Workout Recovery: 5 Things Sweat Trainers ACTUALLY Do
At Sweat, we talk about the importance of proper workout recovery a lot. With so many different tried and tested methods to assist your recovery, it can be hard to know what to prioritise to keep you and your muscles feeling great.
Is a quick stretch enough? What roles do nutrition and hydration play? Sleep and rest days? Before you know it, you’re doing a deep dive on Google and wondering if you need a massage gun, ice baths, and a whole bunch of supplements.
Rest assured, the Sweat Trainers know your workout recovery shouldn’t be complicated, time-consuming or expensive. It’s an essential part of staying fit and healthy for each of them, but their practices can be adopted by anyone!
Sweat Trainers all stretch and foam roll
Daily stretching and foam rolling is a big one for ALL of the Sweat Trainers. Along with a proper warm-up, Head Trainer Kayla Itsines stretches every day (even on her rest days), and recommends leaving 5-10 minutes at the end of each workout for stretching and foam rolling, focusing on whichever muscles you used or are feeling sore.
Making time to stretch can reduce your risk of injury and improve your range of motion by alleviating muscle stiffness. If you work out with the Sweat app, you’ll know most programs have a foam rolling and stretching session each week that Kayla highly recommends you complete.
“I always feel guilty marking my workout as finished when I haven't done them properly!” she shared on Instagram.
Chontel Duncan, Cass Olholm and Kelsey Wells also do a lot of foam rolling for recovery. Foam rollers can help to reduce muscle tension and ”knots”, which can improve your general muscle function and mobility.
“Always finish off your workout with a good stretch, focusing on those areas you’ve just trained,” Chontel says. “I use foam rolling and stretching as part of my cool down after every FIERCE session!”
Sweat Trainers all drink plenty of water
While they might all have different coffee orders, drinking enough water to stay hydrated is something they all agree on.
“Drinking plenty of water helps your body to stay hydrated. If you become dehydrated, you may not recover from a workout as quickly and you are more likely to get cramps or muscle spasms,” says Kayla.
Water is also essential for so many bodily functions, such as skin health, energy, detoxification, digestion and transporting nutrients to your cells.
You lose a lot of fluid when exercising through your breath and sweat, so remember to stay hydrated before, during and after your workout. Water is the best option, as pre-mixed sports drinks can contain a lot of sugar and additives.
Sweat Trainers all focus on nutrition and protein
Whether you’re working out to try and increase your muscle mass or strength, or simply love a Sweat session to get those feel-good endorphins pumping, your nutrition is still really important.
The Sweat Trainers all eat a lot of food from all of the food groups, and they enjoy a wide variety of different meals, too!
They definitely don’t all eat the same - for example Chontel is a vegetarian - but there’s two things they all agree on when it comes to nutrition: eat your veggies and have a good source of protein at every meal. This will ensure you’re getting lots of nutrients, refuelling your body, and helping your muscles to recover and grow.
If you eat meat like Kayla, Kelsey and Cass, you might enjoy meals with chicken, beef, lamb or fish. If you’re a vegetarian like Chontel, your meals will be more focused on plant-based protein sources such as beans, tofu and eggs.
Cass tries to choose meals that are fuel for sustenance AND recovery, that also tick her four nutritional boxes: heathy fats, quality protein, carbohydrates and micronutrients.
Chontel and Cass also enjoy post-workout protein shakes to help promote muscle growth and repair tissue, and Chontel says these help with meeting her protein requirements as a vegetarian. She makes a simple shake with protein powder, ice and water, while Cass gets out the blender to make a smoothie with ingredients such as spinach and frozen fruit. Yum!
Sweat Trainers all try to get 7-9 hours of…
Sleep! Although many of the Sweat Trainers are mums and know all too well what it’s like to be sleep deprived, they all aim for that sweet spot of 7-9 hours of sleep when possible and make sure they are having regular rest days too.
“I’ve seen many women in the Sweat Community worried that they’ll lose their progress when they take a rest day. This simply isn’t the case! You actually NEED your rest days as part of your training program in order to MAKE progress,” says Kayla.
“As a Strength and Conditioning Coach, I often witness people over-training and under-recovering. Do not underestimate the importance of RECOVERY!” Cass shared on Instagram.
“To get the most out of your training (we don’t want all of your hard work going to waste!), we need to ensure we are proactive in reducing fatigue and restoring the body.”
Chontel says listening to your body is vital so you can understand when you need more rest and recovery instead of a workout, which is never something to feel guilty about.
Sweat Trainers all like to keep moving
Sometimes, resting on the couch, beach or your bed is exactly what you need. Other times, a rest day simply means not doing a structured workout. On the days when you feel up to it, keeping your body moving can really help with improving circulation, stiffness or cramps.
“Rest days don’t have to be sedentary. Don’t get me wrong, rest is incredibly important and often a lot of us don’t get enough of it. However just because you aren’t training that day, doesn’t mean you have to do nothing. It’s not sets and reps, but this is a part of making fitness a LIFESTYLE,” says Cass, who often enjoys active outdoor adventures with her family.
With most Sweat Trainers having energetic children (plus some equally energetic furry friends!), they all do a lot of walking and recommend any kind of low intensity active recovery to promote blood flow to your muscles.
Even for our trainers, workout recovery isn’t complicated rocket science. Eat, sleep, hydrate, stretch, repeat. How do you maximise your workout recovery? Let us know in the comments!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.