When it Comes to Recovery, You've Got Your Work Cut Out For You
You know the feeling after an exciting but exhausting training session at Gloveworx. You’re tired, you’re drenched, you’re proud of yourself for putting in that hard work, and you’re ready to go home and get some rest.
Without question, you deserve to feel all of the above. However, the effort you put in doesn’t stop at the end of your workout. You have one more important task: ensuring your body gets a chance to sufficiently rest and recover from your workout.
Recovery after exercise is much more important than it’s given credit for. You need to take the proper steps to get your body ready to do it all over again -- at an intensity level that’s perhaps even greater than the one you just put in.
While recovery won’t be as physically challenging as your workout, it still requires focus and discipline. We’ve identified four key aspects of recovery that will help maximize your performance in the ring.
Out of excitement to make dramatic changes to their body or achieve their fitness goals quickly, contenders sometimes convince themselves that they need more exercise than they actually do.
While training frequently can lead to positive changes in your body, training too frequently can actually lead to the opposite. In fact, over-training can lead to burnout or "over-training syndrome," characterized by (negative) changes in your mood, decreased motivation to achieve your goals and harm to your immune system.
Before putting on your gloves, you want to ensure that your body is fully recovered and ready to go. Well-rested muscles and a rejuvenated mind will maximize your performance in the ring. But you can only do that if you’ve allowed your body sufficient time to rest and recover from the last training session.
Committing to three high-intensity workouts per week, such as a Gloveworx Boom session, is a great starting frequency to minimize your body’s risk of injury. That way, you’re guaranteeing yourself at least one full day between workouts, to ensure that you’re giving your body enough time to recover.
However, if you’re a go-getter and want to remain active in between Gloveworx sessions, you certainly can do so. Feel free to engage in some light cardiovascular work, such as walking, jogging, or riding a stationary bike.
Stretching before exercise is thought to enhance the ability of your muscles and joints to move through their full range of motion.
Stretching the major muscle groups can boost your ability to use those muscles at a higher level the next time you train. It's also important that you spend a few minutes performing dynamic stretches— stretches that incorporate active movement rather than static holds— that help "cool down" your major muscle groups. This is especially true if you're just starting to exercise regularly after a long layoff.
Even though many contenders will feel most gassed in their upper body at the end of a tough boxing workout, it is imperative that you don't overlook stretching out the major muscle groups in your lower body.
For instance, your hamstring muscles, which run down the back of your leg from your glutes to your knees, are directly tied to the movements in your lower back, pelvis, hips, and legs. Ensuring that you give your hamstrings a proper stretch after working out can better ensure that you don't injure this critical but delicate muscle. The same goes for your quads, which is the large muscle group going up and down the front and side of your thighs. Ensuring you stretch these muscles can reduce the chances for back and knee pain, and increase mobility in future workouts.
It's also important to ensure you stretch out your upper body after each training session. Shoulder injuries and pain are prevalent among boxers and weightlifters, which is why we recommend several different stretches that maximize your overall range of motion for your shoulders.
When you exercise, your body loses water through sweat. You need to account for replacing those fluids lost. Insufficient hydration can lead to weakness, muscle cramps, dizziness, and sluggishness in the short-term, and potential issues with heart rate and blood pressure in the long-term.
While you’ve likely heard that you need to drink eight glasses of water per day, the truth is that the recommended daily intake of water is somewhere between 92 ounces and 124 ounces for adult women and men, which translates to about 11.5 cups to just under a gallon of water per day.
If that number seems initially daunting, especially in comparison to what you currently drink on a daily basis, don’t worry. The most important thing is that you slowly and gradually work your way up to those totals.
There’s a common adage in the fitness community: "You can't out-exercise a bad diet." Whether your goal is to lose body fat, build muscle, or some combination of both, the food you consume has just as much an impact on your fitness goals as the efforts you put in at the gym.Food is certainly something to enjoy, but it should also be thought of as fuel for the body. Choose foods that will enhance your body and mind and increase your performance in the ring.To fuel up before your workout, provide your body with a meal that combines a moderate amount of lean protein, some complex carbohydrates, as little dietary fat as possible, and plenty of fluid at least 90 minutes before you train. For post-workout fuel, the ACSM recommendation includes a mix of simple carbohydrates like fruit, high-quality protein, and also plenty of fluid.
Reflection refers to taking a step back to assess what we've accomplished, gauge our feelings after a period of time, and identify potential areas for tweaks or improvement. This can work wonders for contenders, leading to greater motivation and improved performance.
There are tons of people in the world who tell themselves they’re going to start exercising and make positive changes to their physical health. Unfortunately, the number of people who follow through on that resolution is far less.
So, the fact that you’re one of those people who made good on their promise and stuck to their commitment is cause for feeling a sense of satisfaction. What often separates the “champions” from the wannabes is not as much about the end results, but rather the fact that they’ve actually undertaken the steps needed to achieve their goals.
Reflection can also mean really learning how to “listen to your body.” As mentioned above, aches, pains, and fatigue can sometimes be a result of undertaking a new workout regimen, but also a result of your body being over-stressed and on the cusp of injury. Being able to reflect on what’s going on with yourself internally, and adjusting the intensity and frequency of your workouts, is very important in your progress toward your goal.
Preparing For Success
At the risk of using a tired cliché, fitness isn’t just about what you eat and what you do to work out; it’s a lifestyle. That’s why so many fitness enthusiasts are so focused on the preparation, recovery, and progress they’re making in their fitness goals.
Taking time to focus on your actions after a Gloveworx training session can compound the results and outcomes the next time you come back to train.
If you have any questions about improving any one of the areas above, be sure to talk to one of our expert coaches. They’ll be able to provide tons of valuable and personalized insights to help you make the most of your training sessions and recover properly.