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workout
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How Much Time Do Muscles Need To Rest After A Workout
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How Much Time Do Muscles Need to Rest After A Workout

How long should your muscles rest after a workout? Well, that depends on what you are training for. Are you training to have muscles and strength? Or are you training to have muscle mass. Generally speaking the abuse you put to a muscle will build resistance to the same type of abuse in the future. This is the reason why any serious training will involve multiple methods for different session and varying schedule. Each day your muscles face a different challenge and consequently the "resistance" is built up more slowly. Simply pounding out 30 reps of 150lbs each day will quickly build muscle to do just that, but not much else. So, again, the question really is for what are you training? For instance:

If you are trying to rapidly build muscle it is called "smoking". It involves pushing your muscles to the point of exhaustion and then easing the burden only to do it again. For instance, start by doing 5 reps of 150lbs and reduce the weight by 20lbs for 5 more reps. then five more. Then five more. Eventually you will get down to just the empty bar. Instead of doing just 5 reps of each you might try increasing the number of reps until you are nearly "spent".

This will be the limit to which your muscles "feel" they are capable of enduring. Reducing the weight, however, will reduce the strain and the new weight will actually feel much lighter. One of the hallmarks of this technique is that the muscle really will be played out at the end. After such a training day even a single push-up will be impossible. It is common to not feel fit enough to walk or even drive for a time afterward. This is extreme exhaustion, and you do NOT need to do this for toning or strengthening.

Outside of training and in general if your muscles and strength are zapped then you must take two actions simultaneously. First, the muscles must not be allowed to grow cold or stiff. Any injuries, including those on the cellular level, will be much worse afterwards. Keep the muscles moving, even if only slightly, and don't allow them to hold any one position for too long.

The worst thing you can do is what comes naturally: lie down and rest. Doing so will result in cramps, pain and an almost paralytic feeling. The second is more natural when one is tired: do little else. If you have truly worked out enough to bring on muscle fatigue, then you should take a break. Don't start up again in the near future. Give yourself time to feel better. In short the advice your coach always gave is still the best: Walk it off.

After you have allowed your muscles to cool down slowly you may resume your normal routine. This may mean going back to your job, home or even bed. Keep in mind that wherever you are likely to be sitting, lying down or even standing still - it will give your muscles additional opportunities to bunch up. Be sure to take the time to stretch before resuming any activity.

Finally don't forget the "morning after" feeling. If you did a good workout you will feel it the next day. Your muscles will take time to repair the damage and they will feel uncooperative. If that is the case, congratulate yourself and perhaps take it a little easier the next day, but only that one day. The third day you will have to go right back out there and push yourself. Remember that your muscles will be trained to do what you make them do and that your typical workout will establish the limits of endurance, muscles and strength.

Lastly, if you feel your muscles straining, common sense tells you to reduce the weight or even stop. If however you do, then it is wise to at first for no more then 20 minutes, apply ice (wrap in towel so you do not freeze your skin). Elevate the affected limb. Over the counter ointments such as anti-inflammatory type may help with reducing swelling. Gently message the area. If the strain was very severe, do all of these for at least three days before you attempt to use moist heat. Before using the limb you may want to strengthen the injured muscle by using an elastic bandage or a specif kind of wrap for the affected area. Gradually increase your physical activity and you will be good as new right quick!


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