Hate cardio? No sweat, as this recovery workout may be the better option.
Q: Honestly I’m sore as hell after some of these 1R workouts. Any thoughts on how I can recover faster without jogging a few miles between workouts?
A: If there’s one thing we hate at 1R, it’s long, slow, cardio… Be worse. But we can’t deny that a few miles between workouts does help significantly reduce the lactic acid responsible for your soreness. However if you’re like us and simply can’t stand dialing the treadmill in at 8 for 20-25 minutes, here’s an alternative that’ll not only speed up your recovery, but may actually help you burn fat in the process.
Neural charge workouts, made popular by Christian Thibaudeau, last 15-20 minutes and allow you to recover faster without feeling like a caged hamster in the process.
Let’s get a quick rundown of its underlying theory, shall we? The basic premise is to perform explosive movements (think your favorite plyometrics) to stimulate your body’s natural release of anabolic hormones, enhance work capacity, jumpstart recovery, and increase your insulin sensitivity (which accounts for that whole fat burning thing discussed previously).
So that’s how it works… But how do you do it? To be honest, it should be noted that one can use a variety of different exercises when using the neural charge template. We’ll layout a routine below, but there are plenty of combinations outside of this one that will help you get cut and improve both your training recovery and athletic performance.
Additionally, we’d recommend performing neural charge workouts on a “day off” after a heavy lifting session, or before a light workout (i.e. when you’re feeling terrible and just want to do bi’s and tri’s). Do it and not only will you work up a light sweat, but you’ll feel like a new person (read: sore-free) the day after.
Here are the guidelines:
Every neural charge workout consists of 4-5 different exercises, all of which are performed in a circuit. The goal is to do as many circuits as possible in the 15-20 minutes you have, but if your performance decreases, even slightly, you should stop. Give yourself about 30 seconds between circuits, and perform one exercise from each of the four buckets below during each workout:
1. Explosive Weighted Lift – 3 reps
Ex: DB Snatch, Hang cleans, Push Press
2. Bodyweight Upper Body – 5 reps
Ex: Plyo pushups, Side-to-side plyo pushups, Incline plyo pushup
3. Bodyweight Lower Body – 5 reps
Ex: Tuck jumps, Box jumps, Jump scissors
4. Explosive Medicine Ball Throws – 5 reps
Ex: Medicine ball slams, Chest throws, Side throws (each side)
Mix and match as you see fit, but remember that each circuit should take anywhere from 30-45 seconds. For all of you retaking calc this summer, that means you should be completing anywhere from 13 to 17 circuits if you’re allotting the proper rest periods.
Additionally, please note that you should perform the same circuit over and over again on a given day, so if you choose to do the DB snatch, Plyo Pushups, Tuck Jumps, and Medicine ball slams, you’ll be performing those same 4 exercises for the entire 15-20 minutes.
There’s obviously a lot of room for customization, so have fun with it. But whatever you do, don’t just avoid cardio altogether because you’ve burnt out on the treadmill. Give neural charge training a try on your next “off day” to improve your recovery, and see how good you feel the next day.
Additionally 1R would recommend the following supplements to improve your recovery: