The Three R’s
First off, a little house keeping stuff: I’d like to introduce a few more awesome contributors to the site! Everyone give a warm welcome to Justin Kompf, Michael Sawyer, and Jared Evans! All of these guys have an extensive knowledge in several areas of human performance. These guys are putting in the man hours to bring you the science you need! Be on the lookout for articles ranging from correctives, mobilization, workout challenges, and advice on how to improve your overall quality of life, which brings me to the main point of today’s article: My “Three R’s.”
First R: REST
I cannot begin to explain how incredibly crucial this component is. If you aren’t getting around 8 hours of sleep per night, you’re hindering your chances for improvement. The National Sleep Foundation says that the average adult needs about seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Granted, one night here and there isn’t a death sentence, but there are some acute effects of sleep deprivation, such as impaired fasting glucose the following day (also know as PRE-DIABETIC).
- Increase risk of stroke
- Increased hunger hormone (ghrelin) production and limited leptin
- Increased insulin resistance
- Contribution to osteoporosis (as per animal testing)
- Increased risk of cancer
Honestly, the list could go on and on. Moral of the story: whatever you have to do to get around 8 hours of sleep, DO IT! We, as a society, love to make up excuses; unfortunately, strokes and cancer don’t care about your excuses, so get some sleep!
Second R: RECOVERY
Okay, so this overlaps the Rest component; but, this is more so along the lines of what you are doing when you are awake for recovery.
Everything from movements to nutrition. Obviously, we all know to eat our veggies, but what about other supplements? Recently, I have become a huge fan of amino acids for recovery post-workout. From my experience with amino acids, I have noticed a much quicker recovery time from workout to workout. This is great because the idea is to put maximum effort into each session to gain maximum results; but, what about the actual science behind it? Jessica Seaton, current chair of the USMS Sports Medicine Committee, writes,
“Several studies have shown that adding protein to a carbohydrate mix will significantly enhance the release of insulin compared to carbohydrate alone. The type of protein most quickly absorbed is whey hydrosylate. Adding amino acids to the protein increases their availability to be used as building blocks. The most important essential amino acid in a recovery drink is leucine, because it works synergistically with insulin to maximize protein synthesis.”
In addition to proper nutrition, there are TONS of things you should be doing everyday to help your body be as efficient as possible. These are things like correctives, mobility drills, practicing technique, etc. Just because it’s a “rest day,” doesn’t mean you should take the day off from improving your quality of life. If you know you have shoulder issues, you should be working on shoulder mobilizations, stretches, and correctives. These off days are also a perfect opportunity to work on that sloppy squat form with a light technique bar or wooden dowel, or loosen up those tight lats which prevented you from getting your elbows up and under the bar on your clean the other day. Don’t waste your chances to make yourself move and feel better. For a pretty awesome list of different mobility drills, do yourself a favor and either google Kelly Starrett or check out this site: Mobility 101 (which sites Kelly a lot actually).
Third R: READ
I guess there should be a little asterisk next to “Read”, just because there are people out there who retain exactly none of what they read. They are visual learners or hands on, etc. So depending on who you are and how you learn, decide if you should be reading new research, or watching videos of seminars, or attending conferences and trying things out. The moral of the story is NEVER BECOME CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU KNOW! As soon as you become content, you fall behind. Every day there’s a new study coming out proving this that or the other thing. You never know when your “FACTS” will become fiction because some other guy or girl had the idea to challenge traditional thought. So stay on top of your field by reading, watching, listening, and/or trying.
By utilizing my new three R’s, you can achieve new levels of success in so many facets of your life. You’ll move better, you’ll feel better, and you will know more than you did the day before.
Give these R’s a try this week and see how ya feel, you won’t regret it!
-Weakness into Strength-