This is it! After four months of training, we’re one week out from the Charm City Strongwoman Competition. Needless to say, I’ve put my body through a lot. I’m used to a little soreness, however I have never pushed my body this hard before. I quickly learned that I needed to spend more time on muscle recovery.
My usual muscle recovery routine consists of daily supplements, topical creams, protein-heavy meals and quality time with my foam roller. Spending two hours a day, five days a week increasing maxes and learning new mechanics does a number on the body. The morning after the first training camp was the most sore I’ve ever been, particularly in my back. I spent the entire day lying stiff, unable to move without feeling intense pain.
So after a lot of googling and asking my trainers, Fit Teamers and fellow Strongwomen for tips, I updated my recovery routine. Note: I am not a professional. All the information below is based on my own research, suggestions by trainers and other athletes, and my own experience.
After a heavy lifting day, I do the following:
- Spend 10-15 minutes stretching and foam rolling
- Eat a heavy protein meal
- Take an epsom salt bath
- Massage muscles with magnesium cream
- Ice muscles
- Take fish oil and daily vitamins
- Stretching is the bread and butter of muscle recovery. I hadn’t been giving myself enough time to warm up and cool down.
- After breaking my muscles down during a workout, protein absorbs into the body and builds into muscle mass, maximizing gains.
- Hot baths increase circulation and releases lactic acid buildup.
- Massaging helps break up tension and trigger spots.
- Magnesium helps regulate muscle and nerve function
- Fish oil supports muscle protein synthesis
- Icing slows inflammation and swelling
- Sleeping is the most underrated recovery method. It allows your muscles to completely relax and gives time for your body to work its magic and heal.
This routine works for me. Now that Strongwoman is right around the corner, I’ll be lightening up on my training. I want to maintain my gains but also give my body time to heal from any tension or soreness. The last thing I need is to show up and not be able to perform because my body’s too sore. I’ll be going to Fit Team as usual and maintaining the weight I’ve been training with.
I’m really excited and nervous for competition day! Strongwoman has leveled up my strength training, recovery routine and confidence. I never cleaned before and here I am busting out seven reps in one minute. I also never imagined carrying 300lbs on my back. #humblebrag 😉 My goal is to place in first, second or third in the Lightweight Novice weight class. I’ll lift, carry, and pull on every ounce of energy and strength within me to get there, but I am damned proud to have gotten to this point.
Strongwoman 2017, I’m ready for you!! Let’s do this.