Restoration Methods – Sleep

Napping is a potent restoration method. Recent evidence indicates that a biological need exists for a midday nap, and according to Chad Waterbury, author of Huge in a Hurry, a short nap within an hour of finishing your workout is one of the most powerful recovery boosters.

It’s best to take a nap between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on non-training days (right around the time that you crash after lunch), or directly after your post-workout shake on training days.

Consider using a Chi machine while napping. It’s a portable electrical device that features padded ankle support that moves side to side. You just lay down on the floor, rest your ankles on the pads, use the remote to control the speed, and the machine will do the rest.

The Chi machine simulates the motion of a swimming fish, which creates a ripple effect throughout the body. portable electrical does all kinds of neat things to help your muscles recover, most notably increasing circulation and promoting lymphatic drainage, but it doesn’t end there. The machine simulates another action – one that is deep-rooted – that is, your mother rocking you as a baby! And it’s this effect that relaxes you and puts you to sleep.

Put some relaxing music on if you wish, shut the lights off, and lay on the floor with your ankles resting on the machine. (Take note that the Chi machine has a tendency to hyperextend the knees. If you feel any discomfort behind your knees, rest your legs on a pillow or two and it should solve the problem.) Set the dial to a low speed and if all goes well, you should be asleep in no time. The machine automatically shuts off after 15 minutes, which is just the right dose. Try it.

Variety in restoration is just as important as it is in training. Dr. Siff once mentioned that the Soviets would alternate intensive (near maximal load) training with a wide variety of passive and active recuperation techniques. In fact, they would caution against the use of only one relaxation technique (like massage, for example) since the body rapidly adapts to relaxation as well as exercise techniques.

I’ve presented a number of practical restoration methods in this article series. Now go out there and recover!

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