I had the great opportunity to speak with two very accomplished strength coaches the past two days. These exclusive interviews with Steve Maxwell and Elliott Hulse will be available shortly, but one of the common threads that I spoke about with them was “health”. This doesn’t just mean exercise in this case, but rather mind-body-spirit health. Coach Maxwell is known as a mobility expert and he explained that the joints have no direct blood supply so they can only be nurtured in synovial fluid through movement. I just did an hour of one of his routines and it was awesome! There is much research behind some of his moves such as figure eight movement with the joints that show it is calming to the Central Nervous System. This means that it will stimulate the peripheral nervous system, the opposite of fight or flight. Coach Maxwell also told me the other day that “movement is life”. I wholeheartedly believe in this and this means that you should be doing some type of movement everyday. These are what you would call recovery workouts and they can even be used to calm and focus the brain.
Elliott and I spoke about training and I was happy to hear that we have a similar philosophy. We are not married to one program but rather a hybrid style of what works. Interestingly, we spoke more about the mind than anything. Elliott is a busy guy, only 32 years old but he has 4 kids, a wife and a thriving business. He is located down in Florida. Elliott also keeps a similar schedule to me in that he sleeps about 6 hours a night and I know this is not ideal, but we did discuss meditation. Elliott said he does one hour every single day of meditation and for this he recommended “Brain Wave Entrainment” audio. This puts you right into a state of relaxation and stimulates the right side of your brain more than usual. This leads to a more optimal hormonal profile and once again, a stimulation of the peripheral nervous system. Elliott said it drives him nuts sometimes that he needs to do this because that is an hour that he can use doing something else, but he said in the end, he gets more done this way and with a lot more ease.
It is important to realize the connection between physical activity, recovery, strenuous activity, the relationship between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system and that “movement is life”. You cannot let any one side of the triangle get too long or you are in for some trouble. What does this have to do with becoming a better athlete? Everything, mind and spirit flow right into the body and the body energizes mind and spirit. I will be incorporating some “Brain Wave Entrainment” classes this fall in addition to re-vamping my “recovery” days for the guys at the gym. As always, put it to use.