We work out to feel good, to feel strong, we do it at Crossfit to feel community.
We’re here to get something and that is a feeling.
A feeling of having worked our ass off. A feeling of having pushed our limits. A feeling of finding our second wind. The high that you have for the rest of the day when you’ve worked your ass off or burning off the days’ stress.
There is a glow, a high, a sense of euphoria that we feel after a good workout.
These are powerful feelings and they’re our body’s way of rewarding us for doing something good.
For many of us there are other feelings get in the way. Things like fatigue, or pain, or tightness.
If feeling good after a workout is a signal from our physiology that we’re doing something positive and beneficial, what do the feelings of tension, tightness and pain mean?
Almost all of the athletes I’ve seen since launching the clinical services lament the time not spent stretching, or foam rolling before and after class. Yes, there is definite benefit to warming up properly, stretching and foam rolling.
The key is understanding.
As an oversimplification think of your body as having a software component and a hardware.
The software is the information element (Brain and Nervous System) and the hardware is the structure (Muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, fascia, etc).
Unlike a computer, both your the software and hardware of your body are under constant remodeling in relation to each other so that the software can change the structure of the hardware over time and vice versa.
The Software controls and regulates the hardware.
One of the most important ways the software component gets the information it needs is in the form of movement.
Movement comes in a virtually endless variety. You can move fast, you can move slow, you can move for a short time or a long time, you can lengthen or shorten, you can hold a position or move through a position, you can load a movement with weight, with time, with reps, speed, you can coordinate a movement with an inhalation or exhalation. The list goes on.
And each change in the variables is another way that the integration between the software and hardware is enhanced.
So think about sensations like fatigue, tightness, tension, even pain as your brain signaling to you that it wants you to do something different.
In the case of foot pain it might mean to lay of double unders for a while and explore your range of ankle mobility for 10 or 15 minutes, in the case of hamstring tightness it could mean a different load profile for deadlifts and stop stretching (!), for upper trap tightness it could mean developing strength and awareness in your mid back.
The take home message is that when you feel tight, sore, fatigued or in pain it is your brain’s way of telling you that it is hungry for something and often that is a change in movement. A new position, a new warm up regimen, a new way of stretching, another position, more endurance, more strength.
Remember, variety is the spice of life.
Variety can extend into all facets of our training and our lives.
Explore new ways of doing things. There is a lot on offer at Outbreak beyond Crossfit classes, including HIIT, Powerlifting, Gymnastics and Active Recovery.
I am thrilled and excited that through the Outbreak Sports Therapy Clinic we’re offering another way of changing it up and giving your body new signals that can help change the way you feel, the way you move and the integrity between your software and hardware.
The tools and techniques that I use are meant to relieve pain and discomfort and give you another tool to feel good. And that’s the whole point.
Train Hard. Rest Hard.