IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING DIET: The most important meal of the day is your POST WORK OUT MEAL. After you finish a strength training work out, you have what is called an "Open window of opportunity." This window lasts 30 minutes. In this time period you must eat a quality meal, balanced with protein and carbohydrates. If you do not get this meal within 30 minutes (45 minutes max!) your muscles start to eat off other muscles to repair themselves. This is a break down process that we do not want to happen! Remember, you just tore your muscles down from strength training and now you must feed your muscles to help repair them. The benefits of strength training only occur AFTER the workout if rest and proper nutrition are taken care of.
Here is an example of what you want to do after your work out. Start by having a glass of juice to get some simple sugars in your body. A glass of apple, cranberry, grape, orange or raspberry juice will be perfect! This simple carbohydrate drink lets your body easily absorb some of the nutrients that have been drained from your body during the tough work out & kick starts the recovery process. Afterwards it's time to sit down and eat your post work out meal. If you are far from home, pack food with you or have a protein shake ready to go. Get plenty of water to drink right now, as this is a key part of keeping your body systems moving smoothly & transporting the nutrients.
In addition, soda is just a bunch of empty calories and does nothing good for your body. Eat a small salad, a chicken breast, and a serving of rice (or another carbohydrate rich food such as pasta or a baked potato).
For the athlete in need of gaining more weight (often the case incoming high school wrestlers at a lighter weight class), eat a calorie dense post workout meal: Glass of grape juice Steak
This meal kick starts the recovery process by replacing all the nutrients that were lost from the work out and takes care of much of the recovery process. The next portion occurs during rest / sleep. If you skip this meal, your work out has just been wasted!!
A sample for someone who is not close to home would be a protein shake mixed in water or juice, and having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on rye bread plus a piece of fruit. There are no excuses if you want to improve. So take nutrition & rest as serious as you take your wrestling and watch your gains improve at a much faster rate.
Some meal replacements that you can use are Lean Body or Myoplex. Try a few others out and see which has the best quality nutrition. Do not simply buy what is the cheapest. Many of the cheap ones have empty calories and a ton of sugar. Do not confuse a weight gainer for a protein shake or a meal replacement shake. So remember, learn to eat regularly, especially breakfast and post work out meal. These two meals are key and get you functioning at a quality level. Force yourself to rest in order to reap the benefits from strength training. Cycle the intensity of your workouts to keep your body responding as opposed to adapting to doing the same thing day in and day out. Never strength train two days in a row if you have just done a full body workout, unless you are performing a GPP day (again, lasting no more than 20 minutes). If you are still sore after a day of rest, then take another day off or perform some active rest activity which helps alleviate soreness and speeds up the recovery process.
Soreness is a sign of muscles that were torn down. This is resolved through rest, proper nutrition, and active rest. Active rest keeps the body active and moving. This helps loosen up the body and reduces soreness quicker than if you were to be a couch potato! Laying around and doing nothing can prolong the soreness. Then again, if you were a couch potato you would not have purchased this book! Swimming, bike riding, GPP work or light drilling can all be of great help.
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