I got 99 problems but recovery aint one….

By Sam Cannons.

So you just finished your 5RM Back squat, now you’re stuck on the toilet and cant get back up…

Lets start with the basics first. How many hours sleep did you get last night?

If you’re training hard you need to be sleeping 8+ hours a night going to bed before 11pm! Now with life always getting in the way that’s not always possible, so its important to maximise the quality of the sleep you do get. 

Things like, how quickly do you actually fall asleep? How often do you wake during the night. If these things are lacking you might want to consider a sleep aid supplement such as ZMA, Natural Calm or Melatonin. These are natural supplements that can aid in your sleep quality.

While Ice is currently a hotly (no pun intended) debated topic and there is some good research for and against its use, it’s an easy and cost effective method. My 2 favourite methods are 1. Using a polystyrene cup filled with water and then frozen as an excellent ice pack for small direct areas and 2. Simply turning you bath tub into an ice tub and spending 10min freezing away my pains.

Self-Myofascial Release/Foam Rolling. You already know that foam rolling is great for decreasing stiffness pre-workout. So it makes sense to try it out and at different times in an effort to get loose and prepared for your next workout? I’ll often foam roll the night AFTER a heavy workout, or even the day before to get nice and loose. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it definitely works.

Epsom salt baths is another tool that I like to implement frequently. A good Epsom salt bath a night or two after a big workout helps twofold. Firstly, magnesium can be absorbed through the skin so that blood magnesium level are increased after the bath and secondly, soaking in the hot water help to relax you. 

Most leisure centres have hot tubs and saunas that can be accessed relatively cheaply. A trip there on your rest day, spending some time going between the hot tub, sauna and doing a few gentle laps in the pool can make a huge difference and is a personal favourite of mine.

Hot/Cold contrast therapy is another way to add some needed recovery work to your day. This simple inexpensive method involves having a hot shower and quickly turning all the heat off and going all cold and then back to hot, cycle through this half a dozen time and vary the times but if you can stand it always finish on the cold!

Moving up the price we have Massage, ART and other hands on Soft Tissue work. While costly this pays big returns on your investment. Not only can hands-on therapies address tissues and restrictions that you simply can’t touch with a foam roller or massage ball, but the quality of your movement will improve drastically as well. 

Dynamic Mobility, stiff, or beat-up, simply going through your warm-up on your off-days is a great way to groove better movement and restore lost function.

 And finally, another favourite with a good amount of research to back it up is hydrotherapy (pool sessions). Simply moving around for 20min in a pool can do wonders for your recovery. Performing simple drills in the shallow such as walking forwards and backwards, carioca, high knees ect.  

There you have it, some of my favourite recovery methods to get back under the bar quicker.