Posts Tagged ‘Recovery’

How do you treat sore muscles after a workout?theraband

After doing a strenuous physical activity, it is normal to feel sore one or two days after, especially if you did something that your body is not used to doing. This is referred to as DOMS which stands for Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. DOMS occur 24 to 48 hours after your workout.

Your muscle fibers get stressed during your workout and small microscopic tears occur in muscle fibers which results in Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. The mild muscle strain injury creates microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. Scientists say that this damage plus the inflammation that comes with these tears, causes the pain. Take note that these microscopic tears does not mean that you should stop exercising. On the other hand, getting DOMS is also not an indication that your workout was effective. You don’t have to feel soreness or pain every time you finish exercising for you to say that they worked.


Why do I feel sore after I work out?
No one is exempt from getting sore after a workout. Beginner exercisers and elite athletes experience DOMS alike. This muscle soreness is simply a symptom of using your muscles and placing stresses on them that are leading to adaptations to make them stronger and better able to perform the task the next time. If you are a new exerciser, don’t worry if you feel sore after a workout. It is normal especially if your body is not familiar with the exercise, and it will go away in a day or two.

How do I prevent muscle soreness? How do I treat DOMS?
The exact reason why and how DOMS occur is not yet known. Several treatments such as ice, rest, massage, heat, and stretching have all been reported as helpful in the process of muscle recovery.

A significant amount of Flexibility is important even to non-athletes.

A significant amount of Flexibility is important even to non-athletes.

Stretching should always be included in a training program. This will keep the muscles from tightening and muscle spasms. Stretching is not only beneficial to treat Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness but more importantly to improve flexibility.

Click here to read more about STRETCHING.

Take a day or two of Rest while your body recovers from DOMS. If you want to keep exercising, try a different activity or do a lighter intensity.

Most importantly, always do a proper Cool-down after your work out. This will ensure circulation to flush out the waste products in your muscles after your exercise.

Research found that applying Heat to treat muscle soreness helps alleviate muscle soreness. The increase in muscle temperature allows more blood flow to the worked out muscles which brings fresh oxygen and nutrients. Applied heat to your sore muscles also helps get rid of chemical irritants that trigger pain.

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What should I do if I want to work out and I’m still sore?
You can still continue to train even when you feel sore, but don’t expect to set personal records or optimal performance. Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness affects only the muscle groups that you previously worked, so you can work out other muscle groups while the fatigue parts recover.

Simply put, take it easy when you’re feeling sore.

Following a well-planned Training Program is helpful to maximize your workouts, especially on sore days. Having a good exercise program will ensure that you can keep up with your training without further muscle damage and minimize injury.

Read more about DOMS here.

In summary:

  • Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness or DOMS occurs naturally and can be felt by anyone, especially if you do something that your body is not familiar with (ie. Progression in your training program, doing a new physical activity or sport).
  • Make sure that you warm-up before you workout and do a proper cool-down after to ensure blood flow to your muscles.
  • Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness goes away in one or two days but you can do some treatments to alleviate the soreness. Stretch the sore muscle or apply heat on it after you work out.
  • You can still work out even while experiencing DOMS. Work on a different muscle group or cross-train.
  • Be able to differentiate pain from muscle soreness and pain from an injury. DOMS usually goes away after a day or two. Also, the soreness from DOMS should not limit you from doing light to moderate activities.
    Seek medical attention if you feel stinging or persistent pain.

Follow a well-planned Training Program to ensure progress in your workouts while allowing enough recovery for your muscles. This will ensure that you maximize gains and minimize over-training and injury.

I can help you get the best out of your workouts from a Periodized Training Program. For more information or if you would like to contact me, check out my SERVICES page and answer the short form so I could know you a little better. Click HERE to continue to the services page.

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Most of us may find it relaxing yet some think it’s the boring part of their workout, but we all know that Stretching is a very important component of our training and exercise routine.

What are the benefits of Stretching or Flexibility Training?

  • Stretching or Flexibility training reduces the stress and tension in the exercising muscles.
  • Stretching can help improve posture by balancing the tensions placed on joints.
  • There are studies that prove that improved flexibility reduces the risk of injury during exercise and daily activities because the muscles are more pliable.
  • Stretching improves performance not just in sports and exercise, but most importantly in everyday activities.


Do you know that it also matters what kind of stretching you do and when?

To get the most out of your stretching routine, do Dynamic Stretching before your workout, that is, moving your limbs and joints to its full range of motion (like doing arm/hip circles, etc, or sometimes mimicking the movement of your activity or sport for a few repetitions before doing the actual movement of your activity. Dynamic Stretching will properly warm up the muscles and joints that you will be using.

Do Static Stretching after your workout — that is, holding specific stretches for each muscle group for 20-30 seconds to let your muscles regenerate. Static Stretching may be the more familiar type of stretching, but it has to be done with precaution. New studies have shown that doing static stretching before training or a competition may be detrimental to performance and can even result to injury. However, it is most beneficial when done after a strenuous activity. Hold static stretches for 20 to 30 seconds per body part for maximum results.

Stretching regularly improves flexibility and minimizes risk for injury.
Watch the video below for more information about Stretching:



If you are an office worker who is dedicated to running but your low back pain from long hours of sitting keeps you from achieving more, then read ahead!

How do you run with pain?

You don’t have to!

The sacroiliac joints – the bones that connect the lowest tip of your spine (sacrum) to your hip bones (iliac) – are considered a source of most lower back pain when your hip becomes compressed, or if there is asymmetry or misalignment of the hips which leads to joint dysfunction and subsequent pain. Compression of the pelvis occurs when seated for a long time, and rotation of the hips occurs in both cycling and running, and combining these two factors can be the cause of low back pain. An especially significant correlation can be seen between low back pain and lack of internal hip rotation mobility.

The development of asymmetry in the hips and improper muscle lengths in the hip rotator muscles can be caused by frequently assumed postures, like sitting for long periods or time or being bent over on a bicycle for hours in the saddle.

This was important to know, and a key to the secret of eliminating the low back pain.

The book “Run With No Pain” is the official, easy and practical step-by-step exercise routine for eliminating low back pain in athletes and includes over 30 exercise videos that teach you exactly how to implement each section of the program.

If you’ve been going to Physiotherapist or a Chiropractor for your pain, then this eBook is definitely much cheaper!

Download it from amazon to your kindle or iPad for only $7.66!

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few days ago, I saw a interesting video where four people ‘competed‘ to know which person could make the most number of squats with their own body weight. Now, they’re not just the Average Joe’s we see everyday, but seasoned athletes in their own fields.

These athletes are composed of a Powerlifter, a Strongman, an Olympic weightlifter, and a Bodybuilder. The people who put this up might have thought that this would finally determine who is the strongest athlete among the four disciplines. We know that following the Principle of Specificity, these athletes subdue themselves to a training program that would best suit the specific goals of their sport, so it is interesting to see which kind of training and technique would result to maximum muscular strength and muscular endurance.

The Powerlifter and the Weightlifter both train to do a 1-rep max in their competition, so they are used to training with low repetitions but at a high intensity (weight). On the other hand, the Strongman and most especially the bodybuilder are used to training with higher number of repetitions at a moderate to high intensity. Each competitor’s body weight was determined and they were set to squat their body weight as many as they can for 5 minutes.

The whole video is 10 minutes long and I didn’t watch all their grunting and groaning. (Disclaimer: the next sentence is a bit of a spoiler.) There are just some moments you may want to see like when one lifter almost loses his breath, or when another lifter fell on his squat rack! Anyway, if you just want to see the results, you can skip to 6:45 on the video timeline for the last minute of their match.

Recovery is as important as training!

Check out “Power Recovery Method” by Joe Hashey, CSCS to know how to get the best results from your workouts just by utilizing rest and recovery properly.

You can watch the video here:

Assuming that you now have seen the video, I can now ‘spoil’ the details!

As I’ve said earlier, the Strongman and the Bodybuilder are used to training at a higher number of repetitions so it’s safe to bet on one of them. However the Powerlifter and the Weightlifter, who trains with low reps and high intensity are the ones who prove to have a little more edge in terms of muscular strength and muscular endurance.


Work Out Wisely!

Eric Cressey, CSCS developed the “High Performance Handbook” to show how to individualize your workouts to fit your specific goals and needs. Don’t waste your workouts. Working out the wrong way is like not working out at all, or even worse if your workout leads to injury!

One thing I noticed at the start (apart from noticing how the strongman kinda looks like an endomorphic Wolverine!) is how the Powerlifter and the Weightlifter distributed their repetitions. The four were allowed to take rest periods at any time and as long as they want throughout the five minutes. The Powerlifter rests every 6 to 8 repetitions in his first few sets. The Weightlifter, even though he does at least 15 reps in the first sets, takes a longer rest period to recover – the Powerlifter eventually caught up with the Weightlifters’ number at 30 squats. On the other hand, the Strongman did 20 straight repetitions while the Bodybuilder did 17. They did not recover long enough before doing their next sets which was detrimental as they were only able to do less repetitions than before. Of course, there was a time pressure for all of them to do the most number of squats but being ‘strategic’ on how fast each repetition should be and how to distribute the sets and rest period was still important.

First of all, this shows how recovery is very important to strength training! It’s not just about how much you lift and how often, but also how you allow your body to have short term recovery (resting in between sets) and long term recovery (resting in between training days or competition periods; periodization). Joe Hashey, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Top Personal Trainer developed a program for maximum recovery for efficient workouts. Many people waste their time in the gym working out the wrong way by not letting their body recover correctly – this won’t produce the results they want and might even lead to injury! Try Joe Hashey’s “Power Recovery Method” to maximize your workouts and achieve the best results in less time.

Secondly, the video shows how it is important to have the right technique and strategy when lifting. Form and technique matters in any exercise program. To get the best out of your training, you should know the right tools to use! An inefficient workout is like not working out at all and sometimes even worse if you train the wrong way and it leads to injury! Eric Cressey, the founder of Cressey Performance who is another CSCS and is an accomplished powerlifter, author, and coach, developed the “High Performance Handbook” which shows how to program your workouts to fit your individuality and specific goals. The Handbook helps you design a program suitable to your needs and even how to modify exercises based on your level. His program is proven not just by recreational fitness enthusiasts (a.k.a. gym rats) but by known athletes and Olympians. He specializes in applied kinesiology and biomechanics which simply means that he has an expertise in program design and corrective exercise for strength development and athletic performance. Try his Handbook for maximum results from your workouts!

Running is generally a uniplanar activity since the movement occurs mostly in the sagittal plane (moving forward and hopefully not or backward). The muscles that support movement in the transverse and frontal planes are left untrained. Runners should choose a cross-training activity that lets the overworked muscles rest and heal while properly working all the other muscles that are usually underdeveloped. Pilates works the core and the extremities in all body planes that will help runners achieve maximum stability.
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Here are some other reasons why Pilates is good for runners:

  • Pilates is a functional exercise and conditions the whole body through natural and flowing movements. This helps develop a runners coordination.
  • Pilates is a body and mind workout that assists in improving proprioception – knowing where your body and extremities are in space. This is important for runners to keep their balance since the movement in running is done on alternating single leg (imagine balancing on one leg, then alternating between legs at a fast pace). This also helps runners to maintain proper footing especially on uneven surface which would help prevents slips and sprains.
  • The Breathing Principle of Pilates engages the right muscles and would help runners breathe efficiently and maintain correct running posture.
  • Overall stamina will improve as muscular endurance in the abdominals, pelvis, hip, and back increase. This is important especially for long distance runs.
  • Pilates combines strengthening the agonist (contracting) muscle while actively stretching the antagonist (opposite) muscle, which will increase range of motion on joints and improve a runner’s flexibility.
  • Pilates is a diverse exercise that can be very challenging! There’s a widespread misconception that Pilates is only for girls because the exercises are usually done in a mat and doesn’t use dumbbells, and because women usually outnumber the men who practice Pilates. It may be surprising for some to find out that even NFL players do Pilates! The bodyweight resistance component of Pilates is actually what makes it challenging. DeMarcus Ware, a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys said “Power is nothing without a rock-solid core. Pilates is the key to activating it. Guys, don’t be fooled just ’cause women do it. It’s no joke. Try it and you’ll find out real quick.
  • ========== o ==========Many athletes and even Olympians do Pilates as their cross training because of the improvements in strength, flexibility, balance, and control that it offers. Lola Jones, a World Champion Hurdler said “When my core strength is at its peak, I can run more efficiently and maintain that extra edge.

    Also, Lawrence Frank who is the Head Assistant Coach of the New Jersey Nets (now known as the Brooklyn Nets, with Jason Kidd as the Head Coach at the time of this writing.) said “Pilates [is] an excellent conditioning tool for the NBA. The strength, agility and performance of my players have increased and Pilates has become such an essential part of our workouts that we take a reformer to our away games. I even have a Reformer for my own home use.

    Leading a Pilates session for Runners.

    Leading a Pilates session for Runners.

    The core training that Pilates offers help improve running efficiency, flexibility, and minimize risk for injury. The dynamic and challenging exercises of Pilates makes it one of the best options for cross-training.
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Pilates is an exercise method that is starting to gain recognition in the Philippines as people search for alternative ways to get fit apart from just pumping iron in the gym. You may have a vague idea of what it really is, and like some people, associate it with yoga because it’s done on a mat, incorporates breathing techniques, and focuses on flexibility. If you’re a guy, you might have the connotation that this method is reserved for girls since it’s ‘more on stretching‘ and doesn’t use any equipment.

Pilates is developed by a man named Joseph Pilates who was born in 1883 (so it’s a lot ‘younger’ than yoga). His father was an outstanding gymnast, and his mother practiced naturopathy. Joseph Pilates was sickly as a child and suffered ailments such as asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. This did not cause him to be discouraged, but it made him dedicate his life in improving his well being and pursuing fitness. He studied anatomy by himself as he also immersed himself in different physical activities such as skiing, body-building, boxing, yoga, and gymnastics. By age 14, it is said that he had sculpted his physique to such an extent that he poses for anatomy charts!

Joseph Pilates

Joseph Pilates and Contrology

Joseph Pilates was originally a gymnast, boxer, and circus-performer. He moved to England in 1912 and taught self-defense to police schools and the Scotland Yard. When Britain entered the World War, he was also imprisoned in different internment camps. Despite of the unfortunate turn of event, this was the start of developing his method. During his imprisonment, he taught exercises to his fellow inmates and improvised on techniques. Because of limited resources inside the prison, he disassembled the beds and used the springs for resistance exercises to rehabilitate the injured and sick. Talk about hardcore!

Joseph Pilates doing an exercise for the neck, back, abdominals, and legs.

Joseph Pilates doing an exercise for the neck, back, abdominals, and legs.

A significant effect of following Joseph Pilates’ holistic approach to health was shown during the 1918 influenza epidemic. Crowded internment camps were good breeding grounds for the virus. However, all those who followed his routine survived the epidemic! After the war, he continued teaching police officers and he also worked with dancers and gymnasts. He was asked to train the New German army, but he was disappointed with the social and political condition of his country so he decided to immigrate to New York. On the boat, he met his wife Clara, a nurse. They got married and founded Joseph Pilates’ studio named “Contrology.”

Joseph Pilates doing one of the diverse exercises in Contrology.

Joseph Pilates doing one of the diverse exercises in Contrology.

Joseph Pilates’ method focuses on breathing, proper posture, and rehabilitation of physical ailments. He wrote several books about his method including Your Health published in 1934 and Return to Life Through Contrology published in 1945.  Dancers, gymnasts, physical therapists, and martial artists have benefited from his method.

He trained instructors Romana Kryzanowska and Ron Fletcher, who developed their own methodology (Romana and Fletcher Pilates) since Joseph Pilates doesn’t stick to one way of teaching exercises – he always considers different body types and abilities. Movements from different practices and disciplines have been adapted to Contrology. He even developed exercises that were based from the natural movements that animals do, like the cat stretch, swan dive, and seal. Other exercises have names that people may be familiar with, like the swimming, rolling like a ball, side-bend, cork-screw, jack knife, saw, and boomerang. This makes the exercises easier to remember and understand.

Today, the method continues to improve and evolve. Many techniques are developed and you can find different kinds of exercises based on his method with the addition of modernized equipment, but the main aspects of Contrology are maintained: breathing, proper posture, and balance. To recognize the man behind this holistic approach to fitness and wellness, the method was renamed Pilates.

Pilates is a method developed by a man who was passionate about being fit and achieving control over one’s body. His experience in diverse fields and practices made his method a very dynamic and efficient way to exercise. Pilates helps achieve proper posture and spinal alignment, correct breathing, develop a strong core, and gain flexibility and balance. It trains your body and your mind to work together for a more efficient movement. The exercises require not only muscular strength and endurance, but also focus and concentration. Whether you are a sedentary person or a professional athlete, you are sure to benefit from Pilates.

So if you’re looking for a challenging and holistic workout, Pilates might be for you!

Try Pilates now in your home through this 12 week program!