For as long as I can remember I have said, "it isn't about how you are performing, its about how you are recovering". I have studied this 'chicken or the egg' conundrum in training for years. The debate about what we as coaches should put an emphasis on, expectations in the gym or expectations of the immune system. There is growing evidence from some of the best science minds in the world that your immune system is the key to athletic performance. As the focus shifts, so does the nutrition. And for this, we surprisingly find mushrooms hold treasures that have been yielding gold medal results for millennia.
As is the standard in modern medicine, we treat the symptoms instead of the cause. Decreases in performance, high cortisol levels, fatigue, cognitive decline, and the common cold are all signs of a drop in immune system health. As athletes we are bombarded by the supplement marketing machine which is eager to drop pre-workouts, BCAA's and proteins galore on us. But as you can expect, these are short term band-aids for a long term problem that could result in serious disease.
I, of course, look to diet and natural sources that are going to build up the Immune system. Reishi Mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, touted for being the key to youth and longevity. Reishi is truly one of the most powerful anti-oxidant foods. Like other powerhouse veggies, Reishi gets its supercharge from PHYTOCHEMICALS that fight free radical damage to your cells and associated DNA. This IS how we boost immune health, keeping the massive amount of oxidizing enzymes away from our most important work horses in the body.
Whether you are training hard or simply existing, you encounter stress on your body that your immune system is constantly fighting off. Pushing weight or simply dealing with annoying co-workers is incredibly taxing on the Body. Keeping the immune system healthy is why we sleep as much as we do, why our body craves good nutrition and falls apart when we dont eat it, and why the stress of a work week usually results in weekend sickness during the winter months.
Reishi Mushrooms provide a broad spectrum defense against all these stresses and more. I bet you didn't know that Reishi can help block the flu virus. Virus' are not just free floating bacteria that cause short term infection, they work by binding themselves to your cells and messing up the DNA inside. Reishi supplementation guards against viral infection and long term disease because of BETA GLUCANS. Beta glucans are polysaccharides which activate your immune cells to attack gnarly invaders and keep you from long term sickness. Cancer treatments even look to mimic the physiological effects that Reishi have on the body!
Did you know that red blood cell production is supported by Reishi. The Liver and Kidneys act as production centers and wash centers for your working blood cells. Red Blood cells carry oxygen and re responsible for ATP production during training. Reishi Mushrooms contain TRITERPENES which decrease blood pressure and manage lipid (fat) content in the blood. When the Kidney and Liver are not working so hard to do their jobs, you perform better. I have been a victim of an overworked and stressed liver and kidney because of my training regimen. I have seen the direct result of Reishi supplementation in my blood work and felt the performance boost when my red blood cells and mitochondria are firing like they are supposed to.
Reishi Mushroom can be integrated in your diet in many different ways.
-Reishi Tea is sold in many health food stores.
-Reishi Spore Powder is concentrated and gives athletes a pre-workout boost!
-Pills and Powders can be found in nutrition supplement isles
-Chinese markets many times have dried Reishi that can be processed in foods and even fruit smoothies. (they have a bitter taste)
Given the goals that we set for ourselves and the performance we need to achieve them, Reishi are a great way to supplement your nutrition. Performance is directly tied with your Immune health and how you are recovering. Steering clear of marketing hype is important when trying to live the cleanest life possible. Reishi is just one mushroom that can help you. Look around at the numerous benefits that fungi can give you both cognitively as well as physically. Keep expanding your view on what optimal health really looks like in your life and I will keep bringing you the best and most up to date information to help you.
Programming Notes 2/26-3/2
10 Banded Good Mornings (1” Band)
10 Banded Press and Rip (1” Band)
10 Banded Pull Apart ( .25” band)
PVC Snatch Warm Up:
-Back Rack Press
-Hang Power Snatch + OHS
-Hang Squat Snatch
Snatch Skill Complex : 12 Minutes
-Hang Power Snatch BELOW Knee
-Hang Squat Snatch ABOVE Knee
20 Cal Bike
10 Snatch 135/95
3X :30 @ Each
-Reverse Lunge +High Knee Pull
-Divebomber Push ups
-PERFECT Air Squats
Squat Clean Progression:
*ensure accurate movement!!
-Muscle Clean from above Knee
-Squat Clean Thruster
Marine Master Sgt. Aaron Torian, 36, of Paducah, Kentucky, died Feb. 15, 2014, during combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Torian was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and was on his sixth deployment at the time of his death.
10 Squat Clean Thruster 115/75
15 KB Swing 53/35
-Rest 2 Mins Between Rounds
1:00 Cobra Pose
1:00 Plank Hold
1:00 Seated Hamstring Stretch
1 Mile Bike
40 Hollow Body Single Unders
15 Kip Swings
10 Push Ups
10 Walking Lunges
Banded Bully Stretch
Banded Lat Stretch
Banded Scapula Distraction Stretch
A- :30 Ring Support (alternate rounds between Top and Bottom Ring Supports)
B- :30 Double Under Reps or practice
3X 5:00 Intervals
50 Double Unders
20 Bulgarian Split Squat (10 each leg)
10 Ring Dip
*bulgarian Split squat May be weighted, holding dumbbells in farmer carry position
1:00 Handstand Hold
15 Burpee Pull Ups
10 Divebomber Push Ups
*across all sets
*75-80% of max Press
5 Hand Release Push Ups
5 Chest TO bar Pull Ups