.

Lost Supercompensation Phase

It occurs when there is no reload in the supercompensation phase. That is, this is a return to the pre-training level. Of course, in one pass you won’t get to that, but a month or two is quite a sufficient period. The most ideal training plan is to re-load the muscle group in the phase of its super-recovery.

We hope that you understand that muscle growth boils down to 2 tasks:

- As soon as possible recover to the supercompensation phase
- Do not miss this phase and carry out the next training at its peak

How to understand that the body has recovered and is ready for feats? Just relying on your subjective feelings.


Also, do not forget to drink more fluid during training and throughout the day to fill the electrolyte deficiency. Drink 30 ml per kilogram of body weight. Remember that for a good workout and relaxation you need a stable state of the central nervous system, so avoid stress and overwork. During a break from training, do what you love, fill with good impressions.

Muscle and joint pain

Oh, who is not familiar with the terrible muscle pain after the first strength training? Those who are not familiar, just believe me, this is an unforgettable experience. In the future, with regular training, the muscles do not hurt so much. Many are chasing this pain, because it is believed that it is associated with growth. But of course, this is an erroneous conclusion. The goal of your training should be progress and growth.

Muscle krepature usually occurs 24 hours after training and peaks after 36 hours. The myth of lactic acid developed in the early 90s, but is still popular among fitness. Allegedly, the cause of the pain is the lactic acid accumulated in the muscles. In fact lactic acid is completely neutralized after 30 minutes after training. To what happens 36 hours later, she can have nothing to do. Usually, the strength is worse at the beginning of the training cycle, especially when new exercises are being learned, and growth is usually noticeable towards the end of the cycle, when there is no more strength.

Those who rarely exercise constantly report terrifying muscle pain. But few of them boast good growth results. Those who load each muscle group 2–3 times a week are more likely to show LESS of strength and MORE progress.

In most cases, real hypertrophy occurs in conditions of lesser strength. By and large, post-training pain is in no way associated with muscle growth. You can hang all day in mopping (well, you never know how much you live in the palace), and the next day your muscles will hurt, but this does not mean that you have experienced muscle growth from such training.

Muscle pains are more likely a sign that you are too rarely loading muscles or giving them an inadequately large load. With regular and moderate training, the muscles do not hurt, but they grow well.. When chasing after a fit so tough that it takes a week to recover, you do yourself more harm than good.

Yes, some people have krepatura, others do not, this parameter can have significant individual differences, it is impossible to determine exactly what they are caused with. But chasing after krepatura for the sake of krepature is a masochistic stupidity. The goal of training is progress, not fatigue and pain.

Despite the fact that some trainers believe that muscle pain after a workout is a useful thing, showing that the body has received enough stress, this certainly does not apply to the joints: some exercises can cause pain, which will require the intervention of a doctor. In order to save your joints, not to writhe from pain during training and not to look for feverish exercises for sore knees on the Internet, we advise you to study a block of articles on the topic: “Healthy joints”.

    Разбираемся в наиболее частых и вероятных причинах болей в статье «Здоровые суставы: причины болей в суставах»

Быстрое: как же избавиться от боли?

  • В течение 60 минут после тренировки выпейте около 1 литра воды. Пейте также много воды во время тренировки.Water is needed to replenish body fluids and improve recovery.

Even if you are losing weight, then no need to exclude carbohydrates from the dietotherwise, you simply will not be able to recover properly! According to a study by Anne-Marie Lundsgaard and imageBente Kiens. Gender differences in skeletal muscle substrate metabolism - molecular mechanisms and insulin sensitivity. Front Endocrinol., November 13, 2014 ”, which was held back in 2014. This is a large comparative study of the metabolic differences between men and women. It was studied what effect sex has on the metabolism of fats and glucose. And yet we found out that in various metabolic situations, female and male organisms use fats and carbohydrates in different ways!

With low-calorie diets with a high carbohydrate content (where the number of carbohydrates was increased from 55% to 70%), men recorded an increase in muscle glycogen concentration, and in women, additional carbohydrates were immediately used as an energy source, but not for accumulation in fat depots.

SIMPLY WORDS: men store more surplus energy in muscle glycogen, women immediately put them into business.

Also, due to the fact that women, as a rule, have a higher percentage of type 1 muscle fibers (red muscle fibers), as well as increased capillary density of muscle tissue, this allows them to get the best blood flow to the muscles to provide them with oxygen and purification of metabolic products, and also allows for more efficient glucose oxidation and fat metabolism (since this type of muscle fiber (type 1) contains a greater number of mitochondria and aerobic enzymes), thus contributing to better sensitivity to nsulinu.

SIMPLY WORDS: during exercise of any intensity, women burn more fat, but less glycogen. However, this picture changes dramatically during the recovery period, when the female body, as a rule, uses mainly carbohydrates as an energy source, while the level of use of fatty acids in the male body increases.

TOTAL: ladies, don't be afraid of carbohydrates. Not only is carbohydrates delicious, but without them you will simply forget about recovery and well-being.

Sleep. The best cure for many problems. During periods of intense training, its duration should be at least 7 hours, if possible, add 20-30 minutes of sleep during the day to this. In addition, it helps to calm your central nervous system relaxation and meditation. Read in detail about these techniques in the article “Sleep is the key to health. Meditation and relaxation "

Proper planning of the training process. Each muscle group must fully recover, so training should be thought out and diluted with different severity of loads and cardio. You will learn about the methods of building a training plan in the article "Myth from the 2000s: training for mass and relief". Once every three months it is necessary to give the body a week of “vacation”, without serious training and stress.

Thoughtful nutrition - The key to the rapid course of recovery processes. Balance it will help both professional sports nutrition high in protein and well-designed daily diet.

You can not neglect workouts and “hitch” (warm-up after training). A detailed description of these processes and a complex for stretching with a photo can be found in the material “Warm up and hitch. Stretching after training

Massage is a very effective way to speed recovery. Local blood circulation and muscle nutrition improve, which has a beneficial effect on the speed of their regeneration.

Cold and hot shower. Contrary to stereotypes, it is cold water that reduces muscle pain, but the alternation of cold and warm will be most effective.

  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Take in sufficient amounts (300 mg / kg of body weight) essential fatty acids, they have anti-inflammatory properties. As their sources you can choose: linseed oil, fish oil, various types of nuts (almonds, walnuts).

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