Saturday, December 17, 2011

Feelin' Crappy? Take a 'Power Shower'

Recovery is often overlooked in, well, pretty much every training program. When you lift hard, run hard, and train hard week after week, month after month, your going to have to start putting an emphasis on recovery. Even after the most intense of workouts, muscle damage only takes about 48 hours to repair. Unless the damage is done during an intense session with the face trainer:

"She SHREDDED 20lbs of that stubborn, hard to lose face weight. Now, those old jeans fit again, she has her long forgotten college-slut confidence back, and walking down the street with he skull exposed scares off would be purse snatchers."

Anyway, muscle damage is easy to fix. Your body is pretty efficient at doing it naturally but things like food, water, supplements, stretching, ice packs, steroids, etc. help get the damage under control faster so that you can train again. Sometimes, the inflammation from the recovery process takes a little bit longer to subside. Also, another big problem is the amount of stress that your nervous system takes during bouts of heavy training. Like I mentioned before, muscle damage is pretty much fixed within 48 hours. Nervous system activity can take up to two weeks to get to levels that don't mimic that of a schizophrenic serial killer.

"My Fran time is down, my bench press is up but, I am running out of places to hide the bodies."

Damn. She could really use a shower. Actually, she could probably use a Power Shower. Hydrotherapy has been used forever for a wide array of medical and psychological problems... which the women in the above picture has plenty of both. What a Power Shower, or a contrast shower for those who don't like things that sound bad ass, entails is alternating between hot and cold water in certain timed intervals in order to speed up nervous and muscular recovery. Everything from decreased muscle soreness, to increased ROM, to increased levels of Growth Hormone have been found in studies involving Power Showers.

'Well, how do I do it?'

A ratio of 3:1 to 4:1, hot to cold seems to work best. Instead of standing there with a thermometer in one hand and stop watch in the other, just turn the water up as hot as you can stand and count to 45, turn it down as cold as you can stand and count to 15. Do this at least 10 times. Always start with hot water and always end with cold to room temperature water.

You should probably go take a shower now anyway. I can smell you from here.

Sprint. Kill. Eat.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You've Already Lost

So, you want to lose? You want to push yourself hard everyday, eat well, and totally change your lifestyle to completely and totally set yourself up to lose? Of course you do, you want to lose weight. You want to lose fat. Let's look at some synonyms for "lose":

be careless, be impoverished, be reduced, become poorer, bereave, capitulate, consume, default, deplete, disinherit, displace, dispossess, dissipate, divest, drain, drop, exhaust, expend, fail, fail to keep, fall short, forfeit, forget, give up, lavish, misplace, miss, misspend, oust, pass up, relinquish, rob, sacrifice, squander, suffer, suffer loss, surrender, use up, waste, yield.

Holy hell. That doesn't sound like something that is good for you. Think about it. Think about you and your goals. Why the hell would you make a goal based on such a negative connotation?

Well, here is what you have to look forward too:

I'm sure her goal is to lose weight... most people wait until after its actually happened to put the bikini on though.

Turn on the news. Right now. Is it something negative they are discussing? Probably. The world sucks. People suck and do sucky things everyday. Basing your whole training and living regime around a goal that sounds negative and sucky will make you a negative and sucky person. So, how do can you change your goals around to make them sound and seem less sucky and more superhumanly-bear wrestling-kill'em all awesome? Here are a couple tips:

Use Your Scale-... for target practice.

Bathroom weight scales should be illegal. You should need a prescription from your doctor to get one. Unless you have some Biggest Loser-going to die if you don't lose 500lbs-scenario on your hands, you don't need one. Why would you? Are you striving for a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI). Guess what? Insurance companies made this up so they could charge you more money. It has nothing to do with your actual health and well-being. What is more important to you:

-A number on a scale


-Having a body that looks like a masterpiece of Roman architecture?

Here is a practical example...

Guess which one weighs more? Neither. They weigh the same.

Replace Your Body weight Goals... with personal record goals in the gym. You'll start to find the harder you work, the better you feel, and the better you look. Keeping track of records on everything you do in the gym accomplishes two goals:

1. You keep track of and have quantifiable data for progress


2. You build a mental fortitude that can't be broken.

Stressed at work? Stressed at home? Stressed with life in general? The weight of life's problems seem a whole lot more manageable after you've squatted a 30lb personal record. You carry the weight of other people's problems and your own problems all day long. Take all of those pent up, everyday aggressions out on something constructive for yourself. Like putting yourself through a brutal Hell of a workout at the gym. The world can't touch you if the hardest part of your life you put yourself through... so, train that way.

Stop Eating Like You Don't Know... the crap that is bad for you. Eat veggies. Eat meat. Stop eating meals cooked in a microwave or ordered from a crack-head at a Wendy's drive through. You are short on time? Make time. Your life depends on it.

"Welcome to Wendy's, would you like some straight, un-cut rocks with your Triple Classic?"

Just some stuff to think about. Your scale is not a measure of your health and well-being. If it were, all scales would tell you the same number or the only way you would be able to use one is if you were at a doctors office. Blood lipid profiles, resting heart rate, and blood pressure are much better measures of if you are fat or not. If for no other reason, just because these are tests that only a medical professional can administer. You can't just drive to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and just pick up a blood lipid tester. Well, maybe you can, Hell if I know. I've never been inside a Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Anyway, stop doing the easy stuff and start doing what's actually good for you. And, for God's sake, don't jog.

Sprint. Kill. Eat.