Saturday, March 9, 2013


OPT: Optimal Performance Training.  It's a term I utilize when coaching athletes.  Every athlete wants to achieve optimal performance but how one athlete goes about it is always different than another.  What is fairly consistent though is how athlete's recover (or should recover!).  My OPT term can be explained by the following equation:

Stress + Recovery = Adaptation

The stress part of the equation is relatively easy for athletes to attain through training and career, life, and social stressors.  However, the recovery aspect is often misunderstood by athletes. While many believe taking a full rest day from training is recovery, it is often filled with chores and other tasks that really do not promote recovery.  Unfortunately, it is fairly impossible for age-group athletes to devote a complete day to do nothing due to life demands.  Thus, the importance of implementing recovery strategies, sometimes instead of complete rest days, is an important piece of the OPT equation.

Recovery opportunities are endless and include things like ice baths, massage, nutrition, hydration, compression socks and my recent favorite: sequential intermittent pneumatic compression (SIPC).  I have had my eyes on similar technology for years but it wasn't until recently that I decided to take the plunge and see exactly what the benefits may be.  There are a few companies who provide this type of technology through compression boots but the system of compression is different among them.  The Recovery Pump system and boots are my choice of technology due to the SIPC.  As I sit writing this blog, I have my Recovery Pump boots on and the four distinct compartments provide this SIPC so that compression is initiated in the feet and moves up to the upper legs, which allows for maximal venous return and improved circulation.

The recovery opportunity can be used immediately after a training session, later in the day after getting home from the day's activities or before a training session as a type of dynamic warm-up.  It is very functional and requires nothing more than devoting 30-60 minutes of relaxing with the boots on while they do their job to enhance and speed recovery.

I have been putting the Recovery Pump boots (see the photo below) to the test for 2 weeks, before and after many different types of workouts including very aggressive strength and conditioning sessions that produce a great deal of delayed onset muscle soreness.  What have I realized in the last 2 weeks?  Well, I have not experienced any muscle soreness after using the boots and have been able to do 2-3 quality session days in a row without any compromise in performance.

No matter the recovery opportunity utilized by athletes, it is important to 1) make recovery a priority, 2) utilize recovery opportunities on a daily basis and 3) respect the recovery part of the OPT equation so the body can experience enhanced physiological adaptation.

The Recovery Pump system is a great recovery opportunity and is simple to utilize on a daily basis.

Until next time...

Coach Bob

1 comment:

  1. Like your blog. The RevitaPump also offers sequential intermittent pneumatic compression,and has optional half pants garments to treat the gluteal area. And its more than half the price of many other brands.