Recovery and Performance

There’s no denying that recovery plays an essential role in the performance of athletes and sports people. Whether it’s ensuring peak performance during a match or competition, or enabling your muscles to recover quickly and efficiently between training sessions to make sure you are always performing at your best. 

While we all agree that it’s important to incorporate recovery methods into your routines, what that looks like for one person will be entirely different to another. At The Gym Kit Store, we’ve decided to write a little something giving you the low-down on the most common types of recovery methods used by athletes around the world. 


Nutrition

Let’s start with the basics. It’s generally understood that eating healthily will mean you feel and perform better in sporting activities. But why? What do you actually need to eat to make sure you get the most out of your training? This is where the line is blurred and people are scared off by the wealth of information out there. 

 

While there is a new diet or nutrition programme for every person on the planet, eating properly doesn’t have to be hard, and it all boils down to the basics: calories (kcal), proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and micronutrients. Get that balance right alongside plenty of water (1.5-2L, tracked easily with a high-volume water bottle), and you’ll be well on your way to performing at your best: more energy, faster recovery and generally feeling and looking better! 

 

While we ourselves aren’t pros in this field, we partnered with a nutritionist and pro muay thai fighter James Nichol Nutrition to produce our FREE Beginner’s Guide to Nutrition (see our footer below!), which gives you the low down on each essential element and how to get started. 


We’d highly recommend speaking to a qualified nutritionist such as James if your aim is to lose weight so you can do so safely: he’s helped hundreds of fighters, sportspeople, friends and family to revolutionise their day to day eating. 


Sleep

Rule #1: You don’t build your muscles in the gym. 

Rule #2: Your muscles recover when they are at rest

Rule #3: You are most at rest when you are asleep


Don’t sleep on this cheat code to muscle recovery and peak performance. It’s recommended that you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night to ensure your body has enough time to recover and repair itself after a good training session. 



Yoga

Join the millions of sportspeople, athletes and professionals around the world incorporating yoga into their training. You’ve got Jennifer Anniston, Robert Downey Jr, and tonnes of other celebrities all jumping on the recovery bandwagon.

 

Touted by online communities as the key to peak performance in other sports too, yoga builds on the essential physical elements to any sports: core strength, balance, coordination. 


Whether you already take advantage of yoga to enhance your performance, or will be a newbie after reading our blog, it’s important to choose the right equipment to get the most out of it. Commonly seen is the yoga mat - used as a softer platform to perform movements and transitions to new postures. Doing this on a hard floor is taxing for your joints and muscles, so people generally use a yoga mat to soften the impact. This is also the perfect accessory for performing common exercises comfortably such as sit-ups and planks.

Choose the wrong one, and you’ll have a not-so fancy foot mat which is limited in its effect, but choose the right one and you’ll find yourself able to work harder and longer. The right yoga mat will enhance the support and stability of your movements, and give you more confidence and control over each position.

At The Gym Kit Store we’ve always made sure to only sell equipment we ourselves test and use, and the Yoga-goers in our team have selected our favourite to sell ourselves: Our 15mm Premium Yoga Mat. With an extra thick, superfine-fibre composition, we’ve loved the confidence it gives the user and the ease of it’s lightweight, easy wipe material. While some mats range up to £100 in price, we’ve discounted the RRP on ours to under £25, to give access to quality equipment for all.


Foam Rollers

A staple to the kit bags of athletes around the world, in every gym and training ground you’ll find these little bumpy cylinders rolling around the floor. There is a reason why they are so popular, and it’s because they work. You have a choice of flat rollers to choose from, or the scarier looking ones with bumps and ripples for added trigger-point therapy to maximise effectiveness. In both cases, foam rollers serve to do a few things: increase blood flow to the muscles, disperse lactic acid, and target knots and tightness in the body. Do all three of these, and you’ll be performing at your best without suffering from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), and feeling more supple and mobile ahead of your next workout.


Foam rollers are the perfect workout accessory for warming up pre-workout, or ‘working out’ the kinks in your muscles afterward. Reap the rewards of this tried and test recovery method for as little as £19.99, or get a full foam roller kit for under £25.


Massage Guns

The latest recovery craze, and touted by footballers and celebrities alike, the massage gun has stormed onto the scene in a big way, being used as an alternative to traditional physio visits in the wake of the COVID crisis as in-person physiotherapy sessions were limited. 

There has been a lot of research done into the effectiveness of percussion therapy, and massage guns have been proven to prevent Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, meaning you’re less likely to feel pain or tightness up to 72 hours after an intense workout. It can also improve athletes’ overall agility and performance with just five minutes, and has been featured in Men's Health Magazine.

At The Gym Kit Store, we’ve seized the opportunity to work with our suppliers to bring our customers the Massage Gun Pro™ - a cost effective version that offers the same benefits of higher priced versions. With some guns being sold for as much as £375, it’s traditionally been a product that only those with deep pockets can afford. Throughout May we’ve been offering The Massage Gun Pro™ for only £67 - a deal that has been snapped up by hundreds of happy customers, reaping the rewards of effective muscle relief and relaxation both pre and post workout: www.gymkitstore.com/massage-gun-sale 


The Massage Gun Pro™ has also been featured in the popular Liverpool FC news site This Is Anfield, after they did their own research and concluded that you don’t need to spend a fortune to see peak performance. 


What’s more, we’ve also released our own Massage Gun User guide that is sent to every customer, giving new users the best info on how to get the most out of your new recovery tool. 


Resistance Bands

 

Another product that hit the fitness industry by storm at the beginning of UK lockdowns, resistance bands have been flying off shelves everywhere due to their versatility. 

With bands that range up to 91KG in resistance, athletes now can reap the benefits of a fully equipped gym with only a fraction of the space, and price. 

Resistance bands have always been used as an extremely effective recovery method when rehabilitating injured muscles, or even just for those starting out on their fitness journey.

With bands starting from 12kg and £11.49, athletes everywhere are using bands to incorporate into their workouts in the gym and at home to target smaller muscle groups that are traditionally neglected in your average ‘gym bro’ workout of bench press, deadlifts and squats. Use resistance bands for your ‘accessory’ lifts to further develop your movement, agility, explosiveness and muscular endurance which will pay dividends in core lifts. 


There are endless workouts to choose from when browsing Google, Youtube and Pintrest, and it takes only seconds to find a full resistance band workout for an ab-blasting circuit training session, or take them with you to the gym for an exciting drop down exercise alongside your regular training. You can also get smaller bands designed for use around the legs to aid with exercises such as squats and side leg raises.


Summary

With such a plethora of workout and recovery options out there, it’s hard not to see the benefits that undoubtedly come with ensuring your body is maintained and looked after inside and outside of the gym. 


No training routine is complete without a dedicated recovery plan, whether amateur or professional, and if you don’t know where to start then you need look no further - our Gym Kit Store experts are always on hand to give you the help and advice you need to start, or revolutionise, your fitness journey. Simply drop us a note to info@gymkitstore.com to get the best advice on keeping your body in peak condition, no matter what sport you enjoy or fitness level you are at.

 

Daniel

The Gym Kit Store Team