You’ve committed to a strength training plan, but are you doing everything you can to maximize your potential? Some days, getting to the gym can feel like climbing Mount Everest. Which is why when you walk through the double-doors and finally put your mind to your workout, you want it to really count, right?
Right. So what’s the secret? Even after adopting a workout that combines both cardio and strength training, it’s what you do outside of the gym that can really make a difference. That’s the secret!
The real boost from strength training comes after you leave the gym and when your body starts the repair and recovery process.
Are you ready to really commit to making a difference in your muscle tone (and the way you feel)? Here are 5 tips for speeding up your strength gains:
Tip #1: Eat a small meal or snack as soon as you can after your workout.
Make it a combination of fast-digesting protein and carbohydrates. Try some chocolate whey protein powder stirred into milk, dates with some banana and nut butter, or an apple and string cheese.
Tip #2: Be sure to eat something every 3 to 4 hours after your workouts.
Eat meals and snacks containing a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Tip #3: Stay active during the days in between your strength workouts.
Active recovery improves bloodflow, which promotes healing. Taking a brisk walk or a casual bike ride, foam rolling, or just splashing around in a pool are all good options.
Tip #4: Find some stress management tools that work for you.
The stress hormone cortisol is catabolic, meaning it eats away at muscle and strength. Protect your hard-earned strength by de-stressing with mindful meditation, deep breathing, yoga, reading, art, or music.
Tip #5: Focus on getting better-quality sleep.
Go to bed earlier; turn off your phones and tv and keep your room dark and cool.