We recently sat down with Mike to hear his thoughts on recovery, it's value and where he sees it going in the future. Check out the Q & A below:
Q: In what direction do you see sports recovery going from where it may have been 5-8 years ago?
A: “I think people are finally taking recovery just as seriously as training itself. The foam roller was an unknown tool to the average gym-goer not even a decade ago, and now I have my whole membership base willingly rolling out at the end of classes or training sessions...ON THEIR OWN! Members are talking more and more about how they see this massage therapist or that chiropractor, or how you need to understand their acupuncturist, and it's refreshing to know that we are finally here, finally in the age of recovery.”
Q: Have you seen any changes in the daily training of athletes that reflect an increased emphasis on the recovery of the lower limbs and feet for sport?
A: “Absolutely. The average youth athlete knows what myofascial release is before they even get here. The whole world is getting smarter with their training and its starting with youth athletes idolizing their sports heroes, who are posting about their recovery all the time. It's not just ‘oh look at me squat 500lbs’ anymore, it's become ‘I'm using this cryotherapy machine to decrease inflammation in my joints to better prepare for my season,’ and athletes of all ages are craving the opportunity to try it out. We make it a mandatory requirement that each athlete begins their training with some light tissue manipulation or functional range of motion work and finish with deep rolling whether it's foam roller, ‘TigerTail,’ or whatever modality they choose.”
Q: What are your go-to methods for helping athletes to recover the lower limbs and feet?
A: “Our ‘go-to’ method for lower limb recovery is either self-myofascial release with a foam roller and ‘TigerTail’ or a trainer using the TigerTail directly on them. Of course, we explain how regularly seeing a massage therapist is going to be far more effective. However, these methods can help to keep the balance in the meantime. For the feet, I'm a big fan of using a golf ball to dig in, as I've found massive success with reversing plantar fasciitis with just a simple little ball.”
Q: How important of a role does "recovery" play in your own life as you work day in and day out training these athletes during a very busy and often hectic season?
A: “I'll admit it, I don't focus on recovery nearly as much as I should, and I think just about everyone can say that. I'm happy to have found OOFOS because even if I'm rushing from my training session into a client, I can at least toss on my slides and not stress about missing out on my typical recovery work. I regularly see a massage therapist and a chiropractor, which I try for once a month for each, as well as hopping in a float session every few months to mentally unwind from the hectic schedule, even if it is for just an hour. We have plans to expand our front desk area to be a ‘recovery zone,’ which will include OOFOS, Hyperice massage tools, Normatec recovery sleeves, and much more. Realistically, I'm buying these ‘for the gym,’ but the kid in me is looking forward to using these new toys for myself just as much – Haha.”
Q: What one thing would you like everyone (PT's, Personal Trainers, Strength and Conditioning Coaches, etc.) to consider when training athletes for sport or anyone trying to get their bodies to perform better over time?
A: “Recovery is monumentally more important than training. The best athlete in the world is useless if they're injured continuously, and that translates to your average gym-goers too. If you're continually twinging this and have a nagging pain here, then you're in constant limbo between where you started and where you want to be with your athleticism, physique, overall mindset, everything. Injuries are just as damaging to mental state as they are physical, so for the average gym-rat – if you're injured then you're not happy, and that affects your day to day life, relationships, work, etc., so very merely recover more often, and your body will reward you.”