Posted on July 15 2016
Sometimes finding time to recover can become overwhelming and get pushed to the side. There are so many other things to do that often times we mistake movement for achievement. It’s important to find a few things that work for you to help you recover physically and mentally and make small changes toward building them into your daily routine.
During this busy season for a CrossFit Games athlete, these are a few things that work me:
Electrical Muscle Stimulation – These systems are a great tool to help promote muscle activation. They have rehabilitative effects and can aid in recovery through increasing blood flow. It works by using electrical impulses that resemble the action potential that comes from the central nervous system, causing muscles to contract. Using an EMS system can provide greater contraction compared to normal voluntary contraction, thus utilizing more muscle fibers. EMS is an easy way to bypass the CNS as not to overload it. This is vital to my training and recovery as overloading the CNS can leave you feeling lethargic and fatigued. My favorite system is the Power Dot. It runs from an app on my phone and is almost completely wireless so it’s easy to transport and run.
Recovery Nutrition/Omega 3 – Nothing is more important than eating clean food and a lot of it when training hard for the Games. Of course, pre-workout supplements and post workout shakes are an important part of my day to make sure I get enough calories. I also take an omega 3 supplement and I notice a huge difference. Omega 3 fatty acids, like those found in Progenex Omega+, have major benefits in reducing inflammation and accelerating recovery.
Slowing Down – I truly believe that some of the most valuable time is spent alone, doing activities such as praying, meditating, practicing yoga, or journaling. I find that the most effective time for me to participate in these disciplines is early in the morning. By starting my morning the right way, I find that I can get the most out of my day.
Sleep – Sleeping at least 8 hours every night during the tough training season is more important for me than almost anything else. Sleep is when you grow and get stronger and your body makes changes. For me, it is important that I put away electronics and take some time to let my mind slow down before I go to sleep. There are also supplements you can take to aid in sleep like melatonin, magnesium or casein protein.
I personally will curl up with Progenex Cocoon before bed. Cocoon has casein protein which stimulates protein synthesis through a sustained release of amino acids throughout the night, promoting muscle building while preventing muscle breakdown. It also contains tryptophan (yes, like in turkey) which reduces sleep interruptions while fostering deep, sound, restorative sleep so that you wake up feeling rested and fully recovered.
Training and competing is not just about physical prowess. There is a large mental component. The same is true for the mom raising three kids and the dad working to provide a lifestyle that is sustainable for his family. The mental aspect of the daily grind is more important than the ability to physically make it through the day. If we can properly prepare for what lies ahead, then when adversity strikes, we will be empowered to find peace, joy, and fulfillment in the midst of the surrounding chaos.