Human beings are creatures of habit. We eat the same meals at the same restaurants, we get the same pints at the same pubs, we get on the same carriage of the same train.
This repetition also applies to fitness, as consistency is key when trying to better yourself. You’ll most likely train the same body parts on certain days of the week, and we’re betting you’re full of caffeine-fuelled rage if you see someone using your regular bench.
But there is method in the madness when it comes to repetitive routines, especially when it comes to post-workout recuperation. Whether yours involves taking a regular steam to soothe muscle aches or drinking your own secret blended recipe of whey protein to aid muscle growth, your go-to recovery routine can make all the difference.
Here, we take a look at some of the post-training practices the Men’s Health team carry out and how it helps them recover from their specific area of sporting expertise.
Daniel Davies, Junior Digital Editor – Marathon Training
“Most people have two big fears when they begin marathon training: that their body won’t be able to withstand the increase in miles or that they’re going to be so exhausted by the time race day arrives that thoughts of PBs, PRs and ‘running for time’ will be replaced by just trying to survive. That’s why in the run-up to the Manchester Marathon, I’ve placed such importance on my post-training routine.
“The first thing I do when I’ve finished a run, be it a speed session, a recovery run or a long run, is grab a sport activated body wash and hit the showers, as it effectively cleans dirt and sweat from active skin while leaving you feeling refreshed. Showering straight away allows me to switch focus from working out to being in a more restorative frame of mind. After this, I refuel and then spend 20 minutes stretching, foam rolling and regulating my breathing.
“This routine might seem pretty unorthodox, but it’s something I’ve honed from fusing the collective wisdom of runners, yogis and breathing experts I’ve met along the way. It helps me get my mind and body ready for the next session.”
Will Ville, Project Manager – Rugby
“80 minutes of running, tackling and being tackled, teamed with being caked in mud, sweat and sometimes blood isn’t the most hygienic of situations to find yourself in. A lot of players hang around in their kit after a match, but the longer you spend in sweaty clothing, the higher the chance of your skin being irritated.
“After a short cool-down involving light jogging, shoulder rolls and static stretching for muscle recovery, I’m out of my kit and into the showers. The Belsize Park team all go out for a formal meal afterwards, so a speedy 30 second wash where you still have mud in and behind your ears won’t do.
“Even after a long shower, it still takes me a while to regulate my body temperature, so I need a strong 48 hour deodorant to keep me dry for the rest of the night, such as Dove’s Men+Care Sport Active Fresh Anti-perspirant.
Jamie Carson, Commercial Editor – Bouldering
“Much like weightlifting, bouldering can destroy your hands. But I refuse to wear gloves because calluses are kind of like a disgusting medal for all your hard work.
“However, you do need to look after your hands post-training, as dry, cracked and sore skin is only going to affect your performance in the long run (and no one wants to hold the hands of someone who is more sandpaper than man). With my skin in general being so sensitive, I use alcohol-free, hydrating and dermatologically proven products teamed with a non-greasy moisturiser.
“I also take cod liver oil and magnesium supplements every night as my joints are prone to swelling, and climbing with sausage fingers is like playing tennis with butter all over your hands – funny, but not very effective.”
Ed Cooper, Deputy Digital Editor – Weight Training
“I’m a man of habits — I always work out in the morning, always drink vegan protein powder as it’s kinder on my skin, and always use the same grooming products, because I know what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t.
“After a particularly sweaty workout, I want to get as far away from my kit as possible. The shorts and t-shirt go straight into a bag which then goes into my backpack. Keep your smelly kit in a separate bag, in another pocket, ideally, to ensure that everything else (and the fabric of the backpack) doesn’t stink.
“In my toiletry bag you’ll find deodorant, shower gel, face wash, fragrance and a nourishing moisturiser, all of which helps me keep cool while travelling to work.
“For me, getting my bag ready the night before is absolutely essential when it comes to staying organised and not forgetting anything. As with my workouts, my post-workout routine is all about working smarter, not harder.”
Whatever your sport, the new Dove Men+Care shower gel and deodorant will refresh and support your skin