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Recovery

Anyone who's read any of my articles over the years knows how much I talk about recovery. You have to remember you don't grow because of how many workouts you do, you grow based on how well you recover. Every workout program I design is designed with the idea of complete recovery in mind. I don't mean just the bodypart in question, I also mean compete nervous system recovery. As well, constant training with heavy weights does take it's toll on your joints. For these reasons, I advocate training each muscle once per week and I tend to advocate low set totals compared to most authorities. I believe if you work hard and work smart, you do not need a ton of sets.
The biggest problem I see is a total lack of understanding regarding the importance of recovery. So many lifters train 6-7 days per week that it boggles my mind. A good rule of thumb is to allow five days before training the same bodypart again – this allows for complete recovery.
Recovery really starts with how you prepare for your workout – if you have adequate glycogen stores going in you will not completely deplete glycogen stores and therefore allow for quicker recovery as you replenish from your workout. The intra workout drink, which I am a huge fan of, goes a long way in promoting recovery. After the workout, it's the post workout shake. From here, it's based on your nutrition and your rest. If you are training hard, you do not want to over exert yourself in other activities. Do what you have to, but don't do more if it's not needed. When it comes to nutrition, do not neglect the most important - to a bodybuilder-macronutrient: protein. Remember to take in 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight over 5-6 small meals, or every three hours. This can be from both supplement and whole food sources: choose low fat sources such as lean meats and low fat dairy. Do not neglect complex carbs and healthy fats! Carbs are not the enemy, they are needed to refill glycogen stores that have been used up. Carbs are the body's main source of energy, where we get into trouble is overeating high sugar, high carb, high fat junk foods. When you eat more carbs then the body needs, they are stored as fat, when you eat more total calories - especially the wrong kind -then your body needs - you will get fat! So for best results, stay with lean protein sources, complex carbs and healthy fats. Don't neglect a good multiple vitamin, joint product and glutamine as part of your supplement program, these all have a role in recovery.
Remember, good nutrition/supplementation is part of proper recovery and proper recovery is one of the keys to progress!

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