Mind Your Stress Bucket, If You’re Here To Train Hard!
“Want to Train hard? Then Learn to Recover Hard!”
Have you travelled all the way to Phuket, and are looking to train? Maybe you’re an athlete or a martial artist who wants to try his hands at some Muay Thai, or perhaps you just got inspired by all those fab and fit bodies you saw at the beach. Whatever the case, since you’re here in Phuket, we want you to make the most of your training, by introducing the stress bucket model. Why do you need a stress bucket? Because…
“The harder you want to train, the harder you must learn to recover.”
Not many people realise this, they get all enthusiastic about coming to Thailand to train in Muay Thai but end up burning out pretty quick. That happens, most of the time, due to stress overload. If you jump in the deep end without having prepared your body first, then you risk being a victim of overtraining, getting injured, falling into adrenal fatigue and getting sick. And it might not just be about the training. There are other factors that take a toll on your body, like the long flight over, the jet lag, getting used to the heat etc. Let alone training under such circumstances, even the difference in food and bacteria, all such tiny things that affect your body, needs adjusting to.
Tackling a stress pile up
If you’re in Phuket to up your Muay Thai skills, then seeing those professional boxers training at the gym, will have you feeling flabbergasted! They start with a long run before the heavy training that lasts all morning, then again a long run before the afternoon training session. This they repeat 6, sometimes 7, days a week. Any other person would have had an internal breakdown, but such hard training doesn’t seem to break the Thai boxers, and they can keep at such training for years. What’s their secret?
When the going gets tough, the tough learn to relax!
The answer requires a sort of behind the scenes, sneak peek! The secret lies not in how the boxers train, but rather, in what they do when they don’t train! And that is using different techniques to recover from all the stress that is accumulated in the body. To put it even more simply, its Stress Management – That is, building your stress tolerance level, and at the same time having a system in place to release the accumulated stress.
The Stress Bucket Model – To Keep All That Stress In Check!
To get fit, you joined the gym, right? And now, they tell you what you do in the gym, could make you unfit? You’d be surprised, but many inexperienced gym goers tend to make these common fitness mistakes, that end up causing them more harm than benefit. Continuing such wrong practices leads to an overload of stress, which if not managed in time can start producing Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining which is a strong indicator of an impending breakdown.
And it is not just the training you did at the gym, that collected all that unnecessary stress in your body. Stress can take on several forms, and there are multiple sources of stress too, such as psychological, physiological or even environmental. The image below paints a much easier to understand explanation. In this model, our body represents a bucket into which all forms of stress, like money problem, relations, work, fitness etc. keep pouring in. If we don’t have a mechanism in place to release some of that stress, then before you realise it, your bucket will be full and overflowing with stress, leading to many health complications.
Because recovery is half the battle!
The stress bucket model draws a parallel to how stress affects our body. When the body is under stress, it produces the hormone Cortisol, which is a catabolic hormone that prepares your body for a fight or flight kind of situation. When cortisol is released, your muscles get tense, and the body is on high alert. And it doesn’t even have to be a life-threatening situation, stuff like travelling, change in weather conditions, alcohol, smoking etc. can cause the body to release cortisol.
Over time, the continuous accumulation of stress leads to burnout and in some cases can be a very severe condition. And when the stress bucket finally overflows, you will be hit by many health consequences such as fatigue, lack of energy, low immunity, injuries, depression, loss of sexual drive etc. Seriously, is that why you flew all the way to Thailand for? Of course not!
So what do you do with all that stress in your bucket? You punch some holes in the damn bucket! Just like the stress input can take multiple forms, the holes in the bucket represent various forms of outlet, such as proper sleep, healthy diet etc., that help to release stress. Adding such activities to your daily life helps to counter all the stress-causing activities, and helps to relax your body and mind, giving it time to recover.
Maximise your training by minimising the stress!
Now you know what happens when your stress bucket is on the verge of overflowing – All that hard training goes down the drain because you’ve been drained out! It is of the utmost importance, especially if you are into some serious training such as Muay Thai, that you have sufficient stress release mechanisms in place to ensure your stress bucket never overflows.
Although simple stress release outlets such as sound sleep, healthy diet etc. are essential, it is essential to add special stress release mechanisms, such as these 6 Effective ways to combat excess stress, to counter your combat training. If you’ve had a heavy training session, then the time immediately after it is quite crucial. The body is in a catabolic state, and certain activities at this stage can help to quickly turn your body to an anabolic state and help recover. For example, Foam Rolling is a very effective and cheap way to relax sore muscles after a heavy workout. Getting a massage, is also equally helpful for such situations. Are you in Phuket for some solid Muay Thai training? We have some of the finest masseurs/masseuses who can help relax sore muscles and put you back on track! Another activity that many, especially men, shy away from is yoga. However, this age-old fitness system has been proven to be very useful in releasing stress. Usually, women do take up yoga, but the benefits of yoga for men makes it a form of exercise that is equally beneficial to both genders! Not only that, since you’re here to train in some Thai boxing too, using Yoga for martial arts, is an excellent way to take your martial arts training to a whole new level.
Stress doesn’t take a break just because you’re on holiday. Our normal lifestyle has many stress-inducing activities. Consider all the additional stress we add during holidays when we’re partying and drinking. And God help you if you’ve also signed up for a Muay Thai class! But now, since you’re reading this article, you’re no longer just some average Joe! You know how to keep the stress in your body in check because you know how the stress bucket model works! Do you have some buddies travelling to Phuket, to party and train? Make sure you’ve shared this article with them before they end up burnt out! Comment below to share your own stress release techniques that can be an effective outlet in the stress bucket model.