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.
In general, 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 of every logged exercise and shows you a composite heat map of your muscle fatigue in the Recovery tab.
- Fitbod examines the sum of all exercises targeting that muscle group and assigns a muscle recovery percentage between 0% and 100%.
- You can manually adjust the recovery state for each muscle group in the Recovery tab if you feel some muscles are more fatigued than we show.
- Our algorithm will consider your muscles fully recovered after seven days. This is strictly because of how it functions. If your muscles need more time to recover, take it.
- Fitbod takes into account whether you actually did a given cardio exercise when computing muscle recovery state.
- If you’re on iOS, you can connect your Fitbit, Apple Health, or Strava account to Fitbod to have your muscle recovery percentages automatically adjusted based on your non-Fitbod activity.
- Fitbod will generally prioritize recovered muscles over fatigued muscles, as one of several inputs into your recommended workout.