What are the Fastest Ways to Achieve Recovery After a Workout?


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Happy New Year and may 2018 be your Best Year Ever!

To help you and all your personal training clients achieve their personal training exercise and fitness New Year’s Resolutions, here is some good advice on how to recover from your exercise workouts, adapt quickly from your training stimulus and be prepared to train again to maximize your program design both safety and effectively.

You have already learned from your IFPA Personal Trainer Manual: “The Book On Personal Training” by Dr. Jim Bell, 2017 to follow all the Exercise Physiology principles so you can conduct the safest and most effective Personal Training Sessions possible. Now we will review some of the best Recovery interventions and modalities, so you can prepare both yourself and your personal training clients for their next session as rapidly as possible.

Remember, as a Personal Trainer, to do the best possible job for every personal training client, you must train them as safely and effectively as possible, allow adequate time for Recovery, and Adaptation and then Do IT AGAIN!

You cannot achieve your client’s goals if you do not allow adequate time for Recovery AND Adaptation! Adaptation is the GOAL! Helping your clients achieve their health, exercise, fitness and/or sports performance goals is about manipulating their exercise prescription to allow an optimal Adaptation.

There are a vast array of interventions and modalities available to you to accelerate the rate of Recovery and Adaptation following your Exercise Programs and your clients competitions, including: healthy nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle and sleep management, rest, cryotherapy, hydrotherapy, massage thermotherapy, contrast therapy, contrast bath therapy, compression garments, stretching, active and passive therapies, dietary manipulations, hydration strategies, NSAIDS: NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and more. And of course, many of these recovery modalities are greatly enhanced when two or more are strategically combined for maximum effect.

While many of these modalities require specialized equipment that can be costly, some of them are readily available at your local gym, i.e.: Saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzi’s, pools, etc.… Some require minimal or zero investment, i.e.: your bathtub or an adequate cool-down of low intensity cardio at 50% of Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) and/or stretching at 30% of Maximum Range of Motion (MROM), this is at the feeling of barely tight. The research to date indicates that 20 minutes of aerobic exercise at 50% of MHR resulted in significantly less performance declines when compared to passive recovery.

Typical passive recovery modalities indicate that serious exercisers should aim to get 9 to 10 hours of sleep/night. It is recommended that 80-90% of this sleep should be at night. Research also indicates that those that train at high Frequency, Intensity and/or Volume should take brief “Power Naps” during the day of 10-15 mins each in duration. This is significantly higher than the 7-8 hours of sleep/recommended for non-strenuous exercisers.

Note: You learned in your IFPA Personal Trainer Certification Course to calculate your client’s predicted Maximal Heart Rate (MHR) as 220 – the client’s age.

It is also highly recommended that following the aerobic cool down, your client stretches at 30% of Maximal Range of Motion (MROM) for 10-20 mins.

Equally important to remember is that while a “Power Nap” of 10-15 minutes can improve alertness and performance without stimulating sleep inertia which can decrease performance, longer naps of 30 minutes and longer have greater restorative potential, but increase sleep inertia.

Your professional exercise management along with effective Recovery and Adaptation modalities are among the many things you have learned that enabled IFPA Certified Personal Trainers to achieve their  clients’ health, fitness and performance goals faster and safer than other trainers. Your IFPA Personal Trainer Certification course has provided you the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need to help everyone live a longer, healthier and happier life, but your real power is to use this knowledge wisely. Knowledge is not power; the use of knowledge is power. Use your power to help people and you will have a highly fulfilling life of purpose and riches both monetary and benevolent.

Happy New Year to You and Yours! All of us at the IFPA hope and pray that the very best of what happened you in 2017 is the very worst of what will happen to you in 2018!

Good Luck,

Dr. Jim Bell and the IFPA Family!

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