Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rest & Recovery

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  1. Countering "Paying Your Debts", how much credence do you give to letting the inflammatory response run it's course? This ideology was brought to my attention from the Starrett post a while back.

    I fully acknowledge your statement: "So for every training session, I do something to balance it out. [...] Regardless of what it is, you must stay on top of it." But what context does/doesn't this apply to?

  2. I read that Kelly Starrett post a while back as well. It stuck with me for awhile so I ended up digging into the research that he sites (Ill post the link to buy the reference material below as well if you'd like to read it yourself). Without going into to much detail, the research was mildly flawed and the conclusions he drew from it are not completely validated by it either. (His video mainly talked about ice as it related to blunting the inflammatory response so ill tackle that issue.)
    That being said, I do think there are better options than ice. Game readys, Combo units, Stim etc. However, Ive only seen those in D1 athletic training rooms thus far and they won't be accessible to many people.
    I do think ice works well, but as I said in the article there are better ways to ice. Ie- contrast therapy. There is some validity to ice causing reduced drainage (as K-start said) due to its mechanism of action, but thats why it is alternated with heat (or even massage). That alone is enough to make his point moot.

    If this comment has a negative tone in any way thats not what I intended at all. Just trying to point out the fact that everything has two sides. And that neither of the sides is necessarily right or wrong. There only right or wrong in a given context.

    In reagards to your second question....
    This will be a bit different for everyone, but ill explain it as it relates to me personally. For every tough training session I balance it with some form of active or passive recovery. Depending on the context it can be different.
    Say I do a intensive CP session in the AM, then i may do a zone one session in the PM to balance it. If I train twice in a given day Ill balance the stress by taking a mid afternoon nap, or doing a EMS/Contrast session that day. Similar to how full time athletes lives/trains, but trying to modify that lifestyle to my own life. Thats where the balancing act comes in. Im not a full time athlete. I also coach and go to school, so thats how I apply it in context to myself. Not sure if thats exactly what you were asking so feel free to follow up on the question if you intended it otherwise.

  3. The first post was playing devil's advocate. I generally engage in activity recovery myself. It's a hot topic right now and hearing multiple view points is good.

    A former colleague of mine put it elegantly. He was from a era of early Chinese Weightlifiting; their top athletes are dedicated to sleep, nutrition, herbalism, message, chiropractic, contrast therapy, acupuncture, inversion, ect. It is difficult to show significance in any one modality through scientific method. However, when factors are combined you make magic happen.

    Out of curiosity, if you rank ordered recovery methods what would be your top 5-10?

    1. Ill rank this in two different ways. Ill list my top recovery method as one list, and the second will be what I think has the biggest impact on my recovery if not done properly.

      Top Methods:
      1. Zone One aerobic sessions- when done at the right intensity these are magic for me in terms of recovery. May also have to do with my background as a 3,200m runner as well.
      2. Compression garments- I usually wear these during higher rep squatting sessions, and Energy systems work. Also wear them after very taxing sessions and before testers. There very well be a mental component to this as well but I feel like it makes a big difference for me.
      3. Cold water swimming/ immersion- joints/ body feel fantastic after this.
      4. EMS- big fan of this and use it 2-4 times per week, mainly on upper back as thats where most issues manifest for me.
      5. Contrast therapy- Use this post workout after tough MAP sessions.
      6. GuaSha- skin scraping technique I picked up from some D1 athletic trainers. I use this when I've got minor orthopedic issues.

      *Massage would be in my top 3, but I don't use it regularly enough to consider it something in my usual arsenal.

      As for what has the biggest impact if not done properly:
      1. Sleep- I need 8 hours minimum per night, usually aim to get 9 though.
      2. Adequate calories/carbs- I have no 'pop' whatsoever when i haven't fueled properly in previous days.
      3. Post workout sugars- Mental acuity/ mood goes down the drain when my PWO nutrition isn't on point (after intensive session). To much is just as bad as to little in regards to simple sugar dose for me.

      On a side note, my top list for methods isn't to say that those are the best. Its just what I've personally found works for me and most importantly my schedule. I've also played around with tracking HRV for quite some time and figured out what tanks/raises my "readiness" which has helped me figure out what lifestyle factors directly or indirectly effect my recovery which I think has helped as well.