March 10, 2016
Cliff notes: This is a positive review. If you are a weightlifter, I recommend you go try a float session out to see if it works for you like it does for me. I mean you already waste your money on supplements that do nothing, fitness soda, 2 pairs of weightlifting shoes, compression pants and various overpriced copies of straps, wraps and sleeves. Why not give a float session a try in an effort to relax your overtaxed CNS and at least challenge yourself to being alone with your thoughts for an hour. In the age of narcissism, it’s harder than you think but it pays dividends on and off the platform.
So I’m going to preface this with a resounding:
I just plain do not buy into most of the bullshit that the fitness industry tries to shove down my throat.
Yes, there are new innovations that come along that don’t necessarily fall into the bullshit category; Take for instance meal prep companies like the one I work with, Forklifter. Lean meat and veggies is an objectively “good” thing. It always has been and always will. So if you got a few extra bones to spend and want someone to prep your food for you, I’d recommend it. But most trends that come and go within the fitness industry are exactly that: trends. Some may serve up more utility or style than others but these trends have and will be recycled as long as people long to feel good about themselves and their bodies.
Now that I got that out of the way, I can talk about this new hip thing I’ve been doing for the past week. It’s called float therapy. Some call it sensory deprivation therapy but honestly that is a pretty extreme way of describing what this is. During a float session, the only thing you’re really depriving yourself from is a) light and b) outside distractions that we fill our personal void with on a daily basis.
So here’s how it went down. Capital Floats opened up on Broadway in the now bustling Oak Park district (my old hood) 2 weeks ago. A friend of mine bought me a session as a gift and it just so happens that I (potentially) am competing in a meet this weekend. It also just so happens that I suffered a mild injury last week and that I’m in a constant state of mild anxiety due to being a small business owner. So a float session seemed like a good idea.
I checked in. The facility was clean and inviting. I know I’m into the whole “dungeon” look for a training hall. That’s what feels like “home” to me. I immediately get turned off when I see super polished and sterile weightlifting warehouses that lack personality. But when I look at any sort of shared public water facility, the FIRST thing I’m going to do is determine if it seems sanitary or not. This place passed with flying colors. You are assigned your own room where you rinse off and then hop in a tank of salt water for an hour. A dim blue light lines the floor until you’re ready to turn it off. And I DO recommend turning it off.
Stare into the void. Look into yourself. Be alone. Be okay with that. Relax, your phone is just outside the door. You get to return and check your social media soon enough.
This exercise in itself is more than worth it for me. Alone time is like gold. Being truly cut off with a valid excuse for being unavailable is sacred time. It’s church. And yes, I’m sure there are some physical benefits too. Am I going to go look at what the peer reviewed research says before I form an opinion? No. I feel relaxed afterwards and thats enough for me. And as far as research goes, I haven’t done my homework lately but relaxation is pretty much unanimously considered “good” for the competitive athlete (at least that’s what I learned in college). I’ve only tried floating on my off day and in the evening after my sessions. But I’d be curious to see how my body responds to a float session in between heavy workouts on my primary training days.
Capital Floats on Broadway. Give it a shot. If it’s not you’re thing, no biggie. But whether you’re a weightlifter or a small business owner or a dad or somebody’s boss, I’m sure you could use some sacred time. Make it a priority once every few months.
June 10, 2015
As a rule, I won’t plug products unless they fulfill my criteria of being high value, useful and bullshit free. For example: straps. 90% of people I meet WASTE MONEY on straps. Make your own. They will last longer and perform better. I’ve had mine for 4 years now. They are made of rock climbing webbing and one of my lifters, Duffy, sewed and burnt the ends for me. They cost under two dollars and I guarantee they are better than your straps. At best, yours are made out of the same material. At worst, they are made out of that standard nylon seat belt material that WILL fray and snap. Actually at the very worst, you have those cotton loop ones with the foam pad on the back. My mitts eat those. It’s not that I have a problem with people making money in the fitness industry. I just have a problem with people making money at other’s expense or fulfilling needs that do not need to be filled.
Conversely, I plug my sponsor, Forklifter all the time. They provide a high quality service at a high value price point. I mean . . . it’s meat, healthy carbs and veggies. If you disagree with that then there’s no hope for you.
So bringing it back to my original goal for this post,
I’m going to plug a product.
I maintain that the BEST option for wrist support is Johnson & Johnson athletic tape. Not that Muller or ACE crap. Johnson & Johnson. The second best option and one that I used for years is the standard boxing wrap. They come in two varieties, the shorter less-stretchy version (for some reason we used to call them white boy wraps back in the day. I couldn’t explain to you why) and the longer more-stretchy versions. I recommend the shorter one and for God’s sake please take your thumb out of the loop. It bothers me at a very deep level when I see people lifting with their thumbs still in the loop like a doofus. A lesser preferred option and one that I have been using for the past 2 years are the new fangled PR wraps or “Crossfit wraps” as I like to call them. They’re decent. Decent enough that I saw no need to change them over the past two years except when I need the extra support. Then I go back to the old faithful athletic tape.
These are something new for me. I looked at the ones off of Risto but based on how well their shoes hold up, I decided I’d look elsewhere. My search took me to Wyvernworks on Etsy. He makes fantasy and LARP gear but after searching around a bit, I decided that his wrist supports looked like they could hold up to training. I made the mistake of ordering two different styles so I asked him for the link to the ones I got.
They came in on Monday and after hitting some front squats and push presses in them, I can say that they DO support my wrist very well. Time will tell how they will hold up to training but I am pretty confident so far. Take note, I wear my buckles on the inside of my wrist to let the extra material support the joint from the outside.
I’ll post an update after a month or so of hard training getting ready for Nationals.