(Editors' Note: This article was part of Club Industry's June 2019 "Making Space for Recovery in Your Health Club" report. You can download the full free report here.)
“Work + Rest = Success.” This simple yet powerful quote by Mark Verstegen, founder and president of EXOS, not only holds true but its message seems to have finally found a larger space in our ever-expanding and divergent movement industry.
As an industry, we have truly expanded our understanding and applications of global human function and movement. At the heart of all exercise-based solutions is the principle theory of super compensation: We must stress/challenge the body’s systems in order to stimulate positive change and growth. Yet the punchline is that we only achieve results when we first recover from the stress. Pretty simple. Yet in an industry with more education, more clubs, more equipment and more research than at any time in history, why is the country experiencing more disease and more dysfunction with fewer people moving and getting results than ever?
Although this is a multifactorial problem, it would be fair to say that exercise is a stress that only becomes a positive one (eustress) when it occurs within an environment that balances it with recovery. Stress + stress + stress does not = success. Today’s typical lifestyle is fast paced, stressful and fueled with poor nutrition and lack of sleep. In this environment, exercise often does not yield the results the client/athlete/patient is working so hard for. Few things are as frustrating as not getting “paid” for doing the work, which leads to exercise no longer being worth the return on investment, so people stop exercising. Recovery from stress is critical if we want to look, feel and move better.
Recovery includes strategies and activities that are designed to promote physiological and psychological restoration from stress. These may include fueling (nutrition/hydration), hydrotherapy, massage, compression, stretching, breathing, meditation and more. Each one delivers different benefits, yet not all of these are available, accessible or affordable to everyone, making it hard to get that crucial recovery.
Advances in science and research have resulted in a proven technology that provides multiple recovery benefits and in a fraction of the time: whole body vibration (WBV). WBV is not new to many of the world’s organizations in human health, medicine and performance. Indeed, WBV is used by NASA, pro sports teams, Olympic associations, universities, sports medicine institutes and health clubs all over the globe. A big reason they use this technology is the impressive research-proven recovery benefits WBV provides, including:
- Increased blood circulation
- Improved lymphatic drainage
- Lowered cortisol
- Increased HGH and IGF-1
- Decreased pain
- Improved flexibility and mobility
- Accelerated recovery and rehabilitation from injury
Individually, these outcomes are impressive. Combined, they are a game changer. Over the past 14 years I have been fortunate to have helped many world-class organizations integrate WBV into their systems of recovery, including EXOS, U.S. Olympic Association, Chinese Olympic teams and multiple global health club chains. The greatest success I have seen is in those facilities that integrate WBV into their recovery areas and zones. At Midtown Athletic Clubs, they not only have WBV machines throughout their facilities for preparing and working out, but they also have made them the pillar of recovery, which has turned them into one of their most used pieces of equipment by trainers, coaches and members.
Being able to seamlessly provide flexibility and massage benefits (either alone or coach assisted) in as little as 5 to 10 minutes post workout or post competition has made a massive impact to the Midtown Athletic Club culture. WBV is integrated into the DNA of everything they do including tennis, group coaching and mind-body. Recovery can be within the session, post session or an entire session unto itself.
Exercise and training are hard work. To truly reap the results, recovery must be a consistent part of the equation. With the inclusion of whole body vibration, this crucial ingredient is now a simple push of the button. Game changer.
Scott Hopson is a leader in human performance, coaching and education. He is co-founder of Pivotal, a global development company, and PTA Global, a leader in professional fitness development. He is an education director for the Gray Institute, a global educator for EXOS and an advisory board member for Power Plate. Hopson is renowned for his passion and work in professional and youth coaching development. His work has been integrated into Olympic associations, NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, Tennis Corporation of America, senior club rugby, youth soccer, as well as many of the best health and athletic clubs around the world.