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How to Tell If You’ve Recovered from a Workout?

Some men are born with 3 balls.

Kaz is 2 of them.


I just read that after a workout you’re in catabolic mode and your muscles are being broken down. This catabolic stuff results in protein breakdown with Urea as a by product.

So after a workout when you’re all messed up, Urea levels in your body go Up. And your ability to work super hard and produce lots of force goes down. This could last a day or two.

Then you start Recovering and your body does Anabolic stuff like protein synthesis. This causes Urea levels to go down. And your ability to work again to increase. This could last 1-3 days. Until things get back to normal.

Theoretically, if you train again while you’re still catabolic you’re not recovered. You’ve dug a hole with training, then just you dig it deeper. Eventually you’ll recover, but you “wasted” the first workout.

If you rest through the catabolic process, then allow the anabolic stuff to happen you dig a hole, and fill it up + plus a little extra with recovery. Then when you train again you dig the same hole, only it’s not as deep. And the same recovery builds you up a little more than last time.

So if you monitor your Urea levels you could theoretically have great info about your rate of recovery and how often to train. And how to make progress instead of continually tearing yourself down.

I’m not too savy about home urea testing. Can you just pee on a strip or something?

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This is really interesting stuff and would be cool to mess with. I shall Google at some point

Do you think this is the case for just the muscles trained, or do you think the body devotes all its recovery efforts to what you worked (back for example) and would hinder recovery of another body part (chest for example)

Idk if that makes sense. Having a hard time trying to word what I want to say lol I’m tired

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Sounds cool, but there are a lot of things that affect urea that have nothing to do with training/recovery


Do you have experience monitoring your Urea levels?

Have you noticed any kind of pattern or predictable cycle?

I just get it done as routine and it’s closed monitored because I have the equivalent of 1 kidney functioning at 80%

It’s very sensitive to hydration and protein intake. Mine also seems to fluctuate with sleep, but sleep disturbance might also be a result of overtraining


The chapter I’m reading right now is about track and field. And how to time your squats to not mess up your triple jumps.

There is a section way at the end about using these ideas for bodybuilding and a whole program.

For google, the Russian guys called this “Super-Position Training.” In the West it’s called “Double Stimulation Training.” Or “Feeder Workouts.”

Here’s a Thibadeau article about it.
Double Stimulation Training - T NATION

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Interesting article. I read 3/4 of it but I’ll have to finish the rest later. Might make a good fit for trying to bring up my arms/shoulders

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I think I know somebody who did this. I’ll check with him and get back to this thread.

It was either urea levels, blood glycogen, or both.

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I agree with many of the others here who say they more or less follow what their program says, regardless of how they’re feeling. Fortitude had a lot of room for auto regulation, so I may have changed up exercises just based on how I was feeling, but I didn’t skip sessions. I really don’t like skipping sessions at all and I think the mental doubt that comes to mind from missing a session does more damage than just doing the session even if recovery isn’t “optimal”. There really is no optimal. If you’re feeling perpetually run down and can’t train like you normally do, I would recommend a Deload or a week off. I don’t like overthinking this stuff too much, training is supposed to be hard.

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I use a hand grip dynamometer too. it gives a good indication of recovery. But not necessarily fatigue on a given day. Sometimes I can be strong briefly and have little endurance in that day. Or feel sluggish. If you feel sharp you are usually recovered .

Another thought that comes to mind is macro vs micro. @T3hPwnisher kind of talks about this in a sense; the training session is just that: training. In that sense, it really doesn’t matter if you’re “recovered” (assuming we’re defining that as meaning capable of maximum output). In the macro, though, we want to be able to look backwards over the length of a program and see a general trend of improvement.


Or, if not observed over the length of the program, observed at the END of the program, after a period of fatigue dissipation has occurred.

I’ve had several instances where I’ve buried myself with fatigue, only to take a little bit of time off and come back and smash a PR.


Gotta love that supercompensation.

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This just came out and I haven’t had the chance to look but it probably has useful info: