We all know how to fire ourselves up, if we're tired in the morning it's a huge coffee, if we've got an afternoon workout we're going to smash down some ultra nitro hulk rage pre workout formula and crank the music. This is familiar and well rehearsed for us. The problem comes because we can't maintain that 60mph for long, and the more times we go back to our accelerator products the more likely we are to break down. We are under the impression that we need these accelerators to help us function optimally and this simply isn't true. If we are well rested and nourished then the body is perfectly capable of supplying the juice to give you that boost yet most of us never get to see this as we rely on chemical alternatives which burn out our adrenals and take that extra gear away from us.
So what is the answer? We need to learn some braking strategies and incorporate these with as much gusto as we do with the igniters. If you can get yourself to neutral more often you will give your body chance to recover and repair. The more of this that goes on the more gas you will have in the tank when you need to floor the accelerator.
What we're aiming for is true relaxation, this isn't just a glass of wine in front of the TV, it is a distinct psychological state and you will know when you get there. Everything slows down, you feel present and collected, you are in touch with how your body feels and you start to feel rejuvenated. There are many tactics to reach this state and it will be an individual thing as to which is most effective for you. Try out plenty and experiment. The following short list is a good place to start:
- Meditation practice (start by downloading Headspace)
- Mobility routines (foam rolling and trigger point)
- Breathing practices
- Sensory deprivation (float tanks are the dream)
- Guided relaxation
- Contrast therapy (hot & cold)
Once you have experimented and decided on a few convenient techniques to incorporate then you need to start thinking about when you are going to utilise them. Think through your week and identify the times when you're pressing the accelerator. It could be weights sessions, stressful meetings or an early start. Think how you can apply the brake after these moments to bring you back to neutral. Try this for a week and start to notice the differences in how you feel. Do you feel more recovered? Are you sleeping better? Do you need as much coffee in the morning? Do you need any pre workout really? The less you press the accelerator the less you drain the tank and the more you work the brake the bigger that tank gets.
So even if recovery isn't sexy, grow up, put down the tin of Monster and do some breathing. You'll thank me.