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Updated: November 19, 2009 19:44 IST

Rest, first

Y.Ramakrishna
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Lisa J.Hamlin of Aerobics and Fitness Association of America in Hyderabad on Saturday . PHOTO: K_RAMESH BABU
K_RAMESH BABU Lisa J.Hamlin of Aerobics and Fitness Association of America in Hyderabad on Saturday . PHOTO: K_RAMESH BABU

Important as strength training programmes are, the factor of rejuvenation is not to be ignored.

While more has been written about how to design strength-training programs than how to recover from practice and training, working with youth of any age involves balancing the demands of training with recovery. Although some parents, teachers, and coaches still have a “more is better” attitude, the perception that boys and girls can recover from hard workouts faster than adults is not supported by research.

What is recovery

When following any type of training programme, one of the most important aspects of that program is the planned rest and recovery necessary to achieve maximum gains. . Proper recovery should allow the body to repair muscle and connective tissues broken down during training as well as restore energy stores that have been depleted.

Rest between sets:

The amount of rest necessary between sets varies depending on the type of exercise being performed, the individual performing it and the goal of the training program. The rest interval between sets allows for the recovery of the anaerobic energy systems and determines the amount of lactic acid produced during exercise that will be removed. Lactic acid build up in muscles inhibits muscle contractions. Larger athletes, with more muscle mass will require more rest time for adequate recovery.

Short and long term recovery

Short-term recovery, sometimes called active recovery occurs in the hours immediately after intense exercise. Active recovery refers to engaging in low-intensity exercise after workouts during the cool-down phase immediately after a hard effort or workout.

Long-term recovery techniques refer to those that are built in to a seasonal training program. Most well-designed training schedules will include recovery days and or weeks that are built into an annual training schedule. This is also the reason athletes and coaches change their training program throughout the year.Through the course of a workout, a young athlete's body becomes depleted of vital fluids and nutrients faster. Everything used must be replaced so that the body can be prepare to go to work the next time. The two nutrients that the body needs most post-exercise are proteins and carbohydrates. Active muscles use a form of stored glucose called glycogen as energy for work. During and immediately following a workout, the body releases insulin, which promotes the uptake of glucose from the blood, to replace depleted glycogen stores. Also, protein is needed for the repair of damaged muscle tissue as well for the interactive effect on insulin secretion.

Another important factor affecting recovery is sleep. It has been noted that there is an increase in growth hormone secretion immediately following sleep onset in humans, which may be particularly beneficial to athletes who regularly participate in strenuous activities. Sleep also has a significant impact on a youngster's psychological state. When the body is fully rested it tends to have a greater overall sense of well being.

When allowed to get 7 – 9 hrs of sleep, the body tends to be at its peak in terms of overall function.

The writer is sports fitness performance enhancements, Fitness One

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