Balancing “Go” with Enough “Slow”
The business of “Go”. It’s what we do. We’re always going. Same concept in the gym. We go to the gym to lift weights. We go to get stronger, to get faster, the list goes on. That being said, there’s consequence for too much go, and not enough slow. Being able to sustain a solid level of fitness is ultimately what we’re seeking, but it comes at a price. This is a reminder for all athletes at the gym, but especially those who are beginning their journey up to the first couple of years of training for function.
At P360, and life for that matter, we’re constantly using our muscles. Contracting them, relaxing them, pushing them, pulling them, learning how to activate them, effectively using them to say the least. Over time, without properly taking care of them and giving them rest and repair, we’re effectively hindering their capability and efficiency. They become shortened, they wear down, trigger points form, blood flow becomes poor, and in turn it sets us up for serious injury. Picture it as slowly and silently pulling your skeleton out of alignment. A crooked highway, so to speak. Total body health becomes affected. A tight muscle will cause the body to work around it, creating more stress and then it’s all down hill from there. The dirty little secret that nobody tells you is the amount of work put into the gym needs to be matched by the same amount of effort outside the gym. Recovery is a non-negotiable element of keeping the body in check.
Think of it as being the Tin Man and his oil is a remedy of activities such as but not limited to Yoga, self myofascial release (foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc),active release techniques, other massage therapies and so on. Sometimes acupuncture, chiropractic work, cupping, and other forms of repair are very beneficial. This becomes exponentially more important the older you get and the more your body undergoes the stresses of training. Keeping your musculoskeletal system in alignment is and should be an absolute priority if you want to feel good in life. It’s crucial in training for the long game. It’s up to you to find your own regiment. Ask a coach after class what would be beneficial for recovery that day. Take the time to stretch. Get on a foam roller for myofascial work. Use a lacrosse ball or a Theracane and learn what trigger point melting feels like. Build in a rest day every once in a while. Go try different yoga classes. We have restorative yoga at P360 on Wednesday nights at 8pm, which just might be the most beneficial service provided by the gym, and we have flow-based yoga on Sundays at 9am. Take advantage of both classes if you can, but if you can’t make them, there’s all sorts of donation based yoga around town. too.
In summary, don’t wait till it’s too late and you’re all bound up and are cursing because you feel like Frankenstein. If this stuff wasn’t important, I wouldn’t be preaching it. Find your cocktail of recovery methods and start to train for the long game. A wise man once said, ”Never slow down, Never grow old.”