If you have worked with me, you have probably heard the “beef jerky” talk. Here’s the typical scenario:
Me: Hows it going today? Client: Good but my _____ hurts (you can put in knee, neck, shoulder, back etc) Me: Hows your water been? Client: Well could be better… Me: Have you been foam rolling Client: No I didn’t have time so I got straight into my workouts
This is about where I stop, and ask: Me: Do you know what beef jerky is? Client: Well, yeah Me: So what is it? How is it made? Client: *Smiling and thinking where is he going with this* It meat that is dried out, dehydrated Me: Exactly
You may have heard at some point in your life that you are made of 70-80% water, which is completely correct. OUr bodies use water for our circulatory system, digestive system, and even for movement. Most of your water should be stored in your muscle tissue, so when you need extra digest a big meal or to keep your circulatory system moving it’s there. When you dehydrate or don’t hydrate enough, your body pulls water from any storage (i.e. muscles) to use for whatever it needs so you don’t shut down or pass out.
Being dehydrated makes your muscles tight and less pliable. Then add movement to that and getting sore from a workout and lactic acid build up from repetitive movement…guess what. You get knots in your muscles. When you have knots in your muscles that pulls on your joints in different angles, then guess what things wear down and…YOU HURT!
Something I have been adamant about for years has been foam rolling and hydration. Over the past few years working with various clients (golfers, martial artists, post rehab, general fitness), one thing stays constant people want to move better, feel better and look better. You don’t go to the gym to move shitty, feel shitty and look like shitty do you?
Mom I know you will read this so sorry for the language but this goes for you too 🙂
Let me put it to you this way, if you are tight you can’t move efficiently. If you can’t move efficiently but you do anyway, you get better at moving worse. If you continue to do that you get an injury, and that is not the goal of exercise. Â The point of fitness is better health, not worse.
There’s a reason we go for the Filet Mignon over beef jerky…We don’t prefer to chew on leather if we don’t have to. That being said, hydrate, foam roll then move. In the short term you will feel better, in the long term will can move better and ultimately you will perform better.