You may already know the proper recovery tips if you’re a runner, but weightlifting recovery is a bit different. You’re not building your body for long-distance running, but instead for short bursts of physically strenuous lifting and functionality. This is especially true if you’re a strength athlete. Check out these best recovery methods for powerlifting to learn more.
Eat and Hydrate
Most people know the key to building strength and muscle is through proper diet and exercise. Of course, recovery is an essential facet of your physical health you must not ignore. Even in powerlifting, where strength is paramount to success in the three main lifts—bench press, deadlift, and squat—nutrition is essential.
As a powerlifter, be sure to eat from the three main food groups: lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Lean proteins rebuild amino acids and reduce lactic acid from heavy-weight training, while carbs and healthy fats restore your glycogen stores to energize your mind and body. This way, you can tackle each training session without feeling depleted.
Another common recovery strategy is to deload your lifts. Deloading refers to the time spent performing lifts at 60 to 75 percent of your strength. The philosophy maintains that short, planned active recovery builds stronger, healthier muscles. Since powerlifting involves heavy weightlifting, a deload week helps prevent injury, muscle strain, and burnout. Keep in mind deloads are still considered active recovery. This does not mean taking a week off from the gym, but more so lessening the workout to where it’s not as intense as your maxing-out days.
Roll Out Muscle Groups
You may have seen these tools at your gym, or you might own some yourself. Massage guns and foam rollers are two essential recovery tools to help build your body back to its fully functioning state. Still, the type of recovery tool that helps you the most depends on your needs.
Massage guns penetrate muscle tissue through repetitive movements. They come with different massager heads for each main muscle group and often feature multiple speeds to provide deep-tissue impact. On the other hand, foam rollers are basic recovery tools meant for pain relief. They’re versatile, easy to use, and lightweight. Just lay down on the target body part and rock back and forth to relieve tension on your muscle knots.
The final best recovery method for powerlifting is sleep. You may have heard it before, but sleep is essential for muscle growth. While diet and training play significant roles in training, your body grows more in its recovery state than while it’s active. That’s because as your body sleeps, it releases hormones and amino acids to repair torn muscle tissue. Therefore, your muscles grow larger and stronger gradually over time. Adults should get 7 to 9 hours of REM sleep each night for an efficient recovery.
Dianne Pajo is a Certified Personal Trainer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.