Recovery Basics: Over the long term, recovery from training probably has the greatest impact on strength and physique development of anything else you can do. Recovering properly will mean that you can do more reps each session, push yourself harder, and force more adaptation. It means you will build more muscle, and the quality of your lifting will be better. It has a massive impact. It is a good idea to develop a routine and lifestyle early on that will give you the best recovery possible.
Several key parts of your life outside the gym will affect your recovery. Getting enough quality sleep is number 1. This will look different for different people, but making sure you consistently get over 7 hours of sleep is a good place to start.
Nutrition of course also has a role to play. Getting enough food, with enough protein and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) will make it easier for your body to repair damaged tissue and prepare you for the next session.
Finally, reducing stress in general has a great effect on recovery. If you are stressed or anxious most of the time, it makes it more difficult to recover and will definitely have a negative impact on your sessions in the gym. Trying to reduce daily stress, especially during periods of intense training (like when things are getting really heavy) is a very good idea.
Creating a consistent schedule that has you preparing meals, sleeping and waking at the same time, and giving yourself an opportunity for self-care, takes time. It looks different for each individual, but putting the effort in now to figure out what is going to work best for you will pay off big down the line.
- Nigel, Kizen Coach
Who is Nigel?
Nigel is a coach who has been competing in powerlifting since 2012 and started directing meets in 2017. Nigel began working as a personal trainer in 2013, was a part of the Ascendant Athletics team with Omar and Silent Mike from 2015-2016, and has managed the group coaching for Kizen Training since 2017. Through this work and coaching private clients, Nigel has worked with many lifters of all skill levels and from diverse athletic backgrounds. His best lifts in competition are a 661lb/300kg squat in sleeves, a 451lb/205kg bench, and a 639lb/295kg deadlift.
If you haven't already, we recommend checking out our Beginner Program - Free Preview, its a great place to start if you're new to the gym.