Fit Blogs with Scott, CSCS, CF-l1
We are in week 2 of the challenge and the workouts are just ramping up! How is your body holding up? Wait, don't answer that. For most athletes, the first week is all about willpower. Soreness has taken over your life and you are probably feeling parts of your body you didn't know existed. Most of you are cursing the names of your coaches and trying to figure out the best way to sit down on the toilet the morning after squat day. The good news, this is normal!
Fit Challenges are the epitome of accountability when it comes to commitment. Committing yourself to 8 weeks of grueling workouts knowing there's a hydro-static body fat re-test waiting on the other end is never easy. Oops, sorry, did that make you question skipping a workout last week? Well, I hope it did, because 8 weeks will be over before you know it and you will be dunking your head under water having flash backs of the donuts and fast food you told yourself would be okay because it was just one time.
I am going to let you in on a little secret: Soreness is expected! Also known as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is an indicator that you have successfully targeted muscles and worked them to a point of fatigue that now need nutrients and time to recover in order to get stronger. DOMS, for some, can last anywhere from 24-72 hours, with a typical 48 hour peak point. DOMS time depends on your current level of conditioning, diet, and recovery program. I inform all of my athletes there is a fine line between pain and discomfort; most have not distinguished the difference between the two just yet. This takes time and experience.
As your body begins to adapt to a new training cycle, you are going to experience different levels of soreness. Soreness sits more on the side of discomfort. Now, it's important to note that sometimes soreness can restrict our range of motion, due to muscle tightness and fatigue. Additionally, it may restrict our ability to move quickly. These are muscle fibers that need time to regenerate. In order to regenerate, they need proper fuel. This is where Diet and Hydration come in.
The second most important factor of your recovery routine, subsequent to diet and hydration, is mobility. As muscles become stronger, they inevitably become tighter. Restricted mobility consequently adds pressure on tendons, which connect joints, as well as the surrounding fascial tissue. Bottom line: MOTION IS LOTION! Keeping yourself moving with a regular recovery routine in anticipation of DOMS takeover can be crucial in your recovery moving into your next workout. Below are a few tips that I use in order to help my own recovery post-workout to get my body restored, ASAP!
#1- Hydration and Diet
- Check out my previous blog post- https://www.fitsociete.com/blog/training-hydration-tips-1
#2- Post workout foam rolling and stretching routine.
- Put together a 10-15 minute routine that you complete after every workout.
- Easily pass the time by rolling during your favorite 30-40 minute TV show.
- To hit the major muscle groups, have routine to follow. Begin posteriorly with thoracic spine, glutes, piriformis, hamstrings and calves; then move to IT band, and Quads. Give extra attention to any other areas that typically get sore or feel tight.
Think of it as a post workout flush. If you are too sore to lay on a foam roller or mobility ball, try using a softer foam roller or just lean yourself against the foam roller on a wall. This takes away some of the pressure gravity creates laying on the ground.
#3 Schedule a Massage
Sometimes the foam roller just doesn't cut it. I schedule a massage 1-2 times a month. Sometimes more if I have any injuries or a race/competition I am prepping for. Our massage therapists are the best in the business. They will not only help work out those knots in your muscles, but may also help you identify other trouble spots that could be causing other issues. Personally, I schedule a 90 minute massage, but 60 minutes is typically good for most. We offer massage services at all 4 of our Rehab United SoCal locations. Call for details.
#4 Heat or Ice(if needed)-
Forever the highly debated, hot topic of the recovery process. Which is better? When should I use cold vs heat? Do they even work? and so on....
My personal opinion is that if it makes you feel better after doing it, then it works. Now some of that means trying these modalities at different times and learning what best feels good on your body.
My personal preferences and thoughts below-
Heat: I love to soak in the hot tub 2-4 times per week depending on my training schedule and intensity that week. I find that long soaks in hot water allow my muscles the ability to relax so my foam rolling and stretching after my soak are much more tolerable. Just don't bring your snowman in with you...
Ice: Most associate ice with pain. I like to use Ice to numb or desensitize an area that may have some irritation, immediately following my workout. After my own history of countless broken bones and injuries, things like my knees, ankles and shoulders can "flare up" when I increase intensity or weight. Knowing your limits and also how manage this is crucial. More often than not those pains are the symptom of a greater issue meaning somewhere our mechanics are breaking down in our movements. It is also important to recognize that these instances of inflammation should not be a regular occurrence and need to be addressed ASAP.
At Fit Societe we have some of the greatest resources in the industry. If you are having trouble telling the difference between pain and discomfort or have a nagging injury that has been bugging you, reach out to us and we will schedule a free 15 minute injury screen to discuss these matters with a qualified Physical Therapist. We want all of our athletes to progress and progress doesn't come with out education. You have options, but not the option to sit home and do nothing.
Remember, motivation dies, inspiration lasts forever.
-Scott Ryan, CSCS, CF-L1, Director Strength and Conditioning