Now we’re on to Joint Recovery. So far we’ve covered along the first pillar, the joint performance pillar. We’ve covered efficiency, range of motion and respiration. There’s a reason why we save recovery for last in terms of the pillars because all recovery is based on a great deal on efficiency, range of motion and respiration and that is why we have saved this for the last so that you can understand those previous aspects of the pillars and it’ll make a lot more sense when we talk about recovery.
Now, in order to recover you have to have a couple of things. We can already assume we’ve created damage to the joints; we’re talking about joint recovery. Unfortunately damage happens all the time, no matter how you’re training. I don’t care how low impact your training is, I don’t care if you’re walking from your car to the grocery store, you’re causing damage to some parts of the body. That damage however is supposed to be healed up in a relatively short period of time and in some cases it can happen within hours and in other cases it might take a couple of days.
Even in those very light impact kind of activities, but you need to understand that every activity causes damage in some way. It is completely and totally avoidable so our bodies are built to heal back from this type of things and a big part of that is recovery. So the keys to recovery are oxygenation, nutrition and rest; actual time.
Some of those you can maximise which we talked about with respiration but others of those you cannot do anything about. You cannot speed up the passage of time and you cannot cheat the space, time continuum. You have to take those into account. The beauty is… a lot of people are like. “Oh, no I can’t take more rest time; I can’t do more recovery time. I need to get out of there, training.” I know its going to kind of piss you off to hear this but sometimes that’s not the way to go and that’s what you’ve been hearing and that’s what I’m here to de-bunk.
The flip side to that is, you’re going to be very happy to know you can actually get higher levels of performance, you can get better recovery and you can actually get less problems in terms of injuries by training less often and giving yourself more recovery time. You’ll find that your body can actually build back from this in a better way.
So we’re going to go over that as we cover some of the other aspects, of the performance pillars but right now we’re talking about the joints. In joint recovery we need to have great range of motion like we talked about, we need to have oxygenation and nutrition going into those joints, but the fact that we haven’t touched on really is time. What is time? Time is the passage of time. Time to allow your body to take the elements that are needed to fix the damaged structure within the joints and let your body repair it back to its pre-injury state. Now I don’t mean a twist your ankle and your broken bone kind of state. I’m talking about that was damaged right there. My body needs to heal that out. I probably killed a couple of hundreds to a couple of thousands skin cells just doing that. But I’m not worried about it because by this time tomorrow because skin has such an incredible blood supply, and it can heal up passively because blood is a passive healer then a passive form of respiration then that’s going to be healed up probably within one to three days depending on how well I take care of myself and a number of other factors.
But that is going to heal relatively quickly, its not going to cause any issues and some of those skin cells are probably going to die anyway and replace themselves all on their own. So not a huge deal but when you’re talking about cartilage cells of the actual joints that is a problem because they don’t heal back very quickly. They can actually take months to heal back. If you’ve ever actually jammed a joint. When I was a kid I used to play tether ball and when you play tether ball and you hit the ball and the ball kind of comes into a weird angle, or if you’ve ever caught a baseball, straight at the end of a finger, if you’ve tried to catch it with a bare hand and you get that jammed kind of feeling, that can be sore. Even as a young kid, that can be significantly sore for several weeks and that is basically a cartilage bruise and cartilage takes a very long time to heal.
So one you don’t want to cause that injury to keep your efficiency good. One you want to get as much oxygenation as possible to keep the range of motion very good and use it through a regular range of motion. One you want to do the respiration aspect which is the regular range of motion and that kind of thing to keep the oxygenation there as high as possible. But then when it comes to rest you need to just let some time pass especially for the joints. So it’s really important to get a great deal of sleep and it’s also very important to not do the same activity that would be causing the same damage, in the same place over and over and over again. You want to leave enough time in between.
So most of the times I say spread the damage around. So if we’re going to use the same smacking my arm example I just created some tissue damage there. If I decide an hour later to go hit myself in the exact same spot and an hour after that I go hit myself in the exact same spot and an hour after that go and hit myself in the exact same spot, guess what, that first time didn’t do diddly squat in terms of damage, accumulative damage. But each time I did after that I will most likely have a bruise even though it’s a relatively low impact. I’ll have a bruise on that arm and it won’t take one to three days to recover, it’ll now take seven to ten days for that bruise to heal, the blood to be carried back and the scar tissue to be laid down, and for the healing to be at maximum effect for that body part.
But, if I were to do the same thing here and then an hour later I hit there and then an hour later I hit here and an hour later I hit there, I spread the damage around and by the time I go back to that first injury spot, I’ve already healed the back up again because I know that the cycle of healing for skin cells is very quick. So if I come back to that once in a day, I’m probably fine.
Joints are different stories because you can’t come back to them once in a day; you probably need to come back to them more like once every five to seven days. So when you’re doing a certain training routine that you know is going to be pounding the joints, you’ll want to damage it then do a slightly different routine that is going to be probably training a different part of the body, that will allow that to recover back again.
Now, if you’re not doing incredibly high impact, or you’re not doing high range of motion you’re probably fine to skip a full day, go a 48 hour rest period in between but if you’re doing something pretty high impact, high weights, high resistance or you’re doing extremely high repetition or long distance endurance kind of stuff like let’s say marathon running, you need to give yourself more time between. That’s going to sound weird to a lot of marathon runners but it actually works really well. A lot of marathon runners that run less can actually run faster and better with less injury.
So it’s something that is very important. So time is a factor and you need to understand the different tissues to know exactly how much time is necessary and exactly what to do for that. So we’ve now covered the entire first column. Make sure you understand that backwards and forwards, because it’s going to play a very big role before we move on to the next column which is muscles. Muscles move the bones and joints. So that will be the next layer out and it’s the next layer out in terms of support of the body. The skeleton is the deepest muscles in the second out layer. Very important stuff. So we’ll see you in the next video when we cover the next column.