Post Session Recovery (DOMS?), 28-Days Later, Australia Day January 25th, 2015
Hi and welcome to another week,
Before I say anything at all, remember – tomorrow is Australia Day. This means we will be running sessions in the gym ‘as normal’ for a public holiday (Boxing @ 8.15am and 9.15am, No Rules @ 10.15am and Beginners @11.15am). In addition, we will be running a Beach Bootcamp (free to all our members) down at C. Y. O’Connor beach from 09:30am until ‘about’ 10:30am. After the beach session, we hope everyone will hang around (or even head down later) so we can all celebrate Australia Day at the beach together…bring some drinks, bring some sausages, bring a cricket bat…should be a fun afternoon!
As anyone who read last week’s blog would know, I was away with the family for a few days last week/weekend – 6 nights in all. We arrived home late Wednesday night (well, early Thursday morning actually) and woke up feeling pretty second hand the next morning. There is something about long car trips followed by long plane trips that my back doesn’t agree with…can’t imagine why! J
Against all of my better judgement I made my way into the gym on Thursday to try and get through a couple of ‘shock the system’ classes – ‘No Rules’ at 1pm and then back for ‘1-minute Rounds’ at 5pm. The first session was a bit of a battle as my body tried unwind itself from a ‘sitting’ position but I actually felt pretty good at 5pm. I am sure it wouldn’t have appeared to be all that brilliant of an effort to anyone who had happened to be watching but I felt I worked pretty consistently throughout and only had to be ‘told’ on a couple of occasions!
What happened next though I wasn’t really expecting. I woke up SORE. Really, really sore. Way (WAY, WAY) worse than I had expected and certainly a lot worse than I should have…I mean, I had ‘only’ missed a week of training and the weights I used weren’t ‘that’ heavy. But my legs were really feeling the pain and something had to be done. All of this made me realise that I haven’t been the only one who has taken a break…and therefore I probably aren’t the only person who has some DOMS issues to deal with. If you have just gotten back to the gym and are feeling sore (or you are about to come back and are WORRIED about being sore), following these simple steps will really help your recovery.
The first thing to do when you are feeling sore (like when you have first come back to training or have done a ‘new’ exercise) is to make sure you get enough WATER. This means WATER. It doesn’t mean coffee and it certainly doesn’t mean alcohol. Stay away from nasty stuff but drink water like it is the fountain of youth if you are feeling sore. If you can drink (a lot) of water immediately after your training session that is best of all – if you forget and wake up sore, don’t despair. Just keep your fluids up the next day.
Second is food. Your body is busy enough trying to repair itself without having to be stressed out trying to process any of the artificial ‘stuff’ you are putting in your mouth. Simple rule of thumb after a session – if it wasn’t walking, swimming (or hopping I guess given it is Australia Day) or growing before finding its way to your plate, don’t eat it. First session for a while or a particularly tough session?? Take the time to cook and eat a decent meal or two made with fresh, healthy food.
Third is aerobic exercise. If you want to start feeling better, well, even though it wont feel awesome at first you have to get moving and you need to make the activity ‘aerobic’ in nature. Aerobic activity increases blood flow, removing the metabolic waste products responsible for DOMS and delivering more nutrients to the affected tissues – importantly aerobic exercise (as long as it doesn’t become too ‘intense’) wont cause any muscular damage. Doing strength training when you are sore is a bad plan – it will place your muscles under additional ‘growth stress’ and turn two days of soreness into a week of not being able to walk. If you want more info on using aerobic training to overcome DOMS there is a cool study published here:
http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2012/10000/Effect_of_Aerobic_Recovery_Intensity_on.22.aspx (Unfortunately you will have to be a subscriber to access the full text.)
The fourth step to recovery is to stretch / roll / (self) massage and generally look after yourself. Gentle stretching, gentle rolling of sore muscles is a good idea. Don’t over do it though. I am not a massage true believer (though I know a lot of people do like it as a recovery tool) but deep tissue massage on sore muscles? Again, you want to encourage blood flow without stressing the muscles out…self massage with a massage ball or massage stick is a good way to do this. Foam rolling is also good but again – if you are really sore, be gentle – you are trying to make things better not worse!
If you have done all of that, the last step is to get your whole body into something ‘cold’ – a shower, bath, pool…or best of all, into the ocean. When you are in the cold water, don’t just sit there. Get moving (gentle walking, slow swimming) and get stretching – it really CAN help. If you read this article though (http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sampleworkouts/a/Ice-Bath.htm) you will read that ‘Of the studies that have looked at the effects of ice baths, cold water immersion and contrast water therapy on exercise recovery and muscle soreness, most offer inconclusive or contradictory findings’. That doesn’t mean that the treatments don’t work – it just means that jumping into cold water is not a magic pill as much as we would all like it to be. Like all of the steps listed, jumping into a cold pool is not going to magically cure your DOMS – what it will do (when combined with all of the other steps) is reduce the amount of time you are sore/struggling to walk/move.
Remember that DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is DETERMINED to get you and whilst it most often ‘strikes’ after you have done your first session after an extended break OR have just done something ‘new’, it can sometimes sneak up on you at other times. Don’t stress – look at it as a message from your body that maybe a couple of ‘active recovery’ days could be a good change and spend your training time doing some gentle cardio, rolling and stretching. It will be worth it in the long-run! And if you feel like you are still ‘too sore’ to train even after a couple of days have passed, don’t stress. It doesn’t mean that your recovery regime didn’t work…it just means that you need to ‘stick at it’ a bit longer – lot’s of water, good food, some gentle cardio, stretching and some cold water immersion.
See you in the gym.
Gym Update #1 – 28-Days Later Challenge
Great to see so many people registering for the ’28-days Later’ Challenge. If you are thinking about having a go – and really decide to ‘Have a Go’ – you will be amazed at what improvements you can make in just one-month if you are focussed. I have written all about the challenge in the last couple of weeks and it now has its own blog post which explain all the rules…so rather than tell you all about it ‘again’ if you are interested, just click HERE: http://round1fitness.com.au/28-days-later-challenge
Gym Update #2 – Gym Hours, Session Times and Equipment Use
All of the new whiteboards – ‘Workout of the Week’, ‘Strength plan of the Week’, ‘WOD of the Week’, ‘Cardio Plan of the Week’ – are awesome and it has been amazing to see so many people stepping outside of their comfort zone to do the ‘extras’. We all think it is a great innovation and one that will help people training at Round 1 reach their goals. There is a ‘BUT’ coming though.
We are a ‘CLASS’ focussed gym. If a session is running OR one of the trainers needs the equipment for personal training, they have priority. If that doesn’t fit into your schedule, unfortunately that is too bad – classes come first. What this means is there may be times that you wont be able to access a rower/bike because they are all being used in Boxing, or you can’t get to the power racks because Tanks or ‘No-Rules’ is running…over the last couple of weeks we have even taken over the upstairs weight room during TANKS as we go through a pre-exhaust routine or complete a dumbbell based strength activity.
I guess from where I sit you can see all of this as an opportunity or a threat – and as all of the classes are written up you can always tell what the likelihood of your plans being interrupted in advance are. In any event, if your session is interrupted it is simply a matter of finding something else to do…can’t do the strength plan? Do the workout of the week. Can’t do the cardio plan? Do the strength plan. None of this is ideal (and I know that) but given we design specialty classes that use dumbells, machines, lifting platforms, power racks, pull-up bars, every piece of cardio equipment and (indeed) every bit of equipment you can ever think of the gyms schedule wont always perfectly align with yours.
Be flexible. Understand that in a training focussed environment the scheduled sessions will always take priority over people ‘doing their own session’ and don’t get too stressed out about things.
Gym Update #3 – Wrapping your Hands
I have noticed a little bit of a worrying trend in the gym lately – the number of people attending boxing sessions without wrapping their hands. The most common problem people who box regularly tend to encounter are with their hands / elbows / shoulders. Now, attending a Beginners class every couple of months to lock down your technique is a good way to help avoid shoulder/elbow problems…but hand problems are even easier to overcome. WRAP YOUR HANDS. Whilst I hope everyone buys their wraps from Round 1 (ours are nice stretchy Mexican style wraps) it doesn’t really matter which ones you are using – they all do the same job. They lock your wrist and hand in place when you are punching and really help prevent any/all injuries caused by wrist/finger flexion.
If you are using ‘quick wraps’ (yep, I know, we sell them as well but that’s because people “want what they want – they don’t always want what is good for them!”) then that is a better option than inner gloves or nothing at all but wraps are best by far – when you put them on properly (and it only takes a couple of minutes) they really do provide a lot of support to your hands and wrist. If you aren’t sure how to do them – ask one of the trainers (but probably not 30-seconds before a class starts). There are a million videos on YouTube and more than one way to do your wraps…play around with it until you find a method that works for you. The most common way – with wrist, thumb and finger locks – is shown in the video below.
How to wrap your hands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kgVnNAHLLM
Hand wraps are $10 – or two pairs for $15.
Gym Update #4 – New Bikes are on the Way
As mentioned over the last couple of weeks, some new bikes – Assault Air Bikes – will be in the gym soon. These will replace EIGHT (8) of the Keiser M3 Spin Bikes (we will be keeping 4 for people who want to do some spinning). We are hoping to sell off the Keisers – if you are interested in a spin bike for home, please send me an email to email@example.com. So far we have potential homes for all eight bikes but I am sure a couple of people will pull out so if you are keen please let me know. With regards pricing, I saw a spin bike with no screen (no access to rpms, distance etc) advertised through Nordic for $1295 yesterday…admittedly that is brand new but without the monitoring gauges how would you even know how much work you have done??? The keisers will be available for a lot less than that (around $400 should be enough based on current interest) so let me know if you are interested.
Gym Update #5 – Spartan Up – New DISCOUNT OFFER
OK. I have been banging on about this for AGES and we now have 50 people registered in our team. Which is AWESOME. But I think we can do better than that. Now we have reached the magical number of 50, the Spartan Race Team have given us a 10% off code to help attract MORE registrations…if you are keen to have a go – or have registered but have a friend who is keen to be part of our team – then please send me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you through the discount code.
To register, go to http://spartanrace.com.au/event/perth-sprint-18-april-2015
Our team name is ‘Round 1 Fitness’ – choose the ‘Intermediate’ category. The team password is ‘speedball’.
Email email@example.com if you have registered so I can try and keep track of things!
Gym Update #6– Join PERKVILLE. Join NOW!!!
Perkville is awesome. It is a rewards scheme that gives you ‘credit’ in the gym for every time you pay for your membership/every time you scan your membership card at the front counter. You can then turn that ‘credit’ into TANKS classes, InBody Scans, Personal Training, Protein, new Boxing Gloves etc – whatever you want really!
Signing up really is simple – go to www.perkville.com , enter the same email address that you have registered at the gym and everything else is done for you.
Free stuff at the gym just for turning up? Sounds alright to me!
Link of the week
Some different sled exercises in this video (the backwards push is NOT a favourite of mine) – just a great video showing you how many ways you can use the same piece of equipment with a little bit of imagination. Have a think about that next time you are going through your pre/post class riding/running session – don’t do the same thing. Add some sprints, change the gear/incline, vary the speed. Keep mixing things up for the best results.