TIP#1.12 - 5 Facts: Recovery vs Genetics

The subject of Genetics does not only cover an individual's natural levels of glycolitic muscle fibres (type 2a + b muscles), Body Shape or Skeletal Proportions. It also encompasses the invidual's Recovery ability. Namely the speed their body can recover, the environment needed for recovery and the level of nutrients required for repair and maintenance of muscles for the individual. Here are 5 facts on Recovery vs Genetics to consider during the pursuit of your fitness goals.

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1. Growth Hormone

Growth Hormone (GH) is a vital component of Recovery, because the release of it is required for muscle growth to occur. Genetics will determine how much GH an individual will produce, and the more GH released the more chance that individual will have for muscle cell growth with the right stimulation of the muscle. GH is generally released/ produced at two times; through Intense training of muscles, and through quality sleeping hours. A lack of Intensity in the gym reduces the amount of GH released, and a lack of sleep quality will also reduce GH production. Therefore, no matter if you have naturally high GH levels or Low, it makes sense to increase Intensity and Sleep Quality to make the most out of your GH production. GH production can be stimulated for release when training to Lactic Acid failure with medium to high weights, without Lactic acid build up GH is not produced in significant amounts or at all while training. Also, Sleep Quality can be improved by adjusting the sleep 'window', i.e. more daylight hours spent awake, more night time hours spent asleep (go to bed earlier!). Click here for more info on maintaining optimal Hormone Levels.

2. Nutrient Delivery

Macro and Micro Nutrients travel in the blood stream, and are delivered to areas in need of repair and maintenance. An individual's nutrient delivery might be more efficient than another's and might recover quicker as a result, in turn needing less nutrients to yield muscle growth. This could be due to denser capillerisation, greater Insulin sensitivity or something else. So, how do we now improve our own nutrient delivery systems? Not by simply eating more but by increasing the nutrient delivery rate; Although calm, still Rest is completely necessary while sleeping, during the day recovery can actually be excellerated by keeping the heart rate relatively high, through activity. This does not refer to resting heart rates, but translates to how active an individual is. Either the activity is walking around town because of work or as a means of transport, or through low intensity cardio in the gym - either way the prolonged elevated heart rate will deliver nutrients at a faster rate, increasing recovery speed.

3. Stress Hormones

This one is a really big deal. No matter what you might think, Cortisol - the main stress hormone - has killed more people than any war, desease or natural disaster. If you are a stressed person then working out will really help to counter-act Cortisol production, BUT if you cannot kick the 'stress habit' all together then your potential fitness progress will be hurt due to poor hormone levels, and it may seriously harm your health; Cortisol inhibits Testosterone production, induces fat gain, muscle loss, artery damage and depression. Stress affects us all at one point or another in life, but how we handle and deal with stress is completely invidual. Some of us let it take over our lives and get consumed by it on a daily basis, others take it in their stride and make it their business to ignore it and think positively instead. Stress is a mind set, it is a rational response to a potential life threatening situation or environment. De-stress by changing your mindset to always seeing the positive in things, participate in things you enjoy often and take pride in your training, nutrition and recovery with a clear mind.

4. Posture

Posture should not be out-sourced to a decently constructed weight lifting program, but conciously practiced 24/7. Posture accounts for so many things; strength balance, joint alignment, flexibility, sleep quality, correct exercise technique, breathing, long term tendon health, physical muscle shape and expression - and much more. Get posture right and you will avoid so many potential problems, like joint pain, chronic muscle aches, pain induced stress hormone production, stifness, posture induced scar tissue, strength imbalance, poor alignment and symmetry. Regardless of your genetic body structure, make a habit of improving posture all the time - the shoulder joint, hip joint and knee joint should be aligned in a vertical line (top to bottom). Posture is a component of Recovery for so many reasons, but if no biomechanical reasons can sway you to prioritising it then let the 'aesthetic' reasons change your mind - having correct posture will make you a better athlete and better looking one too! Click here for more info on correct Posture.

5. Training Frequency

Remember, muscle size has nothing to do with the amount you train, but how effective that training is. Generally speaking if we are training with very high intensity with proper form, training once per week per muscle group is sufficient for maximum growth. This equates to 4 weight lifting sessions a week on a split routine (muscle groups seperated out in the week). However, some people who recover quicker than others can train up to 5 or 6 days a week without a problem - but this is quite rare. You will have to experiment, start with 3 total weekly sessions, moving up to 4 when you feel comfortable. Most people will stunt their muscle growth very quickly training body parts more than once per week simply because their bodies cannot recover/ keep up with the stimulus. Resulting in their bodies registering a high stress environment that it must survive from - producing stress hormones, which then leech protein from the muscle to turn into glucose as a survival mechanism. Then, the glucose spikes insulin, inducing fat gain - thus starting a viscious cycle of too much training, muscle harvesting and eventually - fat gain. For more info on Effective training click here.

Thank You so much for Reading!

Matt The Trainer

For more Info on Rest & Recovery please click here.

Personal Trainer London

#recovery #recover #rest #restday #tip112 #genetics

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