Yeah yeah, you’re such a busy person. You have all of these goals you have to accomplish, and they should have been done yesterday. Just keep charging ahead there, Jocko, and you will most likely end up hitting a wall. And knowing you, that will probably just encourage you to back up even further, and run even faster right into it. Maybe a little finesse is in order?
You go to the gym, you bust your hump and bring forth the sweet, prickly pain of lactic acid. Then you have to go home and wait. And that waiting process really bugs you, doesn’t it? You want to make your muscles recover more quickly, so you can get even more done, don’t you? Well, your ambition deserves some help. So here are a few ways you can decrease your recovery time, and make your muscles grow the same amount in a shorter period of time.
1. Super set
Did you know that when you work two sets of opposing muscles right after one another, both muscle groups recover more quickly? The classic example of a super set is to work your triceps (perhaps with a set of cable push-downs), following immediately by working your biceps (perhaps with a set of cable curls). Ask the yogis about “balance” – aren’t you just happy it works?
2. Eat protein soon after you lift
When you lift weights, you create microscopic tears in your muscles. Ideally, you want to eat a lean source of protein about half an hour after you finish your workout. Try to get at least 50 grams of protein in your “muscle meal,” so your body will have plenty of material with which to rebuild.
3. Get more sleep
Yeah, yeah. You are such a busy person that you could never dream of finding more than 6 hours of shut eye per night. But while this is obvious to most people, sleep deprived people are (ironically enough) the least likely to recognize the fact that sleep is when your muscles recover most effectively. When you are in a particularly deep state of slumber, your brain goes into a state where it tells your body to release ample amounts of human growth hormone. If you are in this state of sleep for a full 8 hours a night, then you are getting the maximum benefit. You don’t half-ass your workout, so don’t half-ass your sleep.
4. Drink more water
When you eat the foods that help your muscles recover (including fats and tons of protein), those wonderful nutrients need to get to your beaten up muscles somehow. Water is the key ingredient in making your blood a great transportation network for every nutrient you eat. So drink it.