"Recover Like a Pro"
Written by Dr. Jake Oergel
Dr. Jake Oergel is a chiropractor at Howard County Chiropractic Spine & Sports Rehabilitation with over 10 years of practice experience. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Science with minor in Sports Management and a four year stint in the corporate world, Dr. Jake decided the human body was his true passion and attended Parker College of Chiropractic, graduating in December of 2006. Dr. Jake is Board certified with the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and licensed by the Maryland Board of Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Examiners. He is full-body certified in Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, Dry Needling, Kinesiotaping Method and an expert in gait analysis. Dr. Jake is also extremely active in the running community. He has been a competitive triathlete completing over 100 multisport events with six Ironman triathlons and two ultramarathons to his credit. He has qualified for the 70.3 World Championships. Besides racing Dr. Jake has coached athletes of all levels, from their first 5k all the way to the Hawaii Ironman. Dr. Jake is also very involved in the local CrossFit scene, engulfing himself not on a competitive level, but on developing a deeper understanding on how to improve performance via efficient biomechanics.
As a doctor that treats dozens of athletes on a daily basis I have a front row seat for all the standard repetitive use injuries that show up in my office. While I see lots of triathletes, runners, ultra-runners, cyclists, etc…I also have a very large CrossFit focused practice. Injury rates amongst these activities are not any higher per sport, but each sport definitely presents with the typical array of repetitive strains.
For content specific purpose and the audience that will read this lets focus on the amazing sport of CrossFit. I have been treating CrossFit athletes for about 5 years now in my practice and during certain months of the year the CrossFit athlete makes up a large portion of my practice. Unlike running and other sports CrossFit tends to get picked on a little more than other sports. Most of the time the reasons are unjust and don’t specifically apply to the sport, but to the person performing the activities. At the end of the day any sport can be extremely harmful to the individual and that is the main purpose of this article….are you recovering like a pro?
Every summer we have the privilege and honor of watching the best CrossFit athletes in the world compete. We admire their drive, commitment and determination. We strive to show up at the box and be just like them on Monday morning. There is just one piece of the puzzle missing that they don’t show on TV. The missing ingredient to their success is the amount of dedicated recovery program that match their movement program. They understand that without proper recovery that their success in the sport will always be limited.
That being said each and every one of us may not make it to the Games each year, but we have the ability to recover like a pro with just a little extra focused effort. The following are my top 4 ways that if incorporated into your routine, you will be able to reach new levels of performance that may have been out of reach before.
Mobility practice: I put this one number one because it probably is the number one activity we push to the side when in a time crunch. Your mobility practice should equal the amount of movement practice you commit to daily if not more. Most of us don’t have the luxury of training all day long and in exchange sit for work. The detrimental effects of sitting have been documented in detail. Those detriments lead to shortened hip flexors/psoas and anteriorly/internal rotated shoulders. Unfortunately, without proper mobility in these two segments we are setting our bodies up for repeated failure. Inquire with your box coach on ways to PROPERLY implement a mobility program into your routine.
Nutrition: What you put in your body is exactly what you will get out of your body. You are 100% allowed to cheat at times, as what is life like without some ice cream from time to time. However, the more garbage you shove in your mouth the more you hinder the recovery process. The more low level systemic inflammation your body has to fight with 24/7. Not to mention the constant fatigue, inconsistent sleep patterns and overall instability. Pros don’t necessarily eat according to taste, but eat according to performance benefits. Constantly supporting your bodies needs leads to improvement in and out of the box.
Functional Biomechanics: As a functional biomechanical trained chiropractor I have a deep understanding of the efficient and inefficient movement patterns that my athletes present with. The combination of Active Release Technique and chiropractic manipulation allows me to optimize an athletes potential for proper mobility while in the box. Professional athletes 100% of the time have a medical/physical therapy team in their corner making sure that injuries don’t occur and if they do that the injury is taken care of before it’s a problem. Seeking out a professional that understands the demands of your sport will not only keep you excited to give each WOD your best, but also maintain your longevity in the sport.
Training Philosophy: While incorporating stress upon the musculoskeletal system is extremely important for personal growth to much of a good thing can break down your body also. I typically use the slogan too much, too soon, too fast and too often with my athletes/patients. An individual’s growth is directly linked to the programming that the individual is under. This is why it is extremely important that the CrossFit athlete associate themselves with not only a box that is certified, but one whose coaches have the appropriate training. Most pros have 2-5 individual coaches that design, implement and structure their training load throughout the year. The coaches help take the difficult process of programming for success out of the equation. If you feel like your falling into a negative trap, then take a step back and ask your coach the purpose of the programming and if it appropriate for your current level.
The key to remember when arriving at the box each day is what is your goal for participating in CrossFit? While most would love to compete at the Games, in reality most of us will never be at that level. So the main goal should always be longevity. You want to maximize your ability to constantly improve. The constant improvement will build confidence and your drive to always reach new PR’s.
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An Unmistakable Community
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Our Top 10 Misconceptions About CrossFit
I can’t do CrossFit until I get in shape.
FALSE: No one has come to CrossFit in “ideal shape”. CrossFit is a fitness program that teaches and retrains your body to do what it was naturally meant to do. Over time, our bodies unlearn these natural movements. The first steps in any CrossFit program work on retraining your body to properly and safely move.
“But, I haven’t worked out in years!”
Guess what, no one knows that, and frankly no one cares. What they do care about is helping you become a better you! We help you become someone who is better than they were yesterday, by making good choices that will effect tomorrow.
Everyone is looking at me and I feel embarrassed.
FALSE: No one is or will be shooting daggers at you. If someone looks at you, it will be to cheer you on, but don’t panic. They won’t stand in front of you screaming in your face just yet. You might hear an occasional, “Good job” from the distance. Most of the time people come to the gym to socialize and workout. Their goal is to have fun and make fitness an enjoyable experience.
I don’t know what to wear.
Don’t worry no one is judging your outfit or care if you’re wearing the newest gear. All you need is a pair of gym shorts, a t-shirt, and sneakers.
Everyone is in shape, but me.
FALSE: Everyone, and I mean everyone is working on a better self. No one is at the same fitness level. During class we all workout together and choose to lift different weights and perform easier or more difficult movements depending on our level of fitness. Coaches are there to help at all times.
“But, I can’t do a pull-up.”
Neither can most people when they first start. We have a variety of movements that you can do to get you to reach your goals.
I don’t want to be the last one finished.
You can scale the amount of reps or time it takes to do a workout so you’re not the last one finished. Coaches are available to help you choose time and rep options that work well for your fitness level.
I don’t know anyone.
Yet! Everyone at ReVamped is friendly and welcoming. You won’t be stared at when you come in, you will be greeted and introduced to many new friends. You will also be able to find someone who is at your fitness level to workout with or beside. We are here to offer advice and help you navigate the gym.
The workouts are too hard and I could NEVER do that!
FALSE: Everything can be scaled. Scaled means to make a movement easier. For example, if you can’t do a push-up right now, you could do a push-up on your knees or on a box. These options will be taught by a coach before each workout.
“I have a previous injury that is holding me back”
We can work around a prior injury and choose movements for you that are safe and pain free. We can target other areas of the body and build up strength around that area.
Everyone is an athlete, I’m not an athlete.
FALSE: Many people have never played a sport or workout in their life before coming to CrossFit.
I’m too old! I’m too young!
FALSE: CrossFit doesn’t have any age limit. If you are willing and able to do CrossFit, than it is for you. We have classes for children as young as five years old and have members working out in their 60’s. We will scale the workout to meet your needs.
I’m too busy and can’t fit it in.
You can be in and out of the gym under an hour. We offer a kids area for your children to play while you work out. We have showers for you to use before or after your workout so you can head right to work or to a meeting. Our classes start as early as 5:30am and run until 7:00pm.
Don’t be. We are here to help, have fun, and provide encouragement. Our job is to educate you about functional fitness and create an environment that is safe and inspiring!
In order to get a true sense of our community at CrossFit ReVamped, it is best if I tell you about one of our gatherings in the winter of 2014. It was a few days before Christmas when we held our annual Christmas party at the gym. This year we had three surprises that would show how deep our community runs.
The first surprise involved a family who aren’t members of CrossFit ReVamped. Each year at this time our gym “adopts” a less fortunate family from the community. For the past two years we have built a relationship with the Djoumejio family. I taught two of the Djoumejio children when they were in fifth grade and kept in touch with the family ever since. On the day of the Christmas party dozens of gifts were stacked underneath the Christmas tree. Our gym came together to purchase the entire family gifts for the holiday, and spent time thoughtfully shopping to find the perfect present. When the family arrived they were overwhelmed with happiness when we told them that all of the gifts were for them. The entire gym watched in awe as the family sat together, opened gifts, shared hugs, and joyful smiles. I had never witnessed anyone so thankful before. They family was overwhelmed with joy and our CrossFit ReVamped community made it possible.
The second surprise that day was ready to be revealed. After dinner was finished my husband Gary and I had an announcement to make. Everyone gathered around ready for the second surprise. Weeks prior to the party we were dropping clues on social media giving our community hints about what was to come. The anticipation was killing us and we were excited to share the good news. Gary and I began by reading the poem we wrote.
CrossFit ReVamped’s Christmas Surprise
By Gary and Alea Helmick
Tis the season for joy and laughter,
Even if you’re a terrible snatcher.
The holidays remind us of why we’re thankful,
For our friends and family we are truly grateful.
This year we made a family’s holiday bright,
And woven our community nice and tight.
This year you have achieved some incredible feats,
The surprise if coming so hold onto your seats.
From the beginning we had hopes of changing lives,
And spreading fitness like Santa on Christmas.
Now we have families, sisters, and brothers,
That have changed their lives and inspired others.
You may never understand the difference you make,
But the ripple effect can make a big wake.
Together we experience the ups and the downs,
But your support for one another is really profound.
When somebody new comes to ReVamped,
They tend to leave class feeling quite amped.
Its’ not a surprise because you adopt them so fast,
We usually think you knew them in the past.
Blood, sweat, and tears have hit this floor,
But you keep coming back always wanting more,
The ladies keep Gary on his toes,
Expressing their feelings, excitements, and woes.
His bros on the other hand just want to WOD,
Throw around heavy weight and get a nice bod.
Although the workouts are brutal and grueling,
You’ve proven yourselves at competitions by schooling.
We’re proud to call each of you a friend,
And share the great moments that seem to never end.
Well here’s what you’ve been waiting for,
We won’t have you wait a single second more.
It’s time for the Helmick’s family to grow,
So we’ve gotten a bigger gym, ReVamped let’s go!
Our community was growing, and we needed a space that was larger and more conducive for ReVamped. By January 1st of 2015 our community helped us move out of a 5,000sq foot facility, move into a 9,000sq foot facility, setup, and get ready for business in just four days! It was incredible to see everyone lend a hand and work tirelessly to help.
The Christmas party was going strong, two surprises had been revealed and the third was about to happen. One of our members Steve, had prepared to propose to his now fiancé Carla. To everyone’s surprise he got down on one knee, and before his friends and entire CrossFit ReVamped community, asked for her hand in marriage. Everyone was elated for them and the gym erupted in happy tears. The evening couldn’t have been more joyous and representative of our ReVamped community.
Gary and I put our heart and soul into CrossFit ReVamped and work to nurture relationships daily. Our gym is a place where differences are accepted, obstacles are overcome, and accomplishments are celebrated. Our community runs deep, we are CrossFit ReVamped.
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