Muscle recovery refers to two conditions of muscle tissues. The first is when nutrients have been totally depleted from the tissues by the exercises and the muscles need a replacement of glycogen and other important nutrients. The tissues need to recover their normal ratios of chemical compounds and energy levels. This introduces the first variable in muscle recovery, which is dietary provisions after the workout.
If you do not eat carbs (high energy drinks for instance) immediately after the workout to replace depleted levels of nutrients in the muscle, the body might result to catabolic processes. Protein drinks are also necessary and protein meals thereafter, to supply the needed amino acids that will help the muscle tissue s to recover.
The second condition in which we use the term muscle recovery is when the muscles have been injured. Some tissues might have been torn others bruised and others overstretched. The tissues need to heal. Those that have been injured beyond repair, are replaced while those that can be repaired are renewed. This process of recovery is important in hypertrophy, since if you train the muscles any further before they heal completely, further injuries will result. This introduces the second variable in muscle recovery, which is rest.
It is only during complete rest that muscles can repair and heal. Complete rest refers to sleep. When you sleep, you give your body a chance to heal, replace or renew the injured or worn out muscle tissues. Added to this variable are other factors like your sleeping patterns, the length of your sleep, the quality of your sleep and the extent of your injuries, all of which are variable determiners of recovery. You should sleep for at least eight hours daily, and not just lying there but being unconscious. You should ensure that you fashion out a pattern of sleeping and waking up at exactly the same time every day so as t o program your body on when to recover. Finally, you should exercise in good form always, you should avoid overtraining and or training before complete recovery, the three major causes of serious muscle injuries. If the muscles are injured seriously, they need more time to recover than if the injuries are slight.
Other variables in muscle recovery are the stress levels, the age of a body builder, the genetic predisposition and supplementation with vital nutrients, compounds and minerals. Whenever you are stressed, about the bodybuilding program or by anything else outside bodybuilding, your muscles will take much longer to recover. This can be attributed to release of delimiting hormones into the blood consequent to the stress. The age is also a factor since, young body builders need fewer hours to recover completely while older body builders take days. As one grows older, the rate of recovery reduces and the need for more time in between the training sessions becomes more apparent.
Some supplements in the market to day are very important in amplifying the rate of recovery. It is important that the body builder learns about such supplements and uses them correctly so as to facilitate faster recovery. What any body builder has no control of is the genetic predisposition towards recovery. While some require hours to fully recover, others need days, simply because their bodies are wired differently. The only thing that a body builder can do is to eat right, train right, supplement and then leave it to the genetic speed of recovery.