I’ve been absorbing as much information as possible while here at MBSC and taking notes along the way. I thought I’d share some of the best quick tips I have for your rehab and fitness goals that I’ve either learnt over here or had re-inforced as valuable lessons.
11. The benefits of a cool down: I’m sure we all do it – finish our last set and leg it off to the next thing in life; be it work, a long journey home or running errands. Entering parasympathetic state by cooling down however can pay dividends. The professionals at MBSC took their time to cool down, chat and foam roll and I have been reflecting on how beneficial this would be to their recovery. If we are still in ‘fight or flight’ (sympathetic) mode when we leave the gym, then our circulating hormones (particularly cortisol) are set up to continue to break down our muscles rather than start building them back up again. Nasal breathing for a count of 4 seconds in, 8 seconds out x 5-10 times before leaving the gym could be your ticket to a faster and more effective recovery – this will help the body to tap into its parasympathetic (rest and digest) state.
12. Working around an injury – pro ice hockey player Hilary Knight was injured the day I went to observe the pros. However, she still did a complete workout. She simply had to modify it with lighter loads and some alternative exercises in order to avoid aggravating the issue. I have also seen people come in on crutches, with a healing broken hand and post-surgery to take part in either one-on-ones or group sessions*.
Too often people are afraid to do anything when one body part hurts (or are happy to take the excuse that they have to ‘rest’) when in actual fact they are only prolonging the healing process by not keeping active. This is something that requires more than a few words to explain so I’ll have to just give you the bottom line: just because one body part hurts, doesn’t mean the rest of you can’t be trained! This is something I’ve used myself such as when I had foot surgery last year.
*CAUTION: Do not do this without professional advice first! The reason this works with myself and coaches at MBSC is because we are trained to know how to adjust things safely.
13. I attended the Perform Better Summit in Chicago at the beginning of August. It was 3 days of incredible talks and practical sessions with some of the industry’s brightest members. There were 860 attendees and this was only one of four sessions this year! To see all the lessons I chose from it to share, see my Facebook posts here and here.
14. No obstacle is too great – smaller venue, same plan. The MBSC facility in Woburn is 13,500 sq. ft but in Middleton it is only 7,500 sq ft. Despite this, the exact same programmes are run in both venues with the same group sizes. The important thing is to realise that you can make any size work for you, with the right planning and determination. Dan John is particularly fond of a no fuss approach when it comes to gyms and encourages people to set up their own equipment at home. (This could also give you great flexibility and privacy for personal training!) So when searching for a venue to train in, focus on the personnel more than the equipment as a good trainer can make a great plan out of any equipment available.
15. Consistency breeds talent. This is the 8th week of the programme and there is a stark difference between the athletes who have been coming consistently and those who haven’t. Those who’ve attended more often look more athletic and move better and have seen their numbers increase from week to week. This seems obvious but it’s worth mentioning. Signing up for a plan doesn’t get you results. Showing up does. Remember this when setting your goals.
As ever, if you’ve any questions just ask!