If you’re someone who maintains a CONSISTENT schedule with your workout routine, you deserve to not only mentally feel fulfilled and accomplished, but more importantly, physically achieve and see your progress as well. If for some reason you feel something is causing you to fall short, or you’re just not getting the gains you feel you should be despite a good diet and training schedule, perhaps the answer lies within your post workout behaviors.
Today we will examine 4 post workout habits that very well may be killing your gains….
Not Stretching or Cooling Down
This one tops the list because the majority of us simply NEVER do it. Essential for recovery, increased flexibility, range of motion, and reduced muscle soreness and fatigue, a proper cool off period of at least 5 minutes of stretching is arguably just as important as the actual workout. If that doesn’t sell you, remember this; the more flexible you are and fluid with your range of motion, the greater the capacity your body has to enhance lean muscle. Get on it!
You Add Peanut Butter in Your Post Workout Shake
I notice this often, and it makes me want to slap the shakes right out of the hands of the people in question! I understand the added peanut butter takes the flavor profile of the shake from a 6 to a 10, but it also takes your body out of the fat burning mode it’s in after training, and interferes with absorption and digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and all other nutrients, which is the polar opposite of what you want after a workout. Your primary objective after exercise is to replenish the body’s glycogen and reduce, not add to, the amount of fat your body stores. Unless you’re a sumo wrestler, in which case I urge you to add an extra tablespoon so I may enjoy the peanut butter vicariously though you! Stick to peanut butter or almond butter in your casein shakes prior to bed.
You Don’t Eat Carbs Post Workout
If you’re one of those “I don’t eat carbs people”, let me lay it out for you as elementary as possible; A rose seed will require fertile soil and water in order to blossom into a beautiful flower. Your body’s muscles require the same level of care. If not provided the proper amount of carbohydrates at the most important times, (pre and post workout) your muscles will not be able to recover, repair, strengthen, and grow in an efficient manner, or at all for that matter. “Society” has really dropped the ball on this one leading us to believe that carbs are basically the Osama Bin Laden of macronutrients. They most certainly are not, and until you accept, embrace, and implement this ideology, you will NEVER see the results you want with your body.
You Eat Like a Stray Dog After Training
While the occasional cheat meal is acceptable from time to time, (here are a few to try!) by no means is your post workout window to be treated as an “Eat Like Sh*t and Get Out of Jail Free Card.” The quality of, portion sizes, and consistency of your meals are imperative to achieving a successful outcome and seeing your goals through. Operating under the assumption that you can eat anything after a workout and “it won’t hurt you” is comparable to slashing all 4 of your tires and remaining confident you’ll still be able to reach your final destination. It’s just not happening.