Muscle Recovery in Bodybuilding

Man Drinks from Shaker

This article will look at muscle recovery in bodybuilding. To build size and strength we undertake what is scientifically known as the overcompensation factor. In plain terms, if you stress your body by lifting a heavy weight, your body will adapt to the demands placed upon it. Once recovered, you will be able to lift more weight or do more reps. This is because the body has overcompensated for the initial stress and has built a reserve. Once you have stressed your body in the gym, you need time to allow it to recover and overcompensate for the stress. What if you don’t rest long enough? The body will not have had time to overcompensate and you will be no stronger than the last time you trained.

The harder you work out, the more you stress your body and the more time needed to recover. The more advanced a lifter is, the more time is needed in order to fully recover because they can generate more intensity than a beginner. The consequence of training too frequently is something I am sure you are familiar with over training.

Muscle Recovery In Bodybuilding – What Is Recovery?

What’s recovery? The period of time required for muscle repair. Recovery repairs the damage to the body caused by training or competition.

This includes the restoration of the:

  • Carbohydrate stores in muscle cells
  • Energy producing enzymes inside muscle fibers
  • Endocrine and immune systems

During recovery muscles should increase the proteins in their overall structure to improve strength, replenish and increase energy stores. Also to increase the quantities of enzymes to improve the lactate threshold.

Speeding Up Recovery

Muscle recovery in bodybuilding involves protein and carbohydrates in shake form. Cells are most receptive to carbohydrates during the first two hours following a training session. To accelerate recovery, consume half your bodyweight in grams of carbohydrate shortly after the training session. Consume the same amount of carbohydrates within two hours. This intake of carbohydrates as well as replenishing the fuel stores also has a positive effect on protein restoration in muscles.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you weigh 200lbs. Consume 100g after your workout, and another 100g within two hours.

Muscle Recovery In Bodybuilding – Optimal Recovery Ratio (OR2)

Of course, protein is just as critical post workout. The ratio of ingested carbohydrate to protein is key to complete recovery. It optimizes glycogen restoration in the muscles after a workout. Most sources suggest a ratio of 2:1 carbs to protein. This is ideal for bodybuilding.

Here’s The Key Points To Remember For Optimal Muscle Recovery In Bodybuilding:

  • Plan recovery into your training program – this means making sure you have at least two days a week of recovery. It also means that after working out two days in a row, take a day off.
  • To assist the recovery process consume a post-workout shake consisting of carbohydrates to protein in a ratio of 2:1. This is based on weight. If, for example, you weigh 200lbs, your shake should consist of 100g carbs and 50g protein. Within two hours, eat a meal consisting of the same macronutrient breakdown.
  • Allow 36 hours recovery between training sessions. Quality sleep is essential to this process.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel tired then adjust the training to allow full recovery


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