Is your coach telling you to be in the weight room every day to build your muscles? Have you been hitting the fitness center everyday, going through all the weight lifting machines and you are not seeing great gains? Weight lifting recovery, or muscle recovery, is just as important as hitting the weights hard. Your muscles cannot recover in a single day, and be ready to hit it hard again.
How often can you lift weights and still get the most optimal gains? Some people have great success lifting every other day. They may go to the gym daily, but they never hit the same muscles the next day. They know optimally they want to give their muscles at least two full days of rest before hitting them again. Some research is starting to show that may be too often. Here is a common workout pattern you may wish to try.
If you can commit to working out six days per week try this. On the first day, do an upper body workout to target your arms, shoulders, chest, and back. The next days is aerobic exercise only. Did you just scream ouch? You need aerobics to keep the heart strong, and the body fat low. The following day, drop down to the legs and hit them hard. This includes the calf muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings, and buttocks. Guess what comes next, more aerobics. Day 5 will have you hitting the upper body again, following on day 6 with more aerobics. On the next week you switch with the legs being hit twice, and the upper body only once.
This simple workout schedule includes a weight lifting recovery cycle of 4 full days. This is ample time for your body to recover, start the healing process, and be ready for the next workout. If you want to hit the weights more often, you will need to segment your body further, but never workout a body part more often than twice a week. You could separate arms and shoulders into one day, leaving the chest and back for another day. There is a little danger here, since chest and back exercises utilize the arms extensively. Most times it is better to stay with a simple split, giving your body plenty of recovery time.
Muscle recovery can be accelerated by using supplements, and getting plenty of protein, but this does not mean you should push beyond the above schedule. It simply means your muscles are in better shape for the next workout, and you will get better results with each workout.
If you ignore the simple needs of weight lifting recovery your body will hit a plateau and you will start having trouble reaching new personal goals. If you ever see your body getting stuck try getting a little more rest in between workouts and see if the problem disappears. You could simply be experiencing muscles which cannot repair themselves as fast as you are demanding. Muscle recovery is when the muscle growth and strength increases are really made, give yourself time to grow.