Recovery: Saturday Musings

In light of today's rest day, I thought I'd blather on about the importance of recovery. I've talked about it a lot and it's so damn important, I'm gonna keep on going. I'm sure most of you are currently sleeping off a hangover, frequenting a farmer's market, or asking Fanny to stop yelling at you. Either way, please find the time to read this post at some point during your weekend.

If I haven't mentioned the 23/1 Rule, now is the time. You're in the gym for at least one hour a day - getting strong, improving your mobility, and just plain busting your ass. After that, you have 23 hours to fuck it all up...

Why Haven't You Gone To Whitney Yet?

Look, I know you're not all millionaires rolling around in piles of money and driving Ferraris down the Autobahn on the weekends. But I do know that you all probably make more money than I do, but that didn't stop me from dropping money on a massage on Thursday night. I'm convinced Whitney's hands are magic.

As you may or may not know, I'm training for the Blue Ridge Open in May. It will be my first Olympic weightlifting meet ever and I'll probably finish last in my weight class. Regardless, I'm taking my training seriously and since I knew the DB Bear would throw a major fucking wrench in my training, I was proactive in my recovery. I immediately took an ice bath afterwards and I scheduled a massage with Whitney - and it was 90 minutes of awesome. You need to appreciate that proper recovery is just as important as all the work you do in the gym.

Also, although a massage session is usually expensive, Whitney's rates are actually very reasonable compared to other practices. And as I've said before, Whitney is very professional, very skilled, and really enjoys what she does. She also complimented the size of my lats. Foam rolling and lacrosse ball work is very effective, but sometimes you need to splurge and get the real thing. I guarantee you won't regret it.

Why Aren't You Taking Magnesium?

As far as minerals go, it's probably the most important one you're lacking. In an interview on Eric Cressey's website, Dr. Rick Cohen of Bioletics says the following:

"Magnesium is not only the single most important mineral in sports nutrition, but it is also one of the most critical elements in our body. About 350 enzymatic functions depend on magnesium, including ATP, the key factor that creates energy for every cell. Optimal magnesium levels enhance athletic endurance and strength by increasing metabolic efficiency. Magnesium promotes muscular contractility, decreases oxygen consumption, and improves cardiovascular efficiency.

Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is very common. Inadequate dietary intake, sweat loss, physical and psychological stress and acidic beverages-such as energy drinks and sodas-cause the body to extract both magnesium and calcium from the bones and tissues in an effort to maintain proper blood pH. This combination of mineral loss and acidity in the body will decrease athletic performance and prolong recovery. It will also increase bone turnover and the resulting risk of stress fractures. This is exactly what we were seeing in younger female athletes with accelerated bone loss."

Why Are You Half-Assing Your Foam Roller Routine?

I'm kidding. For the most part, you guys have been very diligent with your pre-workout mobility stuff. I thank you for this and I hope it has made a difference in your day-to-day progress. Still, from time to time, I see some of you guys really flying through it. To get the most out of it, you really need to dedicate some time to each section you're working. This means going back and forth for many repetitions at a slow, controlled pace. Don't rush through the tight spots because they hurt; work on them until they feel better. This stuff works. Plain and simple. And the more you do it, the better you'll feel. Just doing it at the gym isn't always enough. You have to be proactive in your recovery.

Therefore, it would benefit some of you to buy your own foam rollers to have at home or in your office. I purchased mine from Power Systems.

Here is an article from Eric Cressey with some additional foam rolling exercises you should try. Below is a video of the routine he puts his athletes through before they begin every training session (obviously, the video demonstrates an abridged version).

"Everyone who foam rolls gets hooked on it, and everyone who doesn't thinks it's stupid. Do me a favor and spend seven dollars and buy a 12-inch foam roller. It'll change your whole life." -Mike Boyle

Don't fuck everything up in 23 hours.

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