By Terry Grant
When most people think about secrets for weight training, they are usually looking to learn about how they can gain weight fast.
Certain areas of focus are questions such as: what exercises can I do, how many reps should I do, or how much food am I supposed to eat?
Now all these things are importanthowever, sometimes the things that may help you build muscle are areas that might not have even been envisioned.
Well what are these secrets that I am talking about? I am going to give you three secrets for better muscle recovery that you may have not realized. This could potentially bring you to another level on your ability to gain weight.
Now doing these three things alone are NOT going to put any muscle on your frame. These three things are meant to complement what you are already doing with your current workout plan, your nutritional needs, and your other muscle building routines. Alright what are we waiting for, let’s get into this.
Getting a Deep Tissue Massage
This first area we are going to cover is getting a deep tissue massage. Now you might be thinking that this is some type of “funny joke” I’m playing on you, but it is NOT lol.
Getting a deep tissue massage sounds more like a vacation of relaxation than it does a secret to building muscle. Fortunately, this is one area where you can “have your cake and eat it too.”
Deep tissue massages are more helpful then you might have realized. It is true, getting a deep tissue massage can help you deeply relax. However, this is NOT their only attribute. Some of their other benefits are:
- Increased circulation throughout the body.
- Increased muscle recovery and reduce muscle pains.
- Removal of toxins and metabolic waste from the body.
- Relaxation of muscles (which result in decompression of surrounding nerves and deep tissues)
- Improves range of motion and flexibility.
- Improvement of athletic performance.
- Improves your ability to digest food
These are only a small percentage of the benefits a deep tissue massage can have on your well being.
You might be wondering, “how can this help with digesting food?” This quote from The University of Minnesota’s blog may help clarify your question:
“Organs can also benefit from massage, as they share neurological pain pathways with muscles, bones, and nerves. When muscles, bones, or nerves are distressed, organs can sometimes reflect distress and dysfunction.”
The build up of toxins and metabolic waste in the muscles can therefore cause the muscles to start adhering together. This causes all types of problems including: limited range of motion, pain and tightness in the muscles. What is even worse is by having these adhesion’s, they may actually contribute to the formation of injuries while you are focusing on workout routines to build muscle.
Another important note is to make sure to drink plenty of water following your massage to help your body flush toxins and waste out from your body.
The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine talks more about the benefits of getting a sports massage:
“Sports massage is designed to prepare the athlete for their best performance, reduce fatigue, and relieve muscle swelling andtension. During physical activity – especially strenuous – muscle tension builds up in the body’s soft tissues. Due to over-extension or overuse, minor injuries and lesions occur in these tissues that can cause a great deal of pain and poor athletic performance. Sports massage helps alleviate pain and prevent such injuries that greatly affect flexibility, mobility, response time, and overall performance in athletic events.”
Getting Enough Sleep
The next area to cover is to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Sleep has long been associated with the feelings of “well-being”. Although, there are constant debates on why we actually need sleep, it is well known what happens during sleep.
What does happen during sleep, remember I’m sleeping man? This is the area that is directly related to what we are talking about.
During sleep your body goes through a process of healing and repair. It is during this period of rest that all your hard work in the gym actually pays off. If you are slacking on this recovery section, chances are you will get very little results.
Here is a quote from Harvard Medical School stating that: “… many of the major restorative functions in the body like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release occur mostly, or in some cases ONLY, during sleep.”
I am sure most of this section on sleep is becoming clear to you. Without sleep, your body will NOT be able to run barely any of the functions that are required to build more muscle on your body. Therefore, it is recommended that you get at least 8 hours of sleep a night to allow your body to repair.
Using a Hot Tub For Recovery
This next section focuses on using a hot tub as a method of recovery.
The hot tub is another useful trickthat my brother, Brandon and I use weekly to help our muscles repair from workouts.
I can imagine that there could be some debate on whether a hot tub is “healthy” for you to soak in. When you’re dealing with “dangerous chemicals” such as chlorine, bromine, and other additives, soaking in such a water could actually have some adverse effects versus healing ones.
Nevertheless, that is the primary reason why we have opted to go for a more natural hot tub environment. We have attempted to eliminate harmful chemicals such as chlorine and bromine. We are now using a more natural approach by using minerals as a sanitizer instead of the “harmful” chemicals. Nature2 spa has a nice mineral cartridge that you put into the filter to sanitize the water. Using this cartridge along with MPS shock is almost all you need to have a clear water environment in your hot tub.
Let’s now cover some of the main benefits on using a hot tub for muscle recovery. By sitting in a hot tub, you will be soaking in hot water that is up to 103°F. This will allow an increase in circulation, which will result in relaxation of the muscles and an increase in nutrients supplied to those muscles. Soaking in this hot water has a tendency to loosen up sore muscles and also reduce muscle pains.
On a side note, it is usually recommended to use the hot tub the day after intense training. I suggest NOT using it closely after the completion of your workouts.
Bring On Total Muscle Recovery
Recovering quickly from your training is essential to building muscle at a rapid pace. Such is the case why I recommend trying multiple methods of recovery. The faster your muscles repair and recoverthe more frequently you can train and spark new muscle growth.
I hope this article provided you with some useful methods that could potentially improve your muscle recovery. Some of these methods can actually prevent future injuries if done on a regular basis. NOT ONLY are these methods helping you recover faster, but all three of these activities are pretty fun to participate in. So what do you have to lose by trying these methods out?
I know some of these secrets may NOT be “cheap”. Getting a deep tissue massage by an experience masseuse, could put a dent in your wallet and buying a hot tub is even MORE expensive. Therefore in part two, 2 Cheap Alternatives to Workout Recovery,I am going to give you some alternative methods to these areas that can provide similar effects.
Until Next Time,