Recovery.. How to.


Well, now that we have decided that we need to keep a close eye on our training and our bodies ability to recover, the question is: Can we help our body recover quicker?

Yes!

Below are some manual therapies that you can do on yourself. There are other ways to help your body recover. The main one being nutrition. You are literally made up of what you eat and drink. Like the chicken you ate last night is going to repair your muscles that you trained this morning. More on this later but always keep that in mind. I like to think of my rest day as my day to heal which to me, means EAT and EAT well.

You see the above rack (stall Bars)? That is perfect for speeding recovery. Stretching not only stretches the muscles to some extent but it also gets blood flow to your poor muscles that ache so badly that walking hurts. Blood flow is a good thing when it comes to recovery. So therefor stretching is a good first step.

Want to take the next step? See the PVC pipes. They are there for something called Self Myofascial Release (SMFR) which also increases blood flow to muscles while also allowing your fascia to lengthen and stretch as well. This is kinda tough to accomplish from just stretching.

Wanna go even deeper? I will keep with the self help theme and skip massage, but that is a great option if you are feeling super sore or stiff. The next step is to ice whatever hurts or take an ice bath for the whole body wellness. The ice reduces inflammation and creates a vacuum for the blood again to get pumped out of the muscles then be allowed to flood back in to flush much of the stuff that slows down the function and recovery of the muscles.

Of course as we always talk about, sleep, reduction of stress and nutrition play a huge role in your bodies ability to recover. See how this is becoming a complete package? Yeah, it’s that important to have all the pieces put together.

Start with some stretching next time you are feeling a little stiff and see how that makes you feel the next day. Next try some SMFR with a tennis ball or PVC. Lastly get excited about an ice bath for those really hard training sessions.

Want some specific stretches? Come see a coach and point to what is tight and I will do my best to get it worked out before you leave.

Friday S&C Workout:
Seated box jump x4,
Press x4;

5 sets: AFAP
7 wall balls,
7 burpees,
Rest 3 min,
Repeat

Breath…

Breathing.
Or rather WHY we breathe.   Many of you may think you know the answer to the question of why we breathe, but let me talk a little about why it is we really breathe.  You are probably thinking, come on Dutch, we all know you breathe to get oxygen into the body.  You tell me that and I will tell you are wrong.

What really causes us to breathe is the LACK of oxygen in our body.  We breathe because there is too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in our cells which signals our body to exhale and try to get that CO2 out of the body.  We don’t breathe to get oxygen, we breathe to get CO2 out.  Sound like it makes a little sense?

breathe

So next time you are gasping for breath, think about getting all the CO2 out of your body by long exhales instead of gulping at the air like its going to make you feel better.  Slow your breathing and extend the exhale and i guarantee you will get your breathing under control quicker than if you are taking short gulping breathes.

-Dutch Lowy

Tuesday S&C Workout:
Cl+FS+JK x1+1+1,
plank x3;

EMOM x8
6 Thrusters

The Key for YOUR Success

Finding the key to YOUR success is really one of the hardest things to do now-a-days in fitness and health. Unfortunately ,we have been mislead by those we are supposed to trust the most and therefore are left with an empty feeling when it comes to finding the right thing. Sometimes the right thing for you goes against what some of the experts say is right.key

It’s unfortunate that we have been put into this cookie cutter lifestyle where “experts” tell us one thing is right for everyone; whether it’s diet, exercise, sleep of stress. Don’t get me wrong, if there was one answer for everyone, my job would be much easier and I wouldn’t have to learn so damn much, but in reality, and you already know this, WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT.

At Black Box Fort Worth we embrace that. We understand that an effective fitness program for one person includes only weightlifting, while for another it may include some running and for another, it may include a lower stress exercise program. We also see this in your diet. What works very well for me, may not show you the results you want or in fact push you the other way on the spectrum of health.

For this simple reason, WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT, Black Box Fort Worth takes the time to sit down with each new member and come up with a plan that suits them and supports their goals. Interested in finding out what is best for you? Call or email to set up an appointment TODAY!

Wednesday S&C Workout:
KB Floor Press x6,
Wt pullup x4;

3 sets:
40 sec jump rope,
15 sec L Sit hang,
Rest 2 min

Strength Training for the Endurance Athlete

Today I want to talk to those that insist on going long  in workouts (longer than 30 minutes). I want to quickly clarify that I am talking to the people that are endurance athletes (runners, rowers, cyclists etc…).

For those of you that enjoy this type of activity, I am sure you have experienced many of the fun syndromes, tendonitis (word?), and over use injuries. These are the fun parts of endurance and I’m sure something most of you have experienced. A friend of mine, Dr Brian Mulhall, is the expert of putting you back together AFTER injury; but what do you do to prevent that injury from happening?

Let’s take a deeper look at these sports as a whole and dissect what is happening and how to prevent any future issues. The first point to realize is that your training session consist of tons, I mean TONS of volume. In my world (weightlifting) a decent amount of volume for a day is less than 50 repetitions of work sets. For a runner going for a short 2 mile run you may end up with something like 3200 repetitions provided your stride is just over 1 yard. You also have to understand that each time your foot hits the ground, up to 4 times the force of your bodyweight is being absorbed by your body. Different running techniques will absorb force differently but doesn’t change the amount of repetitions at a shortened range of motion. Consequently in weightlifting I can barely squat double my bodyweight for more than 5 reps at a time.

swim bike run

So, what happens with all that volume? Not even looking at the pounding your joints are taking, it is a simple physiologic fact that high amounts of volume done at the same training session results in muscle endurance, but NOT muscle growth and even a bit of a catabolic (Muscle Breakdown) effect. Everyone knows that if you want big muscles you don’t go run 10 miles, right? Provided we have good movement patterns (good running form) you should be able to run to infinity provided we have proper fueling which is another post in itself.

With the above little tidbits in mind, it would only make sense that to combat the catabolic effects of endurance training you would want to add in some Anabolic (Muscle Building) training. To understand this we have to look at what types of exercise there are.
Exercise can be divided into 3 parts.

1. Strength training (1-6 reps) – Due to the way the muscles are stimulated and the intensity (read this as the amount of weight you can move relative to a maximum effort), this causes muscles to activate and strengthens connective tissue. You can think of the effects as being neurological. Basically, your nerves learn how to activate more muscle fibers. I like to explain this by looking at people that are the same lean body mass as your self, but can move way more weight. It’s not muscle mass, it’s muscle activation. This is good for endurance athletes.

2. Muscle Hypertrophy (7-15 reps) – The added volume (reps) and reduced load gives the muscles more time under tension (they are active longer) and causes muscles to grow. This is good and commonly what people think about when they think of strength training unless you have a strength related background. The purpose of this training is to stimulate muscle growth and make your muscles bigger. It is also the fastest way to get beginners stronger in the world of strength training. This is good for endurance athletes.

3. Muscle Endurance (16 reps and more) – This is your sport (endurance people). Running, rowing, swimming and biking as we saw above is tons of volume in a repetitive motion and causes catabolism of muscles and is why you rarely see big bulky endurance athletes.

From a pure training standpoint, endurance athletes need strength and hypertrophy training. Strength training builds strong connective tissue around the joints and muscles and provides stability in joints. Hypertrophy training counteracts the catabolic effects of endurance training while growing muscle and creating a more cushioned body. Muscle mass is important for things other than looks. It is very active in a couple hormonal cascades that are beyond the scope here, but trust me, they are very important.

-Dutch Lowy

Monday S&C Workout:
DB burpee broad jumps x2,
BS x4;

10min AMRAP
400m Row,
12 KBS,
9 pushups

Weightlifting:
Day 1:
-Cl x2
-FS x3
-RDL x4

Day 2:
-Hip SN x2
-Jerk Step Through x4
-SN pull x 3 (7 sec. descent)

Day 3:
-Clean from platform x1
-Clean x1
-BS x3

Day 4:
-Hip Clean + Hang Clean x1+1
-Pwr Clean x1
-Cl Pull x3