Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Flip Side

What goes up, must come down.

Let's talk about an important and often overlooked aspect of training:recovery.  In Krav we are all about GO GO GO, grrrrr HARDER!!!   It can be easy to burn out.

Some people look at rest and recovery as something for the weak, when they are actually critical to remaining strong. This becomes even more important as we pass our mid-twenties.  As I've gotten older (I have a polaroid of myself riding a dinosaur to the local tar pit) I find it's not difficult to perform while training, but recovering takes longer, which can hinder the next session.

If you haven't built active recovery into your training, don't it now. 

Try these methods: 

Stretch.  You have time to stretch.

Speaking of have time to stretch.  Do it.  Ballistic stretching (not bouncing, but not holding a stretch for long periods either) before training, and extended, longer-held stretches after training.  This will keep your body supple and prevent the pulls and tears of muscle and tendon that will keep you off the mat.  We do not have post-class stretching in Krav simply because there isn't enough time.  Do it on your own, preferably immediately.  You can plop yourself down in the lobby or go outside.  

During my morning combatives/conditioning classes (ahem...Mondays & Wednesdays @ 6:15 a.m.) we always spend the last 5 minutes of class stretching.  Do it do it do it.


For "normal" sedentary people massage may be an extravagance, but for us it's a godsend.  Massage will work out the kinks that inevitably develop through training.  You've undoubtedly been told by your instructor to "not be so tense" when you punch.  The tension in your shoulders sticks around, particularly on the arm with which you throw the cross.  Have the therapist work on that - also I have them do extra work on my forearms, wrists & hands, and calves & feet. Those areas take a lot of punishment in training, so help them out.

My husband & I go to Massage Envy once a month, but if you feel that's more than you want to pay, try going to a massage school.  Their treatments are half the price or less of a regular massage and they do a fantastic job - because you have to fill out a grade sheet for them afterward & they want a good grade.  Also, there's no tipping, because they aren't professionals yet.  I used to go here every two weeks & was never disappointed, but there are loads of other schools in town.

If you want hard-core extreme-o napalm massage, try Airrosti.  When you see people walking around with what looks like colored masking tape all over them, pity them and envy them.  They've probably been to the Airrosti guys over on Bee Caves Rd.  It hurts and it's expensive, but it works.


I've been seeing chiropractors Dr. Bob Levine & Dr. Colette Zygmont for years & I'm always looser & in less pain when I walk out of their office than when I walk in.  Dr. Bob has his office right in the Fit and Fearless studio, and charges students only $20 for an adjustment, which is a steal.


If you haven't tried the Yoga for Athletes classes at Fit and Fearless, do yourself a favor & get in there.  The class is included in your membership so you're already paying for it, and it will help you become more flexible and stronger.  

We are incredibly lucky to have Dr. Jonci Jenson teaching yoga here.  She's a Naturopathic Doctor, so she really knows her way around the human body, and her class is not about wearing cute yoga clothes and saying om.  Dr. Jonci has also trained in Krav Maga and MMA (as has Dr. Bob) , so she knows where you hurt and will teach you how to take care of it.  For general health issues you can listen to her weekly radio show or visit her office.  Fore more information click here.

Any yoga you have access to will help your flexibility, strength, and breathing, so give it a try. 


Loads of stuff has been written about the importance of getting enough sleep, so I'll just say this.  One night this week, just go to bed half an hour earlier.  If it makes you feel better, do it again.

Drink water

Try this:  get a large plastic glass & put it by your bathroom sink.  In the morning fill up the glass & slam it as you get ready, before your coffee.  In addition to everything else you drink that day, slam one more glass during the day & one in the evening.  It'll help your insides not feel like all the plants outside look.


I am a supplement maniac, but this is a pretty controversial subject, and one that people on all sides can be loudly passionate about.  If you don't care to supplement, be sure you're eating a very nutrient rich diet & hydrating all day.  I will say that when the economy tanked our income shrank so I cut out our supplements.  I didn't recover as well from training, so I put them back in. Do whatever you want, but it works for me. 

Do something different

People who train in Krav Maga are usually pretty obsessed with it.  It easily gets to the point that it's all you think about, talk about, and want to do.  As fun as this crazy thrill ride is, it's also a ticket for a ride on the Burn Out Express.  Regularly do something completely different, both physically and mentally.  Personally, I walk my dogs on the greenbelt, looking for new plants & animals and also attend a montly book club with nice ladies who don't do Krav and don't want to.  Taking yourself completely out of a training environment (or work, or the one person you spend all your time with) gives your mind and body the break they need to make the best of your time on the mat.  It will keep you from becoming a one-dimensional person & push the reset button on your brain.  

This is a list of all the stuff I do (though the sleep thing often eludes me).  Try the ones that make sense to you, and I'd love to hear anything you do to recharge so I can try it too.

1 comment:

  1. Parker - thanks so much for this post! The part about stretching really hit home with me... I'm super guilty about not stretching like I should after working out. And now that I'm doing a lot of weights in my workouts, I KNOW its more important than ever!

    My excuse for not stretching has been "time" - as in I don't have enough time to stretch. But ever since reading this post when you put it up a few weeks ago I made it a goal to just take 5 minutes to stretch after each workout. Since making that habit a part of my regular routine I'm happy to say that I am feeling even BETTER after my workouts and I can tell what a difference the stretching is making!

    So thanks again for this post as its inspired me to make a very positive change in my workout routine!