May 7, 2024

Why Recovery Is Essential To Muscle Growth

 I recently chatted with a Mojo friend, “Valerie” (not her real name), who was experiencing knee pain. When I asked what types of exercise she was doing, I learned she was spinning 3 times a week in addition to her 3 times a week HIIT Mojo workouts – and doing weight-training sessions on top of that. (Yikes!) With frustration, she added, “With how much I exercise, I should be invisible by now!” 

I give Valerie huge kudos for her impressive energy and resilience, but her 6 high-intensity weekly classes are too much for anyone. Exercise is the process of throwing our body into temporary “chaos” so that it recovers and gets stronger. If we don’t allow our body proper recovery time, it can sabotage results.

Not allowing proper recovery time:

  • Puts stress on the body: Excessive cardio puts a lot of stress on your muscles, joints, and nervous system. Without proper recovery time, your body doesn’t have a chance to repair itself, leading to fatigue, decreased performance, and increased risk of injury.
  • Slows metabolism: Constantly pushing the body without giving it time to rebuild, can result in the body breaking down muscle for energy. This reduces the overall metabolic rate, making it harder to burn calories and lose weight in the long run.
  • Stunts Muscle Growth: Muscle growth and repair happen during rest and recovery. Without sufficient recovery time, your muscles don’t have the opportunity to adapt and get stronger, hindering your fitness goals.

Rule of thumb: Listen to your body. Being sore means your body is building and recovering. Pain is an indication something is wrong. It could be something is off with your form, or you may need to schedule in some rest days. Allow your body to recover and check with a professional your form is at it’s best.

Another plateau mistake to avoid: If you are exercising more, you gotta EAT.

Fueling your body is key

  • A healthy diet provides the fuel our body needs to perform exercises efficiently. Without it, we’ll likely experience fatigue, decreased stamina, and a higher risk of feeling lightheaded or dizzy during workouts. This fatigue can also lead to improper form, increasing the risk of injuries.

Impaired Recovery:

  • Proper nutrition is crucial for muscle repair and rebuilding after exercise. This is especially important as we age when recovery times tend to be longer.

Plateaued?

Add More P. I. P. To Your Workout!

For those of us who have been Mojoing for years, it’s easy to go through the motions and get lost. Like spinning on the lowest cycling gear, you’re just flapping in the wind and not getting anything out of it.

Consider these concepts to help increase results:

Purpose ~ Intensity ~Power

Knowing the Purpose of your moves increases your Intensity
Every move we do is specifically designed to help you achieve a metabolism-building workout. If you are not achieving the results you would like, it’s likely you’re simply going through the motions. Try focusing on the purpose of the movements. It’s up to you to ASK your muscles out to participate and make sure your core is fully activated whenever possible.

  • Muscle Activation: Knowing if a move targets your core, legs, or arms allows you to consciously engage those muscles. This creates a deeper connection to the movement, maximizing muscle engagement and boosting overall intensity.

Increasing your Intensity Unlocks Power:

By focusing on purpose and form, you naturally crank up the intensity of your workout. Your heart rate climbs, you work harder, and you burn more calories – that’s the HIIT magic!

With a solid foundation of intensity, you can safely add power. This is when the magic happens, and when you can enjoy real results.

Fuel for thought…
Last week, on three separate occasions, I spoke with three (anonymous) Mojo friends who shared how alarming it is to witness so many friends, their same age, who are aging exponentially because their fear of getting hurt has kept them from challenging their bodies with pproper intensity. They are weaker, moving slower and with less confidence, thus inhibiting their ability to navigate new terrain and the joy of new experiences, leading one friend to say, “Seeing this makes me feel such gratitude that at my age, I can travel, enjoy new adventures and feel so YOUNG. I am so thankful for Mojo!”

 

The Dopamine Rush and HIITing Your Sweet Spot

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