Monday, January 19, 2009

Recovery...Get Into It

It’s really easy to “get into” muscle growth – work out hard and stay dedicated, and the muscle will come, right? Maybe, but it’s not that simple.

While many bodybuilders have no problem training all-out, many don’t give recovery the respect it’s due. But the fact is, working out builds muscle, but it can also hurt you – for days after you’re out of the gym.

A new study by Greek researchers examined the effects of a hard workout on oxidant levels and the effects of oxidant activity on lipids, proteins and DNA. Researchers found that a hard workout increases the oxidation of fatty acids (lipids) and proteins and increases damage to your DNA. This is well-established, so this study confirmed what we already know. But researchers also found something else: A hard workout also causes oxidative damage to your muscles – regardless of fiber type – and this damage can persist for days after you’ve gone all-out.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: If you want to grow, you’ve got to “get into” recovery. Make it a habit and a priority. Immediately after going all-out, give your body the good stuff – proteins, fats and carbohydrates – and drink plenty of water. And keep it up, because it can take days – not hours – to recover from a single workout. Finally, don’t be afraid to step back and take it a little easy from time to time. Sometimes your best growth can come from doing nothing at all – especially if you train all-out all of the time!

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Nikolaidis MG et al. The effect of muscle-damaging exercise on blood and skeletal muscle oxidative stress magnitude and time-course considerations. Sports Med. 2008; 38(7):579-606.

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