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Old 04-16-2009, 04:17 PM   #1
Rafe Kelley
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 148
Default Emotional Response to training and Recovery

Just came across this Mell Sif quote in the andy bolton.
"It is relevant to note that competitions involve very few attempts to reach a maximum, yet they are far more exhausting than strenuous workouts with many repetitions, since they involve extremely high levels of psychological and nervous stress. The high levels of nervous and emotional stress incurred by attempting a competitive maximum require many days or even weeks to reach full recovery, even though physical recuperation would appear to be complete, so that this type of loading is not recommended as a regular form of training."

I also came across post by I think Glen Pendlay which I unforunately can not find? Which stated that in his experience the ability to recovery from exercise seemed to be more correlated with the emotional intensity then physical intensity. Basically saying if you can keep a calm state of mind as opposed to getting hyped up you will be able to do more work and recovery faster?

This has got me thinking, I have always felt like my recovery was not as good as it could be, when I have experimented with the full on crossfit I have just stalled out and felt crushed. I also notice I tend to get very intense when I train, like hyping myself for a fight I Try to narrow my focus I do breathing exercise to raise my excitement level, I pace and kick the floor, .

I am what evidence there is for this corelation how many other people have noticed this trend or experimented with how they approach trainig. Has anyone experimented with lifting unexcited vs. getting amped up first? Trying to stay calm during metabolic training? How does it effect recovery and progression?
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:27 PM   #2
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Don't know if this answers your question or not, but I feel as though my recovery ability has improved 2 to 3 fold since I made yoga/tai chi and meditation part of my daily routine.

I've recently added a lot of self myofascial release and I believe that his furthered my ability to train harder more often.

I wish I would known about this stuff when I was in my early 20s.

All the best,
Lifting heavy stuff is fun and relative......
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:41 PM   #3
Dave Van Skike
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Super Great topic!!!!

Two things...maybe more later. I have had a similar experience where the emotional build up of a big lift is more depleting than the lift itself..one of the reasons I have shifted my training over time away for big 1RM and more towards hitting 2RM and 3RM as sustainable progress benchmarks.

Second. back in the super way olden days I used to compete in breathing sports like cycling. at the time I read this great book called Body Mind and Sport by I think, John Doullard...It's full of a bunch of Ayurvedic stuff which did not resonate for me..However, it had a this whole angle on endurance training where you focused on nose breathing only and worked towards maintaining a breath rate of less than 12 breaths per minute even in super intense efforts...this forced several weeks of purely slow and low work where I'd be riding a bike at about 13 miles per hour trying not to breathe...
intensity went waaaaay down.

But, eventually I'll be damned if it didn't work a charm. I never fully mastered the breath out through the nose thing but got very good at regulating my breath in nose/out mouth even on climbs, ..less than 12 times per min regardless of how short or intense the effort.

The biggest benefit by far was mental calm. Even in Kilo time trial on the track (think running the fastest 400 of all time only keep going for another 25 seconds), criterium bunch sprints or in chariot race (3 up) sprints, it was like I was seeing things in slow motion and reacting instantly.

even now as a bloated dabbler in strength atheltics, I can calm my mind and focus my effort by going back to the breathwork.
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
Garrett Smith
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I second the in-nose / out-mouth breathing on the bike.
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:54 PM   #5
Steven Low
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I try to stay calm generally during any activity. When I did amp myself up my results were more or less similar so that's generally why I try to stay calm now. No use getting unnecessarily worked up.

I personally haven't noticed anything with recovery though since I don't emotionally amp myself up anymore enough to determine whether I feel more drained or not.

Like stated, I do like deep or quick nose breathing & mouth exhaling before I do ANY exercise.

There's something about it... probably a primal thing where smells help activate the sympathetic nervous system or CNS better. Shrug.
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:10 AM   #6
Enrique Billington
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Frequent emotional excitation should enhance recovery, not hamper it.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:55 AM   #7
Scott Kustes
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There is definitely something about the competitive atmosphere. I noticed it last year when I spent 4 months training for a single track meet (this year, I'm doing 4 meets). I could go out and do 400m repeats 4-8 times. Maintaining good intensity, though calmness in training kept my recovery good.

Fast forward to the two-day meet. I ran the 200m and 100m the first day, then a 400m and 4x100m relay the second day, a total of 800m in two days. That's about 1/2 to 1/3 of what I was doing in a single day on some of my training days. I was worn out for 3 or 4 days afterwards.

I think more competitions this year though will knock down some of the nervous energy that I experienced last year.

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Old 04-17-2009, 08:52 AM   #8
Garrett Smith
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You might want to do some research on Selye's "General Adaptation Syndrome".

Stressors, including emotional excitement, encountered or engineered too often, will eventually result in an overwhelming of the body's ability to adapt.

This is a very short intro to Selye's GAS:
Selye proposed a three-stage pattern of response to stress that he called the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) . He proposed that when the organism first encountered stress, in the form of novelty or threat, it responded with an alarm reaction. This is followed by a recovery or resistance stage during which the organism repairs itself and stores energy. If the stress-causing events continue, exhaustion sets in. This third stage is what became known popularly as burn-out. Classic symptoms of burn-out include loss of drive, emotional flatness, and (in humans) dulling of responsiveness to the needs of others.
If emotional excitement enhanced recovery, we should all have competitions where we get amped up and give 100% in front of a crowd every day. This simply can't be maintained long-term by mere mortals.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:12 PM   #9
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I did write something on the net about this, cant remember where or when though. It is something that anyone who coaches a few hundred lifters will eventually see. Some kids can lift 90-95% of their maximum with about as much excitement as getting out of bed in the morning. Others need to psych up. The kids that can do it without psyching up can lift very near their maximum many times per week, those that need to psych up, can do it much less often. I personally believe that learning to lift weights over 90% of your maximum with no emotion is one of the keys to frequent training.

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:57 PM   #10
Rafe Kelley
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How does one learn to lift maximal weights without pysching up?
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