What are you doing? Coming from me, this question holds a double edged purpose; rhetorical in nature, with a genuine undertone of inquiry. What kind of stimulus are you looking to achieve with the actions you’re taking? I agree there are different strokes for different folks; however, you don’t go seducing someone you dragged home from The Roxy with the soulful stylings of John Legend.
Below are two main thought processes when ramping up and cooling down; however, I’d like you to consider this with every training habit you’ve picked up. Think about the time you spend finicking with a wooden dowel, or shopping around your hip with a big green band. What is it you are trying to accomplish? How can we help you better understand the reasoning behind it, or where better to apply your efforts.
Consider the following:
Your body should primed into a sympathetic state, when prepping for action. We’re talking about activities that lend themselves to exciting the nervous system and eliciting flight or flight responses. Now we don’t want to go getting you too excited; that novice lust can turn a wrong corner when your heart rate is peaking while you fumble away with the wrapper. “I just remembered I had to work tomorrow...”
- Trade up the foam roller for a few minutes on the erg (rower). A little aerobic ramp up to get the blood pumping with some low-level movement is a prime option; I’ve always approved of the my clients bicycling to class. From here you can start to tinker with controlled rotations and “activating” tissues for control. After that you might want to play with foam roller in smaller bouts in combination with any additional exercises.
Address your nerves for action, then allow us to lead you to training nirvana. The coach led warm up will prime you specifically for the tasks of the day’s lesson plan.
Your body should be primed into a parasympathetic state, as this is best for recovery. We’re talking about activities that cue the nervous system for tranquil functions. Here is where you can jump start the process of change; it’s a lot easier to see what should have gone where after the fact, Captain Hindsight. This is an opportunity to create change and prepare for a more outstanding performance, next time. If you never recovered from your last session, why do you think your next one be any better?
- Jump on that foam roller and get after those soft tissues. Stretch it out and consider practicing some slow calm breathing patterns that will shift you into healing..
Address your nerves for healing, then make your way home. We want to make sure you’re ready for the days ahead.
It’s easy to let the strength and conditioning be your only source of focused training. Understand your individual needs and if you’re looking to train like an athlete, then respect your recovery as a professional would. It’s all part of a well balanced lifestyle.
Emile Maxwell Connaughton