A guest post by Fitness Ninja/Bodywork Wizard John O’Mahoney
Remember “Training Is Like Farming?” Well, Recovery is like ROMANCE. For today’s purposes, I’m talking about the type of romancin’ you hear about in rap songs, not R&B. Basically…pimpin’. You want to get in there and make some magic happen in the gym. Dazzle your body with deep, stimulating exercise like it’s never seen before. Rock its world. Then you wanna not call it for a day. Maybe e’en 2. Let that sweet little body of yours think about all the lovin’ you gave it yesterday and figure out how it’s gonna get ready for round 2. Your body might need to buy some sexy new underwear to keep you interested the next time you come over to play. It needs a day to figure out how it’s gonna keep up with the kind of pimp game you’re throwing down. In other words, it needs a chance to adapt. Wait for your body to txt you. Trust me, it wants more of that thug-love.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but you really only get stronger in the time between your workouts. When you work out hard, you tell your body that you are expecting more from it. While you rest and recover, you give it a chance to build the new muscle you want and strengthen bones and ligaments.
Now look here, if you’re just looking to hit it and quit it, then a little rest and some good sleep is gonna keep you going for a few weeks. But if you want go a little further than the 3rd date, you gotta put in work. If you wanna keep that body working for you and coming back for more, it needs some extra attention. You wanna give it some space to breathe but maybe send it some flowers at work to let it know you’re thinking about it. Around here we give flowers in the form of long, hard, black (occasionally white, but those aren’t as hard) shafts and little orange balls.
Foam rollers and lacrosse balls are great tools for prepping your muscles for another round of exercise. The techniques we teach are called Self-Myofascial Release. They help to break up adhesions and clear metabolic wastes created by the extra exercise your muscles have been getting. They also help to “loosen” the muscle fibers and allow them to move more freely through their fascial sheath. WTF? (Sorry, I just can’t seem to find a good metaphor for massaging and lubricating muscle-y tissue so it can slide through a tight sheath.) Questions? Come ask me or any of the other instructors here how it works. In the meantime, JUST DO IT. It hurts at first, but as you get in there more and more it starts to feel good.
OOPS. You caught feelings. You might have fallen in L. O. V. E. with moving that body and getting better everyday. You can’t get enough, and you might just wanna commit to a relationship. Don’t be scuurrred. No one will ever stay as close to you. Your body IS the partner you’ve been looking for. You know what that means. You gotta take the time to get to know this corporeal form that sustains you. You gotta invest real time and effort in your relationship. Plan a vacation where the two of you can really get to know each other away from your busy lives. Get massages together at the hotel. (Wait.. the metaphor is blurring into the point I wanna make…)
MFF highly recommends utilizing a licensed massage therapist
Seriously, massage is an incredible tool for boosting your rate of recovery from exercise. Recently published studies have shown that massage definitively reduces post exercise inflammation, which is part of what causes all that soreness the next day. As if less pain wasn’t enough, the same study found that, after a massage, there was “‘an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis’ helping the muscle adapt to the demands of increased exercise.” That means what you’re hoping it means. Massage helps you get stronger faster. Rest periods give muscle cells time to adapt to the new challenges you’ve set for them. We offer massage therapy sessions that are very affordable at MFF, as well as workshops so that you and your friends and lovers can learn to massage each other. Together, we’ll heal the world MuthaFuggas!
So if you’re ready to have a relationship with your body that lasts a lifetime (guess what, you have NO CHOICE!), give back to it as much as it gives you. Give it R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (I guess it is more like R&B). Cuz if you let that abusive relationship continue, one day it’s going to show up with a baseball bat and cripple you. I’m not kidding.