Does Curcumin Work on DOMS?

Recently, there were a few more studies that looked into how curcumin supplementation affects both exercise-induced muscle damage and post-exercise muscle soreness. And, not surprisingly, the results were mixed.

I say “not surprisingly” because, if you keep an eye on these studies and actually look at the results and data, the conclusions the actual researchers reach is generally far from as clear cut as the headlines written about the studies would have you believe. Coffee is not entirely bad for you and red wine is not entirely good for you. It all falls on a spectrum. And the results of this study are no different.

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Why I Do Cold Water Dips

Brock in the water last April

One of the things I love most about where I live is that I can walk to the beach. Granted, I live in Canada… on Vancouver Island… so much of the year the water is ~8 degrees celsius (or colder). But when we moved here in November of 2020, I decided that I would go to the beach as many mornings per week as I could muster. And after a few weeks of walking along the shore and staring out at the water, I started joining some friendly folks who going in the water for a plunge.

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Comfortably Uncomfortable

Photo of a finish line

Let’s try a little experiment. If I asked you to go out and run, swim or cycle right now with no further instruction, what pace would you go at?

Chances are that you would go out and run, ride or swim at what we refer to as a “comfortably uncomfortable” pace. A pace that makes you feel like you are getting some benefit from it but also a pace that feels achievable and sustainable.

There is a good reason that we humans default to working just on the verge of discomfort. In fact, psychologists even have a name for it: Manageable Difficulty or (more whimsically) The Goldilocks Rule.

The Goldilocks Rule says: humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Or, comfortably uncomfortable.

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It’s not the Race, It’s the Plan

I have heard the same thing so many times in the years that I have been a coach. An athlete finishes their A-Race, takes a bit of a recovery break, and then eventually emails me saying “Now that my race is over, I can’t seem to get motivated to workout anymore!” – or – “I seem to have lost the motivation to exercise, now that the race season is over.”

Then, after they flounder around for a while, unsuccessfully trying to get magically motivated, they sign up for another race with the sole purpose of rekindling their motivation to exercise. And sure, that works… but I think they are missing the point.

I am going to say it: Motivation is overrated and overvalued. For my money, motivation can suck it.

Races are fun and I love helping someone achieve their race goals – but races aren’t the reason you are getting to the gym, track, pool, or trail on a consistent basis. Having a plan is!

Races aren’t the reason you are getting to the gym, track, pool, or trail
on a consistent basis. Having a plan is!

You see, when you have a race on the calendar, you usually also have a training plan for that race. That training plan involves a concrete workout for most days of the week. This forces you to make room in your schedule to get said workout done. And that right there is the magic. At that point, motivation can go hang – because you have a plan!

The workouts are on your schedule and therefore you get them done. And you know what, you can do this even when you don’t have a race to train for! WHAT?!?!? I know right?

So, I am not saying that you need to stop racing (if you enjoy it) but you do need to give credit where credit is due. The plan is the real hero here, not the race, not some magical motivation imp sprinkling “you love to exercise” dust on you as you sleep, not even your goal of achieving and new personal best finishing time.

It’s not the race – it’s the plan.

If you enjoy this type of out of the (crossfit) box thinking, you might want to check out the mindset, lifestyle, and habit forming program I run with Monica Reinagel over at Weighless.Life. Or join our free Facebook group.

Dec 22 – I am grateful for…

  1. The opportunity to watch a bald eagle relaxing on a tree near our house while making up stories about how excited the other birds in the neighbourhood to have her visit.
  2. Knowing that my sister trusts and respects me the way that I trust and respect her.
  3. Possessing a demeanour that allows me to be approachable but worth listening to (I helped a kid at the gym today and I don’t think he wrote me off as “some bossy old guy”).