September 20, 2022
You need to give your body time to repair in order for it to grow. Plain and simple. The problem is: There are tons of questions about how to recover and for how long.
Fitbod’s got the answers to both built right into its algorithm. We use your track record to figure out the recovery status of your muscles and recommend new exercises based on that feedback loop. Learn more about how Fitbod builds your workouts here.
What is Muscle Recovery?
Exercising actually does damage to your muscles, which is one of the stimuli that causes muscles to adapt and grow.
When you’re recovering, you’re letting your body go back to its normal state and teaching it to adapt to new stress levels, one result of which is bigger muscles.
Why is Muscle Recovery Important?
Recovery is critically important to progress in muscle growth, fat loss, endurance, and strength.
If exercise alone made you stronger, you’d be stronger by the end of your workout, not weaker. In reality, the body needs time to adapt.
If you don’t properly recover, you’re working with damaged muscles and increasing the risk of injury.
In short: You need to recover properly to progress.
How Long Does It Take to Recover?
In general, it takes roughly two to three days to fully recover. But, this varies from person to person and is affected by volume, intensity, diet, sleep, and stress.
If you’re still sore, you probably need some extra time to recover. Some light soreness is fine and should dissipate within the first few sets. But, other things like poor performance and general fatigue may be a sign of overtraining.
If you’re sore, not performing well, or fatigued, take an extra day to recover! You won’t lose nearly as much progress as if you push through and injure yourself. You may even notice a spike in your performance following an extra rest day.
Full rest is often a great option, but you can train other muscle groups, reduce the duration of your workout, or reduce the intensity of your workout if you still want to get some work in.
How to Improve Muscle Recovery
- Sleep is very important for muscle recovery because it helps your muscles repair faster.
- Active recovery, like walking, is also crucial because it helps remove the byproducts of exercise and brings in nutrients muscle growing nutrients.
- Cooling down after a workout will also boost your recovery: Read more about it here.
How Fitbod Applies Your Muscle Recovery
- Fitbod measures the impact that every logged exercise has on your body.
- In the Recovery tab, our app will show you a composite heat map of your muscle fatigue.
- This is done by examining the sum of all exercises targeting that muscle group and assigning a percentage between 0% and 100% to that muscle group’s fatigue.
- Use these percentages to compare muscles to each other and decide which ones you want to target:
- For example, if your quads are 40% recovered and your hamstrings are 80% recovered, target your hamstrings.
- Don’t get too hung up on the exact percentages—there is no magic number that dictates whether you should (or should not) exercise a specific muscle.
- If you feel that a muscle is more fatigued than we show, manually adjust its percentage in your Recovery tab by tapping “Fresh Muscle Groups”.
- In general, you should wait 48–72 hours between workouts that target the same muscle group.
- Our algorithm will consider your muscles fully recovered (back to 100%) after seven days of rest.
- This is strictly because of how our algorithm functions. In general, 48–72 hours is enough of a rest for your muscles, but everyone’s different. If you need more time, take it.
- Fitbod will also take into account cardio exercises when computing muscle recovery state.
- If you’re on iOS, you can connect your Fitbit, Apple Health, or Strava account to have your muscle recovery percentages automatically adjusted based on your non-Fitbod activity.
- Fitbod generally prioritizes recovered muscles over fatigued muscles, as one of several inputs into your recommended workout.