How to Train Smarter and Get Better Results with Red Light Therapy

The way you exercise can depend on your goal. You may want to lose weight, tone muscle, eliminate extra fat from problematic areas in your body, or just feel healthier. With so many people interested in the most effective way to exercise, it is no wonder that there are so many different experts exploring various approaches to physical activity. Of course, you expect to train hard to achieve your results. But, you should always find new ways to train smarter.

If you want to start with creating a good exercise plan today, you will have a wide variety of exercise modalities to choose from as an alternative to the more traditional types of exercise:

Functional exercise – you perform movements your body recognizes rather than doing repetitive exercises at the gym. It can involve climbing trees, running in nature, jumping over natural obstacles, etc.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) –  this is a cardio workout strategy during which periods of high-intensity anaerobic exercise are done interchangeably with short recovery periods.

Calisthenics – also called  “street workout.” It is mainly a straight workout done outside in urban areas, with very little equipment. It involves sit-ups, pushups, chin-ups, dips and similar.

Intuitive fitness – This regimen requires you to be in tune with your body’s needs. Some days, this will be yoga, Other days, lap swimming perhaps. You concentrate on exercising and listening to your body.

Regardless of the type of exercise you engage in, you want it to be effective. One of the best ways to boost the efficiency of your hard work and reach your goals is to use red light therapy as your secret weapon.

To understand how RLT helps you with exercise, it is important to understand how exercise actually works and how those muscles grow.

How Do Muscles Grow Through Exercise?

When you exercise your body does its best to repair muscle fibers. Your muscle fibers fuse together and form new myofibrils.

These are formed because satellite cells come together and behave like muscle stem cells – They add their nuclei to the muscle cells and help them grow.

Myofibrils get thicker and increase in size. In other words, your muscles get bigger. As long as this process happens at a greater rate than the muscle protein breakdown. This is how you actually build muscles.

One of the ways to boost this process and help activate muscle stem cells is to have a red light treatment. 

For your muscles to grow, you need to disrupt the homeostasis in your body. It is necessary to put more and more stress on your muscles and to do it carefully to avoid injury. This stress will cause three mechanisms that make your muscles grow:

  1. Muscle tension. If you apply pressure that your muscles haven’t experienced before, this will activate satellite cells. 
  2. Muscle damage. That soreness that comes after a workout is due to localized muscle damage. Your exercise will cause small muscle tears and your immune system cells will activate and try to repair it.
  3. Metabolic stress. This is the burning sensation you feel from exercise. It can cause swelling due to connective tissue growth and not muscle cell proliferation. Therefore, muscles can appear bigger, but they will not be stronger.

For these mechanisms to happen, you need to eat well and get enough rest. Without both factors, you are in danger of reversing the anabolic process (muscle growth).

Moreover, you can trigger a catabolic state which means that your body will try to break down muscle tissue to replenish the energy you spent.

When you rest, muscle protein metabolism and muscle stem cell processes happen. If you don’t rest, you will not allow the results of your exercise to happen. Therefore, the rest phase is just as important as the exercise phase. Resting doesn’t mean you’re slacking. It means you know how to train smarter.

How Does Red Light Therapy Help You Train Smarter

Beyond improving the muscle stem cell response, red light therapy also boosts your immune system and improves sleep.

By boosting the immune system, RLT helps your body deal with the muscle damage phase and by enabling you to sleep better, it allows your muscle metabolism to grow your muscles.

In other words, red light therapy is not invasive and it doesn’t alter your already established metabolic processes. It helps you train smarter.

Instead, it boosts the factors that are beneficial for such processes and creates the perfect environment for muscle growth.

Here is what science has proven so far when it comes to red light therapy and the way it improves results:

Shortens Recovery Time

When you exercise hard, your body produces serum lactate when you start lacking oxygen. Lactate allows for more glucose to break down even with limited supply of oxygen. 

You cannot go on like this forever, as lactate builds up rapidly and it reduces the body’s ability to do more work. Its purpose is to make you slow down before you hurt yourself. 

Lactate stays in your body until it deems necessary to recover. With red light therapy treatment, you can help your body clear up the levels of serum lactate and speed up recovery and muscle fatigue.

Improves the Effects of Strength Training

Research shows that healthy subjects who exercised in combination with red light therapy showed significantly better results than those who exercised without RLT and those who didn’t exercise at all. 

This group involved clinically healthy men who exercised on levels from beginner to moderate. The exercise involved leg-presses with a load equal to 80% of one-repetition maximum (1RM) in the leg-press test over 12 consecutive weeks. 

The subjects that trained without RLT gained 26% strength in this period, which is not bad. This is the perfect example of how to train smarter.

But the group that got RLT after each exercise showed an increase of 55% in the 1RM leg-press test, more than doubling the effect of training compared to those who didn’t use RLT.

Boosts the Effects of Eccentric Exercise

The research was conducted to determine whether red light therapy can increase muscular strength gain and shorten muscle recovery time in case of eccentric exercise.

There were three groups: control, training and the group of subjects that were training and got treated with RLT.

All subjects went through an 8-week training regime and their knee extensor muscle thickness and peak torque were checked with ultrasound and dynamometry.

The Group treated with red light therapy showed much higher progress than the group that wasn’t. 

Besides these amazing benefits red light has on your exercise results, it can also make your training less stressful. Namely, pain relief is another of the RLT benefits.

Muscle growth, muscle recovery, and pain relief are a winning combination for anybody who wants to train smarter and gain strength in a healthy way.

Find out more reasons why red light therapy makes perfect sense for anybody who wants to stay fit and healthy.