In fitness it seems like we are always looking for little things that will help take to the next level one stair step at a time.
Foam rolling, could help a little. Ice baths, could help a little. Eating your post-workout meal exactly in your anabolic window, could help a little.
But what about the big things that you are resisting changing, but they will take you up the whole flight of stairs.
For me, the simplest way to decipher what those big things are is to see what the consequence is when they are taken away.
- If you were to cut out foam rolling for a week, how much would your workouts suffer?
- If you didn’t take an ice bath or go to cryotherapy for a week, how much would your workouts suffer?
- If you didn’t eat directly post-workout for a week, how much would your workouts suffer?
IF the answer is yes to any of the above questions, the amount that it negatively affects your workouts is likely quite small.
Enter the real MVP…… Sleep.
Imagine doing your regular workout routine for a week, with half as much sleep. Or even a quarter less sleep.
It’s going to suck. It’s like your muscles just nope out of the gym for the day.
To be clear: my point is not that foam rolling, ice baths and eating post-workout are bad. But rather, that we need to keep our attention on the most important things, fix them if they are sucking, and add in the other little things once the big things are taken care of.
If you’re getting less than six hours of sleep per night, prioritize rectifying your sleep situation before spending all your time and dollars going to cryotherapy.
If you’re not eating a balanced diet, don’t waste money on supplements yet. Supplements supplement a balanced diet, they don’t make up for an unbalanced one.
If you’re not doing the major compound lifts and getting stronger at them over time, don’t spend your money on booty bands.
Focus on optimizing that 20% before sprinkling in the other things if you find that they do indeed make a difference for you and you want to spend your dollars on them.
TLDR: Get your sleep, diet, stress level and exercise plan on point before worrying about the little stuff.