Thursday, May 4, 2017

Keys to recovery; don't let soreness hold up the next workout! Part 2; Recovery workouts and techniques.

Part II of the Consistency series
You will never be successful in your workout if you cannot stay consistent and manage soreness and injury..
As discussed in part one found here, the amount of success reaching your fitness goals means making sure you can string together enough workouts. As we said in our last post; consistency is key!!! 

There are many things that can get in the way of a consistent routine.  For those new to my blog, I use sports science to prevent the number one way of loosing your consistency.. Injury!  But injury alone does not hinder our progress.  Travel, work obligations, family obligations and delayed onset muscle soreness(DOMS) from the previous workout all conspire against results.
Finding exercises that fit your time and lifestyle (discussed in this post) can take care of the when and where. Preventing injuries can really get your routine on a roll(discussed hereherehere and here,), but will you be giving that next workout your best?  
The Commandments of weight training;
For success in any workout program it has to adhere to the principles of training: specificity, overload, rest, adaptation and reversibility. These are the basics "commandments" of exercise, and for your next workout to really be effective, the second "commandment": overload must be adhered to (really all of them do).  

Overload: Human's can't register a 10% difference

You can progress your workout or "overload" it a number of different ways, slight changes are sure fire ways of "upping the ante".
  1. Increase the working weight,
  2. Increase the repetitions,
  3. Increase the time under tension, 
  4. Increase the number of sets  
  5. Increase the intensity(decrease rest time)
You're either moving towards me or away from me. 
As you can see, there needs to be a progression to really force adaptations to training and ultimately progress in to a stronger, leaner and better athlete. It's widely known that if your sets, reps, weights are decreasing you are most likely over-training. The amount of overload will be largely dependent on how recovered you feel. The take home message is that; if you are not progressing you are regressing!  So lets get to what has been proven and what has been reported by athletes to help. 

Rest: 
Rest speaks to recovering, the more you do to recover, the less rest you need. The following factors will speed up the process and lessen the chance of injury overall.
Active Recovery
This concept is basically about getting the blood pumping to the body and the sore muscle groups in question. What the research is showing is that it's better to perform a light, low intensity workout as opposed to just completely resting.  One study documented the lactate clearance was improved when performing related activity either after an event or in between sets. The intensity was at 30 % the original(1).  Another study noted that adding the active recovery also improved psychological recovery by adding relaxation(2). A third study showed a decrease in overall lactate levels in athletes who added recovery workouts and massage on rest days(3).  Excellent examples of Active recovery workouts on rest days include but are not limited to:
  • light kettle bell work (swings, halo's, dead-lifts, windmills)
  • Battle ropes
  • Jump rope
  • Cardio (rowing, treadmill, walking, elliptical)


Stretching
This one would seem to be a slam dunk right? Stretch a sore muscle. Yet much of the available research tells us the contrary is true. There is little benefit to stretching to relieve muscle soreness.  Which makes the next subject a bit more confusing(4,5,6).  Please do not completely abandon stretching, it's still has some merits!

Yoga
Many automatically infer that Yoga is about stretching, when in reality, there is a strong body stabilizing/strengthening effect, an affect on breathing/oxygenation as well as a calming effect. Another reason it would seem beneficial is that it's a low load long duration activity, much like our active recovery. If recovery workouts are beneficial, then adding extra oxygen to metabolize lactate and increasing circulation are the way to go(7).


Massage
This modality has been around and has obvious benefits, while there is plenty of studies, it's been used and commented on so many times, that there's no need to expand much further(8). Many athletes come in to our office on a maintenence basis to make sure they are at peak performance.  Athletes all the way up to the professional level do the same. 

Common Sense
Some exercise enthusiast may be a little too aggressive when starting a program, if you soreness lasts more that 7 days, consult your doctor(not your exercise professional).  In cases of excessively long periods of soreness consider a more gradual increase in any of the "overload" factors. The body cannot register a difference of 10%, so that is always a good starting point. Remember the greatest ability is AVAIL-ABILITY, you aren't getting stronger if you can't get off the couch. 
  
We will cover some of the other principles in a third installment of Key's to recovery.

The take home message is that the traditional approaches many take just don't work. Research shows that light activity in between sets and workout are the best way to make sure your moving to live and living to move!

Today we provided principles, so you can adapt your own protocols, don't hesitate to contact us with questions. 
Please let us know you visited our blog by liking, commenting & sharing.

Dr. Serafim is a Rehabilitation and a Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He lives and works in the Exton PA area and has devoted himself to furthering his understanding of movement related disorders. He teaches continuing education and operates a private practice. More information can be found at Kinetx.org and feel free to like us at our facebook page.

(1) Effects of active recovery on plasma lactate and anaerobic power following repeated intensive exercise. Ahmaidi S, Granier P, Taoutaou Z, Mercier J, Dubouchaud H, Prefaut C. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 1996 Apr;28(4):450-6. PMID: 8778550

(2) Effect of incorporating low intensity exercise into the recovery period after a rugby match. M Suzuki, T Umeda, S Nakaji, T Shimoyama, T Mashiko, and K Sugawara, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2004 38: 436-440.

(3) Blood Lactate Removal Using Combined Massage and Active Recovery. Micklewright, D P. 1; Beneke, R FACSM 1; Gladwell, V 1; Sellens, M H. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 35(5) Supplement 1:S317, May 2003.
(4) Lund, H., Vestergaard-Poulsen, P., Kanstrup, I., & Sejrsen, P. (1998). The effect of passive stretchng on delayed onset muscle soreness , and other detrimental effects following eccentric exercise. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports8, 216–221.
(5) Herbert, R., de Noronha, M., & Kamper, S. (2011). Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 7, CD004577. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004577.pub3
(6) Cheung, K., Hume, P., & Maxwell, L. (2003). Delayed onset muscle soreness: treatment strategies and performance factors. Sports Medicine33(2), 145–164.
(7)Boyle, C., Sayers, S., Jensen, B., Headley, S., & Manos, T. (2004). The effects of yoga training and a single bout of yoga on delayed onset muscle soreness in the lower extremity. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research18(4), 723–729.
(8)Training, Journal Of Athletic. Www.journalofathletictraining.org Effects of Massage on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness, Swelling, and Recovery of Muscle Function (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

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