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RECOVERY, PART 2 — PSEUDO METHODS

"Stepping into what looks more like a time-machine, and probably costs the equivalent of what time travel will in the near future, cryotherapy is essentially the same treatment as an ice bath"

There are countless methods that claim to be beneficial for speeding up recovery. Before I dive into only a few of them I'd like to say that most of them do work to some degree. This does not mean that they are all a must, and does certainly not mean that you'll have DOMS for the rest of time if they are neglected. Before you jump in an ice bath, cyrotherapy chamber, or buy your own pair of those weird compression trousers, for god's sake, just please get your sleep and nutrition on the right path first.


Ice bath

Taking ice baths has been, and still is, one of the most used methods of recovery across all sports. Although, there is still a never-ending debate on whether it speeds up the recovery process or hinders it. But then again, it all depends on the context. Did you push yourself so hard in training that your knees and ankles are actually hurting. Are they actually swollen from the hard work? Then yes, the ice bath will probably help. Submerging any part of your body in ice will cause your body to restrict blood flow to that area to protect the vital organs, and therefore reducing the inflammation in the area submerged. Although temporary, it even reduces the pain by causing an analgesic effect. Is the above reason is not the case, and you only want to get rid of a bit of soreness? In my opinion just grow a pair and deal with it... Although if you really are that sore, there are definitely methods that are better suited than an ice bath. Like, active recovery.

Active recovery

Ice baths might be the most used method of recovery, but active recovery must be the most overlooked. I believe it is overlooked for one reason: it's seems too simple to be true. People are too much "work hard", "no pain, no gain" and not enough "work smart" and "KISS" (keep it simple, stupid). Success doesn't always have to be wrapped in hard work, sweat, blood and tears. Sometimes, or should I say most of the time, the most difficult of issues are solved by the simplest of solutions. Active recovery is one of the smarter, simpler, and more effective methods of recovery. have you ever had one of those weeks with multiple session where squats exceed 3 reps (something weightlifters are not all that use to, and bloody hate) and your legs feel like jelly? Yeah, sound familiar? Do a bit of active recovery. It doesn't have to be complicated. Going for a walk with your pain-in-the-ass-psycho-barking-rat-looking creature of a Chihuahua might be the solution for a good recovery session. (Don't know if you can tell, but I'm not a fan of Chihuahuas). It's that simple!

Stress Management

When you're training you're breaking down various tissues, and as a result those tissues grow back better, stronger, and faster. While that process is happening you experience a state of physical fatigue. This is what most people associate with recovery. However stress comes in loads of various forms. Training is a very focused type of stress. Other types of stress factors are often work, whether physically demanding or not, screaming kids, traffic, never-ending barking Chihuahuas, screaming kids, lack of free time, and many more. Oh, and screaming kids... Most of your stress is developed though everyday life and is hard to just get rid off overnight. The key then becomes to manage the fatigue that is being accumulated over the span of a day, week, month, or even year. With training it's easy because it's controlled stress. You just program X number of rest days each week and a de-load week every 4 to 5 weeks, and buuub, Bob's your uncle! But managing stress where you aren't 100% in control is a different story.

Prolonged periods of mental stress can affect our physical state and worsen your ability to recover from physical activities. People suffering from anxiety and/or depression often face this complication. Although this is only one symptom associated with anxiety/depression — physical tiredness — it's one that has a big impact. Despite having had any exposure to physical activity, ones energy levels can hit rock bottom by being in a state of constant stress. Stress management can therefore significantly change ones recovery time.

Cryotherapy