Normally I do yoga on a Thursday afternoon, but on October 26, I did it…
February 11, 2016 | John Paul Catanzaro
So there I was in the middle of a “Yin & Restorative” yoga class. I was wearing a black Otomix tank top and camouflage shorts while everyone else was dressed in Lululemon. Did I get some attention? Yes, I’d say so, but not just because of my appearance, it was also due to my flexibility. With several poses, I could keep up with the best of them and I think that was a bit of a surprise to many in the class.
The common perception is that a “muscle-bound” individual is tight and inflexible, but that’s not always true. Massive bodybuilders like Ronnie Coleman and Flex Wheeler could perform the splits, and then there was Tom Platz, who had arguably the best-built legs ever in bodybuilding. Take a look at the photos below and tell me what you think of his flexibility?
I did not go to yoga to improve my flexibility per se, but rather to address the myofascial system and improve recovery from training. In order to make progress from weight training, you need to recover. It’s that simple. Restoration methods like the ones I mention in Mass Explosion are very important if you’re serious about making gains in muscle size and strength.
The problem I see with many avid trainees is that they focus on working out, and neglect “working in.” It’s all yang, no yin! Eventually performance wanes, injuries occur, and all that training takes a toll on their health.
Classic overtraining symptoms such as depression, lack of motivation, and decreased vigor may be an indication that you need to ease up with training and crank up restoration instead. Changes in mood are often evident before any drop in performance, so make sure to listen to your mind when it talks not just your body.
Bottom Line: Focus just as much on recovery as you do on training for optimal health and long-term success in the gym.