Apply Tons of Heat
So if ice-cold water isn’t a cure, what about heat?
Sorry, but there is exactly zero research that suggests that heat is good for recovery, either. While heat can help relax muscles, relaxation alone hasn’t proved to be a route to recovery. On the other hand, heat hasn’t been shown to impede muscle recovery—at least not yet. So if a dip in the spa feels good a few hours after a hard workout—no harm, no foul.
But if an injury is involved, heat can actually be a detriment—at least while the injury is in its acute early phase. If that’s the case, absolutely lay off.
Ultimately, recovery is like Gestalt psychology, which says one must look at the whole rather than the sum of its parts. Some recovery methods may help a lot, some may help a little, some may simply work as psychological placebos.
But all of it can work together to give you the best possible chance at realizing your goals, so failing to come up with proper recovery protocols is putting yourself at a severe disadvantage.
“I’ve got friends, people I know who train six, seven days a week,” Kingsbury says. “When you lift weights on a day that used to be a rest day, it’s not the most effective way of making progress.”
The simple fact is: If you want to get bigger and fitter, what you do outside the gym is just as important as what you do in it.
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