This article is a bit of a one off from the previous outdoors writing I’ve done.
So, six degrees of separation: (1) because of the MMA team I’ve been training with, (2) I’ve been working out at Mountain Strong, a climbing and crossfit gym, (3) which hosted a movement and recovery seminar, aptly named Move Strong; (4) the primary coach was Omri Rachmut, whose instagram coincidentally is @omristrong.
See a naming theme here? Strength. Yeah, I was searching for a working title. Wait. That’s only four degrees of separation. Here:
(5) Omri has worked with Chris Weidman, who is really strong, so;
(6) I basically know Chris Weidman.
Not really, though.
Move Strong was a two day seminar focused on movement and active recovery.
The first half of day one, led by Omri, had the twelve or so participants learn several novel motor movements and also some injury prevention techniques, exercises that focused on strengthening vulnerable joints. Then Omri put us through a grueling workout incorporating those movements with a few familiar endurance exercises thrown in as well.
The second half of the day focused on active recovery. Led by Amy Morrison, we learned how to actively control our breathing and the direct correlation that meditative breathing has on our fight or flight responses, or for those medically inclined, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
That wrapped up an eight hour Saturday; I went home to rest for round two the next day.
I actually watched the Ohio State Buckeyes beat Penn State in an epic comeback. Go Bucks!!!
The second day, the fun day, was structured in a similar way, but outdoors. We focused on active movement and then recovery; as a group, we ran up North Table Mountain, did a few more exercises, then ran trails and over rough terrain for several miles. Finally, we climbed a portion of the western face of North Table Mountain.
And after this, we did some active recovery; an ice bath in Clear Creek. Ice baths have a number of positive effects, including reducing inflammation from high volume exercise. I’ll let you find the rest on your own; here’s a useful link.
Overall, the weekend was exhausting but exciting. Group work is where it’s at; you can push yourself harder and farther than by yourself. There’s an interesting interplay between fatigue and subtly (or outright) competing with the people next to you; very often, especially if you’re competitive, you’ll find that you have more in the gas tank than you originally thought. The added focus on active recovery is a theme that you see more in high-level athletic programs as it allows you to get more out of the day.
10/10, for a movement-based, muscle-confusion-inducing, active-recovery-included athletics and outdoor seminar.
As a note, active recovery is massive for any athletic or endurance pursuit, whether it be playing soccer, hiking in the mountains, or working an eighty hour week in an office. Take care of yourself, actively.
Omri Rachmut is a personal trainer based out of New York city and notably has worked with Chris Weidman, UFC middleweight fighter. He is also a student of Ido Portal, Connor McGregor’s movement coach. He plans on moving to Denver in the future and will likely be coaching at Mountain Strong.
Amy Morrision led the active recovery portion of this seminar and is a MA level therapist and a Extreme Performance Training certified coach. Amy does mindfulness and breathing workshops around the city of Denver and is passionate about helping others intertwine their mental health with their physical health.
Matt Lloyd was the unofficial safety officer and lead climber for the routes we covered. A professional climber, Matt is also a gym owner (see Mountain Strong below) and mixed martial arts fan and practitioner. Click here to see his recent Muay Thai fight – the fight starts around 39 minutes in.
Mountain Strong is a fitness center in Denver, Colorado at 5280 Broadway. Mixing climbing with crossfit and a variety of other disciplines, Mountain Strong has programs and resources for both beginner and professional athletes.