Post-Workout Period

Q: I’ve heard that the post-workout window is critical for success. My goal is to gain as much size and strength as possible, and I train hard! What should I do after a workout?

A: Here are my top 3 recommendations after a strength training workout:

1. Quench Free Radicals. Earth-free electron transfer is a way to connect to the earth and recover. Tension in the body instantly normalizes as natural cortisol rhythms are restored and the inflammatory response is decreased. Do you need expensive apparatus to enable this transfer? Not at all. Taking your shoes off and standing on the bare earth has the same effect! In fact, the fastest method of recovery is to walk barefoot on grass. Do this directly after training to quickly quench all the free radicals that you produced during your workout.

2. Shake. Some authorities believe no carbohydrates post-workout are necessary, only amino acids. Others feel that a fast-acting protein like whey isolate coupled with a high-carbohydrate intake (as much as 200+ grams) is required to replenish depleted glycogen stores and enhance recovery. We've tried both approaches over the years. Popping dozens of amino acids after a hard workout is no reward and going with such a high carb intake post-workout tends to encourage body fat accumulation. A 1:1 ratio of protein:carbs like that found in Catanzaro Supplements Post-Workout Formula works best. Furthermore, high amounts of either macronutrient are unnecessary, particularly if you use branched-chain amino acids and glutamine before and/or during your workouts.

3. Nap. A 15-20 minute nap within an hour of finishing your workout is one of the most powerful recovery boosters. According to my colleague Chad Waterbury, the sooner you can get the nervous system to relax, the sooner you will recover! Naps should never extend beyond an hour or else you will enter REM sleep, which will adversely affect your sleep that night. A trick that I learned from Dr. Istvan Bayli is to simply soak the feet in cold water right after napping. The feet contain many nerve endings and this will perk you up in no time. Just in and out is all it takes.