Mo' Recovery, Mo' Gains

There is a large, unaddressed problem in the bodybuilding community today. And that problem can be described in one single word: "overtraining". No, we're not crazy. It seems impossible, but it's true: there is such a thing as overtraining. And contrary to what most athletes believe, it is probably hurting your gains more than it could be helping. If you suspect you might be overtraining, then read on. We'll help you figure out what you need to do in order to protect your body - and your gains - from getting overworked.

Overtraining: Signs, Symptoms, and How to Avoid It

Overtraining is much more insidious than many athletes are willing to admit. Common symptoms include reduced athletic performance, malaise, frequent injury, and can even go as far as causing minor depression symptoms.

Giving yourself plenty of recovery time, on the other hand, can help protect you from many (if not all) of the symptoms above. But proper recovery involves a lot more than just resting. Most gym-goers spend less than 10% of their time each week at the gym as it is, so there's no shortage of "rest". Optimal recovery is about maximizing the other 90% of your week to get your body ready for the next grueling workout. And that requires:

  • Getting rid of metabolic wastes
  • Getting proper nutrition
  • Getting proper hydration
  • Getting enough sleep

Boost Your Gains with Active Recovery

"Active recovery" is the phrase experts use to describe the type of recovery which helps speed healing, fortify tissues, and prepare you for your next grueling training session. In a way, it's a little oxymoronic since most people associate recovery time with sitting on their butts and taking it as easy as possible. But if you want to truly optimize your downtime, you'll need to resort to the following recovery strategies:

  • Massage & Stretch. But make sure you do it the right way, and at the right times. Paying a professional to give you a deep-tissue massage is the easiest way to get a good, restorative massage; it's also one of the most expensive ways. For the bodybuilder on a budget, foam-rolling is a good alternative. But don't just roll back-and-forth like a crazy person. Your muscles aren't a CrossFit gym. Instead, roll very slowly, especially over sore areas. When you find a particularly sore spot, go slower and focus more pressure on it. Yes, it'll hurt, but it should feel like the "good pain" you experience while stretching. If it feels unbearably painful, you might be doing something wrong. And speaking of stretching, make sure you incorporate static stretching during cool-downs. This also helps release metabolic waste from your tissues while enhancing blood flow and recovery.
  • Eat as clean a diet as possible. Consume an adequate amount of protein for your body weight, eat plenty of healthy fats, and making sure your carbs come from whole foods (as opposed to processed) sources.
  • Hydrate Properly. Drink sports drinks only before, during, or after your workout. Drink water, tea, or coffee the rest of the day; and be sure to drink them plain, because artificial sweeteners put stress on your body's detoxification process and excess sugar (commonly added to coffee and tea) can throw your metabolism out of balance.
  • Get more sleep (if you aren't already), and practice proper sleep hygiene. Anywhere between 7-10 hours of sleep per night is adequate for whole-body rejuvenation. When your body resets its circadian rhythm each day, it also resets your body's homeostasis with regard to HGH production, testosterone synthesis, metabolic function, and neurological rejuvenation. Sleep is also the time when your body "cleans house" and detoxes all of the metabolic wastes from your system, especially in the brain.

Recover Faster, Stronger, and Better with Growth Factor

Believe it or not, powerful bodybuilding supplements like Growth Factor don't just help you in the gym; their all-natural mix of potent botanicals and BCAAs help you outside of the gym during recovery, too. Growth Factor's amino acid blend gives your body the nutrients it needs for muscle repair and enhanced gains. Growth Factor also boosts your natural Nitric Oxide levels. Nitric Oxide (NO) levels help dilate the blood vessels for enhanced blood flow, which provides a two-fold benefit. For one, this increased flow helps rush nutrients to damaged muscles and tendons where they are needed most. Secondly, as nutrients are dropped off, wastes are picked up and transported to your internal organs, where they can be processed and excreted by your body.

So now that you know how beneficial Growth Factor is, both inside and outside of the gym, what are you waiting for? Get yourself a supply of Growth Factor today.