Barbell Shrugged

Don’t skip the cool down

Doug Larson

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  • I’m a weightlifter and tried this last night. I did stiff-legged deadlifts for the first time as an accessory and my lower back was super fatigued after. Normally I would just stretch a bit and then hop in my car. Instead I tried your recommended cooldown for weightlifters. Incredible improvement! I felt much better afterwards and fresh as a daisy this morning.

    One question: would you recommend using this same cooldown after every workout or would you make slight modifications each time? If so, can you give a simple rule of thumb for how to modify it? I.e. if the workout was squat heavy, try using A and B movement, but if it’s pull or press heavy, use C and D movement, etc.

    Thanks for the great article!

    • Mike, thanks for trying out the cool down! I’m really glad you found it so helpful.

      Ditto Chris’ comment. Slight variations on the theme are great because they teach you what works and what doesn’t. And having fun is imperative, if you’re not having fun you’re not going to do it.

      One more big picture thing to consider. A warm up is a bridge between not being ready to workout to being ready to workout. Examples: do a few push ups before bench press, jog before you sprint, wrist circles before overhead squat.

      A cool down is the bridge on the other side of the workout. Have you ever tried to stop a car going 60 MPH by slamming your foot on the brake? I don’t recommend it. Examples of bridging out of your workout: just finished squatting do some foam rolling. Long running workout, stretch your calves. Focused on the posterior chain, give the anterior one some loving.

      If it works, you feel better and perform better later, keep doing it. If it doesn’t work, try something else.

  • Hi ! well done with these protocols they are wonderful (feeling good with it !).
    Just to know : how would you cool-down for a typical crossfit WOD mixing BB gym and cardio in the 10-20 time domain ?
    Thank you !

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