If you just played a sports match, you will typically be a little weaker when training legs in the gym. Having weaker legs from playing team sports won’t allow you to push it in the gym. This works vice-verse as well by the way. If you were to have a heavy gym session, your legs might be fried for your sports training or game day.
This is incredibly important to note down because you don’t want to perform at a lower standard in either the gym or your sport. So here are 3 ways you can minimise your soreness from either the gym or playing sport!
1) Plan your Training Days
Say you have Soccer training on Tuesday and Thursday then your match day is on Saturday, it is important you plan your gym sessions around those days. You don’t want to be sore for any training session, so you may only be able to do 2 or 3 gym sessions a week. Here’s how I would personally structure my week for this example:
Monday: Squats, core work, mobility and agility.
Tuesday: Soccer Training.
Wednesday: Deadlift, Lunges, core work, mobility and agility.
Thursday: Soccer Training.
Friday: Rest and Recovery day with light Soccer related activities (juggling the ball, dribbling, shooting etc) and mobility work.
Saturday: Game day – After game do a core workout with leg recovery work.
2) Intensity of Training
You want to find a happy medium so that you’re training hard enough to see results but not so hard that you’re sore and not recovered enough for game day. Over time you’ll learn how your body responds to training and how much frequency you can handle and can recover from, so you will need to do some trial and error to discover how much you can handle, because everyone will be different based on their own physiology and also how much they sleep or eat, or even the type of sport they play.
As an athlete, you need to consider how you will feel the next day after you train. If you sleep poorly, don’t eat a healthy diet full of complex carbohydrates, have sufficient protein and healthy fats, you will struggle to recover optimally.
Stretching allows your body to release tightness and avoid inflexibility. It also promotes blood flow to the area you are stretching, allowing it to heal faster.
Sleeping is the most important aspect to any athletes recovery. Without sufficient sleep or by having a poor quality of sleep, the body will not replace toxins and heal exercise induced oxidative cell damage. The body requires 7 to 9 hours of sleep to perform at the most optimal level as an athlete. I personally have found my sleep periods shortening as my diet became healthier. It was as if my diet was doing some of the toxin cleansing for me.
Eating a variety of plant based foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and protein will allow your body to heal fast after a workout. Eating complex carbohydrates will play a significant role in your body’s ability to perform in better during workouts. Protein is the building block of muscle and allows it to recovery after strenuous activity. A combination of the latter and essential fatty acids through diet consumption will allow you to peak at your sport and in the gym.
Foam rolling helps release tight fascia and tight muscles. Foam rolling creates micro tears in muscles and aids in reducing recovery time after training.
Similar to foam rolling, Myotherapy is deep tissue work that helps the body recover after training. It helps release tight fascia and tight muscles. The tight muscles and fascia pull your joints in weird directions, not allowing you to perform at your greatest ability.
Hot and cold baths or showers will allow your body to repair and heal muscles faster. It aids in recovery through blood flow to sore areas.
Lots of you who play sport and also train have had lots of questions about figuring out when to train or how hard to train, or about how to recover properly to become the best athlete you can, so I hope this helped you guys out and gave you a better idea of how to balance your sport and your training in the gym. Thanks guys, I hope you have a great weekend!