Monday, July 2, 2012

Post Workout Mistakes

Couple of good quotes on Working out;
  1. No matter how slow you walk or move, you are lapping the guys on the couch
  2.  Your body gets better after each and every workout.
These 2 beliefs motivate me to hit the gym on days when I have almost given up.
Now, while every workout has the potential to make you fitter and healthier than what you were before that workout, follow the below guidelines to make sure you get the most out of your workout , once you get done with it: 

1. Must Stretch after a Workout:

Most guys think , Stretching is for Sissies. Not True! Stretching is essential because: 
  • Contracting the muscle while working out shortens it and makes it tight. Stretching after a workout brings the muscle back to its original size and eases the tension in the fibres
  • Stretching the muscle , frees the muscle of Lactic Acid or other waste caught up in the muscle. This reduces the soreness in the muscles after a workout and ensures speedy growth & recovery of the muscle 
  • Stretching improves flexibility and keeps you nimble even while packing on muscle. Hence, to avoid looking like one of those guys who move like robots ... Stretch!
  1. DO NOT stretch BEFORE a workout, because muscles are just like rubber/elastic and if stretched while cold, can lead to injuries
  2. After a workout, stretch all your muscles only to a point where it's comfortable. Remember, Goal of Post Workout stretching is to aid recovery ,growth and maintain current flexibility, not increase it. To increase the range of motion of your muscles, practise Yoga  
2. Must Refuel yourself after a Workout

After a workout, your muscles are craving for good quality nutrients from good healthy nutritive food.
Hence , it is necessary to refuel yourself after a workout.
By refuel, I do not mean have a sugary drink/canned fruit juice/Glucon D/Glucose. ( unless you are feeling dizzy and severely dehydrated after a very very long and exhausting workout).  Focus on consuming fast absorbing protein(whey) and Simple carbohydrates like Potato, Rice, White Bread. etc. and other healthy food like Dals , Pulses, Chapatis etc.

3. Have a contrast bath

This is an excellent technique to help speed up the growth and recovery of muscles and reduce soreness in muscles.
Alternate Hot and Cold water on your Spine causes Vasodilation(Widening of Blood Vessels ) and Vasoconstriction(Contracting of Blood Vessels). This results in flushing out of waste material from the cells and improves circulation of Nutrients throughout the cells.

4.Must Sleep for at least 8 hours 

Muscles do not grow while you workout. Infact , working out damages the muscles. They grow by recuperating and healing themselves with the right Nutrition and right rest that we give them, only AFTER you work out.
Not giving muscles adequate rest can be a major reason for not seeing any progress towards your fitness goals and no other form of rest matches the good ol' peaceful ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Here's a way to wake up Fresh every morning.

Also, Not giving your body enough rest may result in Overtraining and greatly increase risk of injuries.
One must take a week of rest from Working out or workout at a very very low intensity for a week every 3-4 months , to give your body adequate rest and a chance to fully recover from any nagging aches /injuries. You will be surprized to see that you have become Stronger after the break! This is because in that one week your body recovered , healed itself and made itself stronger and more prepared for the next challenge. That's how the body works.

So remember, After a workout:

  1. Stretch
  2. Eat well
  3. Sleep well



  1. Bhushan as an addition the No-Stretching pre-workout applies for weight training (High Intensity Interval Training). For cardio and circuit (minimum interval) training you should stretch pre workout and ensure they are dynamic stretches.

  2. Hi Ricardo...thanks for taking the time to read the blog. Feels good to have active fitness enthusiasts like yourself on board!

    Also, to sum up... Absolutely no stretching should be done without warming up the muscle first, irrespective of the activity... Be it cardio/ circuit training/weight training etc.

    In fact before any sort of exercise, increasing your body temperature i.e. warming up the muscles by doing a 5-10 min cardio will always help.

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