The therapist was literally tried to squeeze out those knots off my shoulders. The pain was excruciating and I had no freaking clue how I would survive the day, late alone take the time to publish this post!
And I was quite frank admitting that stretching and cooldown were totally missing from my routine. Not because I didn’t care about but I just didn’t have the time to. “Well, now you have to make it,” said the therapist before she squeezed another knot out and towards my deltoids.
Despite the pain, I know I had to be brave and ask her the ultimate question. What do you think I should do to fix my training sessions? She asked, “What’s it like right now?” (My usual instinct at such a question is to shrug, but I couldn’t risk it right then. So, I answered…) “Mobility drills for like 5-10 minutes before the workout, training session and then shower.”
She suggested that I just add a few minutes to cool down and stretch out my muscles. Form rolling can be part of the routine as well since it’s one of the most effective ways to a myofascial release. And an ideal cooldown session wouldn’t last for 15-20 minutes. More isn’t better. Just enough is the most effective.
I couldn’t argue with that logic. Else, I wouldn’t have been there in the first place. For someone who injured himself despite a (near) flawless technique, I think I needed to hear that — skipping the basics would only hurt me. A strong reminder that I should practice what I preach.
So, here’s a core tenet when it comes to training the gym (irrespective of your status — professional, amateur or recreational… and yes, even the bros and sis’):
- Mobility drills — I found Jon Engum’s book Flexible Steel quite resourceful for this. They are simple to learn and follow. Check out his website for more details.
- Training session — hit me up if you’re keen to get stronger and adopt a healthy diet.
- Stretching and cooldown — Been re-reading Pavel Tsatsouline’s Relax into Stretching the past 45 minutes. It’s a great book to incorporate drills from!
Of course, there are other fine resources out there too! But I find the simpler ones to be more useful and approachable. Pavel and Jon (and I, for the most part) come from the same school of thought. Hence, the recommendation.
You can go ahead and ignore this aspect of training completely. Just remember me when you’re screaming at the top of your lungs as the therapist squeezes the knots out of your shoulders/back/ass/whatever. 😉