Blog 40 – FORTY!
I probably start every 10 blogs out by stating, “when I started writing these, I didn’t think I would make it to X blogs.” And yet here we are again! FORTY!
Since this is clearly a special occasion, a blog-iversary if you will, I’ll save you from another blog about Fall Goals (but seriously talk to your coach, check out the goal pole, etc.), and instead I’ll go back to one of my favorite dead horses – REST, BABY!!!!!
If you were fortunate enough to check the website on Tuesday or show up for Group Strength on Wednesday, you may have had a mini freak out/fit of rage/any other “WTF, Nigel?” meme-worthy reaction at the thought of squatting for 20 reps (It’s going to be ok). But before I get back on my soapbox of rest, let’s take a minute to reflect on all of the things that the return to programmed strength cycle signifies:
- Some sort of guarantee (albeit not exactly in our control) that we will be in the gym, lifting heavy shit for the foreseeable future – a special thank you should again be passed out to every member at the gym for doing our best to keep the community safe no matter how sweaty our masks get
- FUCKING GAINZ – After all, “thick thighs saves lives…” according to Lizzo
For those of you who have allowed me to assault your eyes and brains with my words in previous blogs, you could end your reading here. You know what I’m going to say. We all work out plenty, and don’t recovery enough. And the only thing that tells you that you need to “work harder” is a bullshit fitness industry that continues to cycle and appropriate language around wellness to continue hold a false control over our bodies in order to prioritize the monetary growth of an industry over actual health and wellness.
Now, if you’ve made it this far in the blog, I’m going to validate my claims (without much fact-checking or research of my own) by quoting a doctor. “Which (or “witch” because ‘tis the season) doctor?” Dr. Paul Cooley, of course.
If you were perhaps on Instagram, and also follow St Johns Physical Therapy (@stjohnspt), you may have also found it apropos that on the same day that Nigel decides that it’s a good day to thrash our legs, Paul also decides to post his on soapbox (pyramid, really) about all things recovery. (Some may say it’s coincidence, others – namely, just me – would say that the universe works in mysterious ways.)
That quote I mentioned earlier, subsequently forgot, and then remembered again after my tangential paragraph above was, “Whether training hard or suffering an injury, all tissues have their own timeline to recover, and the simple things matter the most.” Those simple things were then at the foundation of his pyramid soapbox and started with Mother Nature and Father Time, Nutrition and Hydration, Active Recovery and Sleep, and Passive Recovery. Gimmicks, Fads, and Quackery (or, to lean in to my artistic license to interpret – Bullshit) were at the top, depicting a minimized role in things that actually matter.
In summation, Nigel has set us on a quest for thick thighs. Paul tells us that the only path that will get us there is to recover properly. Both are topic experts in their own right. And I’m writing this blog to acknowledge that all of us are continuously influenced to follow unfounded bullshit in the name of health.
The bottom line being – If you want the most of this impending cycle, you also have to grant yourself permission to recover appropriately.