Powerlifting and ChiropractorsThis is where your chiropractor can become your new best friend. You can become your strongest self when the muscles are able to respond and relay the signals they are sending and receiving from the brain. Chiropractic adjustments keep these important lines of communication open. It can also keep your balance intact, identify small problems before they turn into major ones, and help you to heal faster if you do become injured. Since your chiropractor is an expert on the entire musculoskeletal system of the body, it only makes sense that they would know how you can improve your game, spot a weakness you might have when lifting, and even improve your routine! If you have been seeing your chiropractor on a regular basis, good for you! Chiropractic care and weight lifting go hand in hand and have been used for decades by professional weight lifters who know the importance of regular care! If you haven’t, you would be surprised at the benefits that chiropractic care can add to your powerlifting routine and meets.
Those in the KnowPowerlifters usually have a set routine that they follow before each meet. While this might vary slightly from person to person, things like carb loading, peaking, and cutting are all common practices. For those who know the added benefit from their chiropractor, they usually seek out an adjustment and a deep tissue massage before a meet. It’s perfectly OK to workout before you have a chiropractic adjustment, so there is no need to worry that it might interfere with your routine. In fact, those in the know understand that rest and recuperation, combined with chiropractic adjustments, are just as important as your workout routine. Without proper rest, the body will not heal and will not have the strength you work so hard for. The week before your meet is a time for rest, recovery, double checking the little things (the food you will take with you, your gear, the rules of this match, etc.). Taking care of yourself during this time is every bit as crucial as the training you have put yourself through during the past few months. Don’t think of this as “slacking off”, you aren’t going to lose any strength in a few days’ time. Try to think of this as just another phase in your overall training program. There are 5 reasons why you should see your chiropractor for an adjustment and have a deep tissue massage.
Reason #1-You Deserve ItPowerlifters are often willing to sacrifice many things in their lives to compete with the best. Taking care of your body shouldn’t be one of them! Just knowing that a meet is looming in your near future is a considerable source of stress. If you were injured at the last meet, if there is anything in your personal life that is not going well, or if you have any doubts, no matter how small, these are all additional sources of stress. Two weeks before your meet, plan on having a deep tissue massage. This will improve flexibility, keep muscles healthy, and improve your sleep cycle. One week before your meet, your training is essentially finished. You won’t accomplish anything in the days leading up to the meet. This is the time to relax and focus on your health, both physical and mental. You can reduce stress and lower the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the body by having a relaxing type of massage performed at least once. After your meet, be sure to have a chiropractic massage, to ensure that muscles receive good circulation, which is vital for repair and maintenance of muscle tissue.
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Reason #2- You Want to Win!No one enters a contest planning on losing! You want to win, and you’ve done everything you can imagine and then some to get here. Seeing your chiropractor should be considered a normal part of your training routine. Most people only think of their chiropractor as someone who “cracks their back”, but the truth is that your chiropractor is a doctor, highly trained in the bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissue throughout the body. You want to do everything you can to ensure that you rank right up there with the best. Having a chiropractic adjustment about a week before your meet will ensure that your spine is in the correct position, that the thousands of signals your brain and muscles send each other have open pathways for communication, and, let’s face it, it feels so good to have everything in its proper place!
Reason #3-Food MattersChiropractors are also trained in the nutritional needs of the body. If you have been seeing your chiropractor regularly, he most likely has talked to you about your diet. If you haven’t, this would be a good time to discuss your diet and what would be the best foods for you to take to your meet. While you don’t want to upset your stomach with new foods or supplements, you probably want to eat something between lifts. While cookies and caffeine are common, your chiropractor might have other suggestions for increasing your metabolism and fueling the fire, such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with coffee. Don’t be afraid to speak to the doctor about your diet, even if this is your first visit. Your chiropractor is not there to judge your eating habits, but to help you be your best powerlifting self.
Reason #4- You’re RealisticWhile everyone might dream of being an Olympic champion (and you could be the next one, who knows?) A meet is about testing your limits. You want to be realistic, however, and not overestimate yourself. Someone once said that the key to life is moderation and that even moderation needs to be broken on occasion. So, while you need confidence in your abilities, to avoid injury, you need to realistic. After months of training, monitoring your body weight, keeping track of your strict diet, you know on the day of the meet what you can lift and what would be impossible to lift. Hard work definitely pays off, but you can’t use wishful thinking to lift weights. Your chiropractor can be a terrific partner in this area. While you already know your limits, the doctor might be able to discuss some tips that can help your game. Coaches are undeniably your best ally, but chances are that they aren’t doctors. You be asking yourself, “Can I lift weights after a chiropractic adjustment?’ The answer here is yes, you absolutely can. During your appointment, speak about your routine, what you believe your limits to be, and seek out your chiropractor’s advice. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Reason #5-Because of What You Don’t KnowThe human body has 206 bones and 640 muscles, not including connective tissue. Every single component of the musculoskeletal system serves an important function. To be your very best powerlifting self, you need to have every single one of the above body pieces working at their optimum. A Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine knows how all of these parts are linked and they know how to get the most out of each and every muscle, as well as how to improve the often-ignored connective tissue. You might think that you know all about your body, and no one will deny that you have worked hard to become an expert on you, but we guarantee that your chiropractor knows even more about you. It’s what you don’t know that can hurt you. There is nothing more disappointing than going to a meet, not realizing that you already have a weak “X” and not only failing to lift but sustaining an injury that keeps you out of the game for weeks or even months. Seeing your chiropractor about a week before your meet ensures that you are in tip top shape, that there is nothing that is hidden, and that you are ready to compete. No one wants to worry about whether that wrist is going to hold out through the match. You want to have complete peace of mind, feel full of confidence, and be as relaxed as possible when you approach those weights. Your chiropractor is a valuable tool that every powerlifter should take advantage of. Winners apply every tool possible to reach their goal. Shouldn’t you?
About the Author
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using services designed to help give long-lasting relief.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.