Recovery and Repair

Your body will break down…

Most people probably don’t believe this when they adopt a physical fitness regimen to their daily life. It probably isn’t believable that something as beneficial as exercise can actually damage you in the process. I didn’t believe it either in the beginning. I can remember (in my late teens and early twenties) slugging down two to three scoops of pre-workout on my way to the gym, not warming up, throwing around heavy weights for reps or maxes, maybe doing some cardio, and then leaving. All I cared about was the meat and potatoes of the gym and not any other part of the process. The majority of people won’t either until they get injured or can’t walk after leg day (which is a bucket list item for some).

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Smarten up…

Probably after the 2nd or 3rd time that I injured myself  (and the health center was getting tired of seeing me for gym related injuries), I realized it was time to get it together. The first thing I did was buy a heating pad and a belt (The ice vs heat debate is a whole other topic). The belt works well if you want to attach the heating pad to you if you’re moving around a small area or if you want to keep it in contact with the affected area when you’re sleeping. It sounds really bizarre, but it works great.

The next key point is warming up your muscles and stretching. Warming up is essential. What’s best for you mostly depends on the length, content, and style of exercise of your choosing. If you’re bodybuilding or you plan on going to the gym to do a split-set style routine, the best warmup is most likely cardio. If you’re afraid of losing your gainz then you can choose to lift lighter weights, but elevating your heart rate with something other than NO-Xplode is probably of benefit to your person.

Cardio warmup that will also help your core..

One minute each of: Jumping jacks, high knees, mountain climbers, butt kicks.

The best warmup for Crossfit is the “Burgener Warm-up”.

Practicing your weaker skills is also a wise thing to do while you’re trying to warmup.

Stretching…

Never should be done prior to a workout. Several studies dating back to 2004 have concluded that stretching before working out doesn’t prevent injuries at all. Other studies have even suggested that stretching prior to exercise could increase the rise of injury because it increase your bodies tolerance to pain (which is basically the reason why stretching should be performed post exercise). The increased range of motion provided by stretching can also cause increase in potential of injuries (mostly specific to weight training).

What type of stretching you perform should be determined by a range of factors including: your range of motion, the type of workout being performed, the parts of the body being trained, and pre-existing injuries (to name a few).

Yoga…

Was initially hard to embrace for me personally. I had owned a book on yoga poses for men for five years before I decided to give yoga a try. After reading several article on the benefits, I began practicing yoga (broga) for 30 to 60 minutes once a week. I essentially subtracted a workout from my week and added in the yoga routine. I recommend this one as a shorter, more concise, and practical practice…

And this one as a longer, more dynamic practice….

Foam/lacrosse ball rolling…

It hurts so good and works so well. I see these options as putting yourself into harsh pain now in order to avoid nagging pain later. This technique works best if you foam roll everything then hit the trouble spots with a lacrosse ball.

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If you can bear the pain of physical exercise, I’m sure you’ll make it through a foam rolling routine. Once you can handle a regular foam roller, you can step up your game and get a theraroller or rumble roller (and possible another lacrosse ball when your dog eats yours.)

Here’s several ways you can inflict pain on already sore musculature. 🙂

foam-roller

Chiropractor/Massage therapy…

If all else fails and you’re really in rough shape I recommend them. Everything mentioned above is meant to help you avoid these options, but you now have no choice. You’ve made the lunk alarm go off too many times and your PF membership has been revoked. You’re benching more than you squat. Your calves aren’t growing and you’re contemplating implants. You started bulking in September and now you’re peaking too early. I could go on forever, but you get the point. You must now make the ultimate sacrifice. You’ll have to make time in your schedule, pay a co-pay, and have a stranger touch your injured body parts.

FF

 

 

 

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