How 9 PTs Recover After A Tough Workout
How 9 PTs Recover After A Tough Workout

How 9 PTs Recover After A Tough Workout

It’s common knowledge we should be recovering as hard as we train, so to understand what really makes a difference, we asked nine leading PTs how they bounce back…
By Tor West

Joslyn Thompson Rule

Instructor at Peloton

“It’s easy to overcomplicate recovery, but getting the basics right – think sleep, nutrition, hydration and stress management – is key. I’ve spent a lot of my time as a coach over the last 20 years telling people to train less and eat more. I don’t separate my rest-day nutrition from my training days, instead focusing on continuing to get a balance of protein, carbs and fats. My one rule is that I always eat immediately after a workout – even if it’s just a protein and banana smoothie before having something more substantial later.”


Lotti Benardout

Founder of Studio Anatomy

“My first port of call is my Theragun and a magnesium supplement. The Theragun is game-changing, providing relief to aching muscles in just a few minutes, while magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties that aid muscle recovery. Training at a high and consistent level has helped me unpack my relationship with carbs. Carbs have had a bad rep for a long time, but they play a crucial role in fuelling the body and making sure your muscles have the energy they need to perform at their peak. A big bowl of rolled oat porridge is my go-to.”


Anya Lahiri

Master Trainer at Barry’s

“I struggle to get enough protein in my diet as I don’t eat meat, so always have a protein shake after a workout – I rate Hermosa protein. On the weekend, I’ll make protein pancakes, adding Greek yoghurt for further protein. Complex carbs are just as important, and I always notice the difference in my energy levels if I don’t get enough. Sweet potatoes are my favourite carb – they’re versatile and the perfect brain and body fuel. I also swear by Bare Biology collagen, which I also add to smoothies. Collagen is a form of protein, and since taking it I’ve noticed fewer aches and pains. Regular sessions at Stretch Lab keep me on track, too. I’m terrible at finding time to stretch and, as a runner, I get very tight hips and calves, but assisted stretching does the hard work for you.”


Chloe Whylie

Trainer at Fiit

“Taking a rest day doesn’t necessarily mean lying on the sofa. In fact, working the body gently in a slow, light and low-intensity zone with your heart rate staying below 70% of your maximum for around 60 minutes will aid the recovery process. I also turn to these types of workouts when my mood and energy are low at certain points in my cycle. Listening to a podcast or audiobook during these lower-intensity sessions helps keep my heart rate down without being tempted to move to up-tempo music.”


Jessie Blum

Founder of Heartcore

“A tough workout can be energising but also depleting, so it’s important to give your muscles time to heal. A key sign I need to take a rest day is if I’m not feeling as energised after a workout as I usually would or I feel sore going into a training session. When this happens, I know it’s my body’s way of telling me to take time out. Hydration is my first step – dehydration can slow your muscles’ ability to repair – followed by light meals that are high in protein to nourish without overwhelming the body. It's important to eat plenty of protein, even on a rest day, as recovery can take up to 24-48 hours. I also swear by magnesium – I take Dr Frei’s effervescent formula that also contains a vitamin B complex. Magnesium is a super mineral – it aids sleep, balances hormones, releases stress in body and mind, and reduces muscle inflammation. For a winter treat, nothing beats an infrared sauna – they’re a great way to soothe sore muscles and aid circulation.”


Georgie Spurling

PT & Founder of Arvra

“Clear signs your body is craving recovery include headaches, sleep problems, fatigue, aches and pains that won’t go away. One of the most important things you can do to aid recovery is to stretch. Stretching and mobility are just as important as working out. It’ll reduce your risk of injury, mobilise joints and relax the body and mind. I dedicate one day a week to a deep stretch, as well as stretching after every workout. To avoid post-workout soreness, it can also help to train warm. If your body is cold, you’re more likely to get stiffer and increase your risk of injury. Food makes all the difference, too. Often on a rest day I’ll feel hungrier than other days – it’s the body’s way of trying to repair and catch up. I’ll focus on protein sources like eggs, fish and tofu as well as plenty of healthy fats.”


Aoife Okonedo Martin

PT at Ultimate Performance

“For those who push themselves in the gym, the problem isn’t overtraining, it’s under-recovering. If you’re not resting, your muscles simply don’t have the opportunity to repair, meaning you won’t get stronger. When it comes to nutrition, protein is important, but eating a diet rich in wholefoods is also essential to combat inflammation. Cut back on processed food and eat plenty of green vegetables, omega-3 fats like oily fish, and healthy fats like avocados and nuts to aid recovery. Sleep is my top recovery tip – it’s the best free performance-enhancing tool in your arsenal. If you train hard but don’t get enough sleep, you simply won’t see results with your training. My top sleep rules include avoiding screens for an hour before bed, sleeping in a pitch-black room and taking 250mg of magnesium before bed.”


Amélie Esquenet

Coach at Rowbots

“When my body is feeling sore and tight, low-impact training is a must – anything that features lots of mobility to keep blood flowing – followed by a sauna and cold shower to clear lactate. I’ll have a sports massage every six weeks or so, too. There’s nothing like a deep tissue massage to release tension I can’t get to with stretching, and I always sleep like a baby afterwards. It’s important not to overtrain sore muscles, but it can be tricky to differentiate between being truly fatigued or just not in the mood to train. If you’re not sure whether to take a rest day, decide after a warm-up. During a warm-up, your body pumps nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood to your muscles, priming your body for movement. If you’re still feeling fatigued or experiencing pain or discomfort, postpone your session.”


Stef Williams

Founder of WeGlow

“Listening to your body is key. If I do two heavy weights sessions back to back, for example, I know my body will benefit from a day of active recovery. I’ll go for a gentle walk or a swim to get blood flowing or will do a gentle Pilates class. It also pays to think about how you support your body when you are exercising – stretching before a workout and adding in a Pilates class a week will improve mobility and flexibility, and ease muscle soreness. I take my nutrition seriously too, and increase my protein intake on the days my workouts are more intense – it really does make a difference to muscle soreness. A chicken salad sandwich on brown bread is my go-to post-workout meal – it’s simple, easy and has a good ratio of carbs, protein and veggies to keep me satisfied.”

Follow @Stef.Williams on Instagram

DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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