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How to recover faster after exercise

Your approach can have a huge impact on how quickly your body can recover after exercise. In this post we look at the TWO areas that have the biggest impact on the speed of recovery.

We have previously looked at the 3 phases of activity and how success in any physical challenge is built on the quality of your preparation and from the foundations of a recovery that revitalises you and powers your next big effort.

If you are mindful during the recovery phases and focus on improvements in these two areas your training and competitive performances will rocket.

But please note, this framework it is not a hack. There are quick wins but there are no short-cuts. This shows a busy athlete where the wins are.

Let’s start by considering a passive recovery – one without action or a mindful approach:

normal recovery riixo influenced by rushall and pyke2
Normal Recovery: Model proposed by Rushall and Pyke
  • Exercise induces muscle damage. Small rips, tears, and degradations that when repaired, through the recovery phase, lead to positive adaptations
  • This damage commonly presents itself as muscle soreness, stiffness, or fatigue.
  • Cellular damage continues after the exercise bout
  • Soreness typically starts within 8 hours and can continue for up to 72 hours

You’ll recover faster if you can impact:

  1. The magnitude of muscle damage – Through your GOLDEN HOUR protocols
  2. The rate of recovery – Through your BIG-3 habits

THE GOLDEN HOUR – Here is the benefit of refining your protocols in the 60-90 minutes immediately after exercise

golden hour reduces recovery time riixo influenced by rushall and pyke2
Golden Hour protocols reduce the magnitude of damage to reduce recovery time
  • Your interventions decrease the magnitude of damage without impacting your adaptation
  • A shallower recovery depth allows your body to recover faster

Here are the impactful Golden Hour recovery actions you should consider including as part of your protocol:

  1. Active recovery
  2. Cryotherapy
  3. Heat therapy
  4. Compression
  5. Massage
  6. Post exercise hydration
  7. Post exercise nutrition

Does all this sound like it would take WAY more than an hour?

It doesn’t. Through thoughtful design, and the power of habit building, you can do all of this in just 45 mins.

THE BIG THREE – When your body has been stressed by a big exercise effort, eating clean, staying well hydrated and rest enables its recovery mechanisms optimal performance. Small and incremental changes can really add up to a faster recovery rate.

big 3 reduces recovery time riixo influenced by rushall and pyke2
The Big-3 influence the rate of recovery from the damaged caused by exercise
  • Your approach will impact the rate of recovery
  • Whilst the recovery depth is unchanged your body will recover faster than a passive approach

Intuitively we know that our quality of sleep, hydration and nutrition matter for recovery (and performance). However the best laid plans can be derailed by a hectic work schedule, a restless night, running around after kids or even the demands of our sport. Here is how to stay on-track when that happens:

Optimising in both areas allows for significant recovery gains.

Busy athletes are busy people. By being on-top of Golden Hour protocols, your recovery should be able to handle most of what life throws at it.

  • Read: The 3 phases of activity
  • Read: The Golden Hour of Recovery
  • Read: The Big-3 - improving your rate of recovery
  • Read: A recovery trusted by Olympians
  • Read: How the innovative Riixo Recovery has been received

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