How To Recover From A Powerlifting Competition

Posted on August 6, 2020 by Caitlyn Miller

One thing that is just as important as competing in a powerlifting competition is recovering from one. Recovery is important in all training, but specifically after a powerlifting competition. You just overloaded your body and muscles. You are probably sore and lacking energy after a competition. This post will address some of my tips and advice for recovering after a powerlifting competition. 

Table of Contents

  1. Hydration
  2. Rest
  3. Foam rolling + stretching
  4. Epsom-salt bath/ice bath
  5. How long should you rest?

Hydration

Many athletes don’t properly hydrate after competitions. The reasoning is, they don’t realize that you have to hydrate more than you would on a “regular” day. You just pushed your body to as far as it could go and it is hurting because of it. I would recommend drinking an extra glass or two than you normal do. This requires you to hydrate to relieve some of that soreness. Dehydration can make your recovery time longer and we want to avoid that as much as possible. 

Rest

When you rest, your muscles are recovering as well. That is why rest is so important when it comes to recovery. You don’t want to push yourself too far after a competition. This could delay the recovery process and make you and your body hurt more than it already is. Many people wonder how long they should rest before jumping back into the gym. This is all up to the person and how they are feeling. I have taken the week after a competition off before and I have also only taken 2 days off. I would definitely recommend resting the day after a competition. However, the length after that is up to you and how you feel. Ultimately, it is your body and you know what it needs. If you hurt, rest. If you have energy and feel good, go start your new program.

Foam Rolling + Stretching 

Foam rolling and stretching are both very important to relieving muscle soreness. You will most definitely wake up sore the next day no matter what, however, foam rolling and stretching will help relieve some of it. This will help delay onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and increase your mobility at the same time. I would suggest performing foam rolling and stretching 2-3 times a day and each movement should be done for 30 seconds. 

Epsom-salt bath/Ice bath

I love epsom-salt baths! I especially love the lavender scented epsom-salt baths because they make me feel so relaxed. Epsom-salt or ice baths are both great for recovery. Epsom-salt help reduce muscle soreness, inflammation, and swelling. Ice baths help reduce soreness, helps control your nervous system, and limits your inflammatory response. I would suggest staying in the ice bath for about 10-15 minutes to get the full affect. Ice baths take a little to get used to, as the cold temperature of the water shocks your body. 

How Long Should You Rest?

I have been asked before how long someone should rest before starting a new training program. This is a loaded question and it really depends on the person. I would recommend taking the week off after a competition, especially if you are a beginner. If you’re like me, you’ll be itching to workout after 2-3 days of rest. I promise that your muscles do need the rest, even if you feel 100% ready. Intermediate to advanced lifters are accustomed to competitions and pros at recovery. Therefore, more advanced lifters could take 2 days off and then go straight into a new program. I have done both of these scenarios. I have taken a week off after a competition and I have also only rested for 2 days and was back in the gym. I suggest listening to your body and going with what you’re feeling. You know your body and what you can handle.

What are some ways you like to recover?

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