If you’re lifting heavy, it’s going to take a toll on your muscles. Thats why rest days, nutrition, and hydration are so important. Sometimes that’s not enough to support muscle recovery between workouts.

Feel muscle soreness or tightness days after a workout? Massage therapy can help.

But how? A published research study found that massage reduced the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also stimulated mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair.

“The bottom line is that there appears to be a suppression of pathways in inflammation and an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis,helping the muscle adapt to the demands of increased exercise” said the senior author, Dr. Mark A. Tarnopolsky.

Heavy lifting takes a toll

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been lifting heavy and hitting my chest hard with incline cable flys, dumbbell chest flys, more bench press work, and other lifts.

When I started noticing tightness in my chest, I knew it was time to step up my massage therapy sessions again.

Once a week might work for some people, but I feel better with two to three massage therapy sessions a week when my training and intensity level is hard.

A lot of people associate massage therapy with relaxation. And that’s certainly a benefit. There are a number of other reasons massage therapy can help you when you’re weightlifting, building muscle, and training hard.

Ok lets be realistic, unless you are a professional athlete with access to a team therapist or very affluent you are not going to be able to afford massages 3 times a week! However using foam rollers and other self massage devices alongside seeing a professional as often as you can will help.