The recovery phase of training is as important as the training itself because the soft tissue cannot withstand continued stress placed on it. In addition to nutrition and exercise there is a surge of self-massage. There are different ways an athlete can decrease the muscle tension in between seeing a Sport Massage Therapist (either Certified or Candidate). The most popular ones are foam rolling, massage stick, lacrosse ball, and hand-held massage tools. Both foam rolling and massage...
Don’t be afraid of fibre! Fibre helps to manage blood sugars and keeps our bowels healthy. Choose whole grains, nuts/seeds, whole fruits and vegetables more often. Fibre can add stress to the gut, so it’s best to avoid fibre around training and give yourself a few hours to digest high fibre foods.
Setting goals is great, but writing them down (and reviewing them periodically) is even better! Research shows that people who write their goals down on a regular basis are 40% more likely to achieve them than people who just think about their goals (Matthews, 2015).
Motion is lotion. Even when you are sore the day after training, movement can help alleviate stiff and sore muscles.
Strength training for endurance athletes does not have to be limited to the major muscles. For some athletes, training the muscles you use for breathing can help improve performance.
The best time to measure your resting heart rate and blood pressure is in the morning before you start the day. That way, you can ensure you’re relaxed, stress free, and have refrained from food and caffeine!
Looking for an easy and portable recovery snack? Try combining 2 tbsp chocolate milk powder with ¾ cup skim milk powder in a portable water bottle. Add in 500 ml cold water when you are ready to drink. Shake it up and enjoy!
The universe of “not screwing up” is very different from the universe of “striving to get it right.”
Athletes aren’t the only ones who benefit from performance feedback. Coaches and managers should seek unbiased feedback from peers to enhance performance; or, perform a self-assessment by reviewing video and audio of your coaching performance to identify and monitor areas for improvement.
Athletes need to be aware of the signals their bodies are sending them. Knowing the difference between discomfort and pain could make the difference between getting stronger and getting injured. Discomfort or soreness is a sign that you are doing or recently did something that your body isn’t used to – it’s there but more in the background and often improves with activity. Pain is a signal that something could be wrong and you should decrease all non-essential physical activity until the...
One of the most persistent myths in strength training is that muscle soreness represents progress and that if you are not sore the next day you did not work hard enough. This is based on the notion that breaking down the muscle causes them to increase in size and strength. This is an overly simplistic approach to a series of very complex physiological changes at the cellular level involving many hormones, growth factors, and nutrients. There is little scientific evidence that breaking down...
Travelling from a generally colder climate like Ontario to a hotter and humid climate such as California, Mexico and South America, presents challenges to exercising people. This is because our body is not yet adjusted (acclimatized) to these new ambient conditions. Before a sporting event, train in the heat, with more layers on, or arrive well in advance (5 days) before the competition allowing your body to adjust to the hotter climate.
Did you know that consuming fluids with sodium during practice, or including salty snacks with water, can help retain body fluids? Examples can be sport drinks, salted crackers or pretzels.
Feedback is a powerful tool. Consider what, how, how much, and when to provide feedback as well as the athlete’s preferred learning style.
Remember you don’t have to become what you are experiencing. You can be aware of what is happening in your body, mind and feelings. Be aware of it and you can choose how you respond to it.
It is important to understand the difference between delayed on-set muscle soreness and pain due to injury.
Strength and conditioning is a process, and should be considered long term in duration, that is multiple years of accumulated deliberate practice is required to achieve optimal performance outcomes. Finding ways to create accountability for attendance is a key to success. A dedicated schedule with a trainer or training partner is a great method as it makes you accountable to another person and not just yourself.
When possible, re-testing should be conducted at the same time of day as the original testing, with the same individual(s) conducting the tests.
Performance variability is important to monitor in order to know when a performance is within an individual’s normal range and when it meaningfully increases/decreases.
Breathing: Effective breathing is a secret weapon that you can use whenever you need to. It is however, harder than you think. To develop the ability to calm yourself by breathing deeply, takes focused effort and practice. Start developing the skill by taking 3 or 4 minutes each day.