Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Since tomorrow is a rest day I thought that I would discuss recovery a bit. The rest day isn’t just meant for lounging around the house and remaining sedentary for an entire day. Recovery tactics like rolling out one’s knots on a foam roller, or jumping in a home made ice bath for 10 minutes are excellent ways to enhance the speed at which one recovers from the rigors of a challenging training regimen.

An excellent way to bolster one’s recovery without devoting too much time is the contrast shower. A contrast shower consists of alternating between cold and hot water in short intervals. I like to do one minute of cold water and one minute of hot water three times. It is quick and relatively easy to implement into one’s day. If you’re going to take a shower why not make it a physiologically beneficial experience? The key to successfully taking a contrast shower is to use the coldest water possible and the hottest water possible intermittently. The shower might not be an enjoyable experience, but the performance benefits are amazing. The theory behind the contrast shower (or bath) is that the cold water causes one’s blood vessels to narrow and the warm water causes the blood vessels to widen. Consequently, blood vessel inflammation is essentially pumped out. I have been using contrast showers for about a year now and I have noticed a distinct difference in how I feel and perform. I simply do not get as sore as I used to.

Diet and sleep also play an immense role in one’s ability to recover properly. That being said recovery doesn’t just happen on rest days it happens throughout the 23 or so hours of the day in which one does not train. I will discuss diet and sleep in later posts...

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