Don’t ruin your fitness by making these mistakes after training.
We talk a lot about what athletes shouldn’t do before and during training, but people tend to relax too much when a workout ends.
Let’s be honest, we all sometimes make excuses for some of our bad habits, like doing things after training, because we feel that we “deserve” it.
You should definitely feel good after a tough session in the gym, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you’ve earned the right to eat a plate of fried chicken and drink six packs of beer.
Health is a habit that goes far beyond the gym, so don’t negate all the hard work, sweat, and pain you put in pumping iron, committing these post-workout blemishes.
Here are eight post-workout mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
1. Don’t stretch
Once the workout is over, you should stretch the muscles that were under stress. Not only will this help them recover faster and make you more flexible, but it can also speed up the muscle growth process.
2. Do excessive cardio
There is nothing wrong with doing cardio (maximum 20-30 minutes) after a resistance workout, but it shouldn’t be overdoing it or you will seriously slow down the physiological and hormonal mechanisms that lead to muscle hypertrophy. It is best to separate cardio from strength training by at least five hours, or endure cardio on a separate day
3. Waiting too long to eat
After an intense workout, your body needs nutrients, especially amino acids and carbohydrates. The body needs this to replenish and repair damaged muscle fibers, cells and nourish the depleted nervous system. Try to “feed your body” with a balanced meal no longer than 15–20 minutes after completing the final set.
4. Eliminate fast carbs
Eating the right nutrients quickly after exercise is critical, and carbohydrates play a very important role in this equation.
Since the body is prepared to absorb carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen after lifting weights, it is best to consume “fast acting” or “high GI” foods.
Carbohydrate foods such as white rice, white potatoes, rice cakes, and bagels will quickly enter the bloodstream, increasing insulin levels and allowing nutrients to enter cells very quickly.
5. Skipping your whey
Because whey protein is digested very quickly, it will supply your muscle cells with much-needed amino acids faster than any other protein source.
This is very important to do right after an intense workout; so not being able to harness the power of the serum will surely be a mistake if your goal is more muscle.
6. Eat too much fat
The goal of a post-workout meal is to get both carbohydrates and amino acids into the bloodstream to distribute them to muscle cells as quickly as possible.
Since fat tends to slow down digestion, it would be a big mistake to include significant amounts of it in your post-workout meal.
7. Skip Supplements
Nothing is more important than a balanced diet and exercise, but when it comes to making progress, the right supplements can certainly speed up the process.
So, if building muscle and losing fat is high on your priority list, take advantage of proven supplements such as creatine, glutamine, BCAAs, and leucine. Take a dose of each as soon as you finish your workout, or after your workout with a meal.
8. Lack of sleep
In an ideal world, we could all take a nap for about an hour immediately after training to help our muscles and nervous system recover, but for most, this is simply not possible.
I recommend at least avoiding physical activity after exercise. You should carve out at least some time for yourself to just sit, relax and eat comfortably after class.
Resistance training will only be effective if the body gets enough rest to aid the recovery process.