The building blocks to recovery

No matter what your reason is for training — intense workouts are hard on your muscles. Injuries, fatigue, slow recovery, and overtraining can cause setbacks that prevent you from performing your best, or even being able to compete. You need the ability to adapt and continue to make gains when your training is constantly varied – the way that you do that is by improving your recovery.

As an athlete, focus on these 4 areas to improve your recovery:

1. Training Variables

The volume and intensity of training dictate the body’s ability to recover from the given training workload. Thus, if an athlete is not recovering from the current combination of volume and intensity, then he or she must decrease either volume or intensity or both. Then, as training maturity and work capacity increase over time, volume and intensity can be gradually added back into the training regimen. Two other points must be considered. First, all muscle groups do not have the same recovery capacity. Thus, different movements tax the body’s ability to recover in different ways. For example, if one considers a powerlifter, typically the body can recover from the most volume in the bench press, then the squat, and last the deadlift. Secondly, one must consider the duration of each training block. A deficiency in recovery may not indicate that the lifter needs to decrease volume and/or intensity indefinitely, but rather that he or she needs to take a deload period. This is typically one to four weeks where the volume and intensity are lowered. After this period the lifter can resume volume and intensity levels as before the deload.

2. Importance of Sleep

Sleep is by far the greatest recovery modality that the lifter has at their disposal. Typically, eight hours of sleep per night are recommended for normal individuals. However, a competitive lifter who is training with very high levels of volume and intensity may need more like 9-10 hours of sleep per night in order to recover adequately.

3. Nutrition and Supplementation

Although all of the macronutrients (fat, carbohydrate, protein) are important in the recovery process, most often recovery is hampered by a deficiency in protein intake. For a competitive lifter, I would recommend consuming bodyweight (lbs.) in protein (grams). For example, a 200-pound lifter would consumer 200 grams of protein per day. The component that is probably most often overlooked is water intake. Water is extremely important in the recovery process. I would recommend that competitive lifters consumer their bodyweight (lbs.) in water (oz.). For example, a 200-pound lifter would consumer 200 oz. of water per day. When it comes to supplementation in aiding the recovery process I would recommend the following:

  • Low-carb whey protein powder: this will help in meeting the protein requirements described above.
    Electrolytes: to be consumed during workout
  • MyHMB and/or BetaTOR: this is one of the few supplements out there with a lot of quality research behind it. It simply increases protein synthesis and decreases protein degradation. To be taken before and after your workout.

4. Recovery Modalities

These would include the following, but I would not worry about these unless you are already doing a very good job at the aforementioned three recovery points:

  • Soft tissue work: massage, foam rolling, etc.
  • Contrast baths
  • Sauna
  • Extra (recovery) workouts: this typically consists of various movements performed with very light weight and high repetitions in order to increase blood flow to the trained muscles and thus enhance the recovery process.
  • Compression garments


Scroll down to learn how myHMB can aid your performance.

  • CrossFit Games Athlete Sam Dancer
    Sam Dancer
    CrossFit Games Athlete

    “Within weeks of taking myHMB I had set multiple personal records in my Olympic lifts, over-head squat, front and back squat. I tell everyone that is in the quest for health, wellness, and better performance if you want to be a recovery monster you need to take myHMB.”

  • Team myHMB and CrossFit Games athlete Jared Enderton
    Jared Enderton
    CrossFit Games Athlete

    "Within a month of taking myHMB I set all time records in the snatch, front squat, and back squat. The greatest thing about myHMB is how it has improved my recovery. This has allowed me to incorporate more training sessions a week into my regimen, and the results have followed."

  • CrossFit athlete Taylor Galayk at CrossFit Regionals
    Taylor Galadyk
    CrossFit Games Athlete

    "CrossFit is a very intense sport and can take a toll on your body. With myHMB, I have noticed a faster recovery time and less muscle soreness. MyHMB also aids in the production of muscle mass, taking myHMB along with proper training and healthy eating I am stronger and leaner than ever!"

Reduces Muscle Soreness

“No pain, no gain.” We all know hard training goes hand-in-hand with muscle soreness after intense activity. But myHMB helps minimize muscle soreness by reducing muscle protein breakdown and improving muscle recovery. Trained athletes significantly improved their readiness for the next training session when starting an intense exercise program, or increasing training intensity (overreaching), as indicated by the Perceived Readiness Status (PRS) score. PRS is used to indicate fatigue and predicts improvements in the next training session. With myHMB, athletes can protect themselves from exercise-induced muscle damage, reduce muscle soreness, and come back ready to train or compete again more quickly.

Wilson et al., 2013, 2014

Increases Strength When Combined with Training

Strength gains are maximized with the use of myHMB. A meta-analysis of resistance-exercise training studies shows that myHMB supplementation results in increased strength gain. The studies showed increases for trained and untrained, young and elderly, and men and women. While the magnitude of the effect varies with training intensity and population studied, the overall effect was clear — myHMB significantly increases strength gains when supplemented during resistance-exercise training.

Nissen & Sharp, 2003

Improves Body Composition During and After Calorie-Restricted Diets

Calorie restriction to reduce overall body weight can result in an unwanted loss of muscle mass. But supplementing with myHMB has been shown to prevent the loss of muscle mass during a calorie-restricted diet. Using an animal model to simulate the effects of caloric restriction, a study compared caloric restriction alone in combination with training or training plus myHMB. MyHMB prevented the loss of muscle mass and lessened the loss of grip strength with caloric restriction.

Park et al., 2013

Improves Performance and Body Composition Response to Training

Studies have shown that supplementing with myHMB improves body composition by both increasing lean muscle gains and boosting body fat loss. In a 12-week study, participants supplementing with myHMB during strength training saw a 250% increase in lean mass gain compared to placebo-supplemented participants. They not only gained more lean muscle, but they also lost 210% more body fat than those on the placebo treatment.

Wilson et al., 2014

Increases Anaerobic Capacity

Sprinting, strength training, and jumping sports—they all rely on anaerobic metabolism to create the power these high-intensity activities require. Anaerobic capacity determines how well the body can perform short-interval maximal work. In a study using the Wingate Anaerobic Test of peak power (one of the most well-known fitness tests), supplementation with myHMB resulted in a 54% increase in anaerobic power over training alone.

Wilson, et al. 2014

How myHMB Works

MyHMB helps performance-driven athletes and competitors to:

Female and male athletes performing deadlifts at a CrossFit gym

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