Recovery for tricksters

November 25, 2009 Health

Watch this video I made:

My philosophy of recovery

Disintegrate the dualism between training and recovery. Between, I’m training and I’m not training.

  • We are training 24 hours a day.
  • We are recovering 24 hours a day.

Your tricking is an outward expression of your lifestyle

If your lifestyle is characterized by microwavable dinners, a couch, half a dozen bright screens, interrupted sleep, and an excessive school or work burden – your tricking will reflect this. If your lifestyle is characterized by nourishing foods, plenty of sunshine and movement, refreshing sleep, deep relationships and recreations, and a more moderate set of school and work burdens – your tricking will reflect this. Every thing you do has a positive or negative impact on your tricking. Recovery methods are just lifestyle choices and activities that impact your tricking positively.

Over training and Under recovery

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “There is no such thing as over training, only under recovery.” It’s just a mental device really, but I think it’s a good one.

  • When you push your body hard, you gotta recover harder.
  • When you recover hard, you can push your body harder.

Treat fatigue as seriously as you would treat an injury.

When we get injured, we freak out and promise ourselves all these things, “I’m gonna work hard to fix this. I won’t ever try that trick again like that. Blah blah blah” But we ignore the fatigue we accumulate through everyday training. Don’t! Or it could turn into a bad injury.

  • That mild soreness in your peroneals puts you at risk for rolling your ankle (has happened to me.)
  • That peculiar hamstring tightness could become a ruptured hamstring (has happened to me.)
  • When your glutes are exhausted and sore, and aren’t working at full capacity you risk back injury (has happened to me.)
  • That tightness in your hips and ankles could lead to a torn ACL. (thankfully has not happened to me!)
  • Etc.

Mild fatigue is damage. It is a mild injury! Take recovery from everyday fatigue as seriously as you would recovery from a major injury.

Every post-tricking session is a pre-tricking session.

Already be thinking about your next tricking session during your current session: “Is it worth training another 20 minutes? Maybe I should leave some in the bank and finish this tomorrow?” This is how aggressive we should be towards recovery. Don’t just leave it up to your body to repair itself. Help it!

Recovery tactics

Here is my summary of recommendations.

# Every time you throw a trick there isn’t always going to be a benefit, but there is always a cost. Be efficient when you train.

# Have back off weeks instead of sprinkling days off randomly throughout the year.

# Get tons of high quality sleep.

# Take 15-30 minute naps as a supplement to an already optimized sleep hygiene.

# Eat healthy.

# As far as sports supplementation goes, you can’t go wrong with these amino acids:

  • Take 3-5 grams of BCAAs with something sugary before you start warming up, during tricking, and during the hour after you’re done for 9-15 grams total. A little whey protein with this would be good too (Don’t believe the hype about hydrolyzed whey, any kind of whey will do).
  • Take 2-3 grams of creatine monohydrate a day with your highest carbohydrate meal, or your biggest meal for that day. Preferably after training with the mentioned sugar drink.
  • Take 3-5 grams of tyrosine before and/or after training. Tyrosine is for neural recovery, I’ve found it reduces that brain fog feeling my head gets after tricking.
  • Take 1-2 grams of leucine with meals or between meals throughout the day.

Note: Save money by buying from an online bulk retailer. I like Get the product shipped to you in a bag and toss it in a container with a self made label.

Jujimufu amino acids, captain creatine, tyrannosaurus tyrosine, useful leucine

Tyrannosaurus Tyrosine, Captain Creatine, and Useful Leucine

# Use caffeine wisely or don’t use it at all! If you’re usually hopped up on caffeine all day you’ll be unnecessarily burning out your nervous system which puts a damper on your recovery efforts. Also, if you’re usually hopped up on it all day, your body will have built a tolerance to it and you won’t get a big boost from it when you use it for training. So if you do use caffeine, only use it during training sessions; You might want to reserve caffeine’s use only for special sessions. Don’t use it during back off weeks. Occasionally practice caffeine abstinence (some might call it caffeine asceticism haha) by not using it for several days, weeks, or months. Don’t use it to wake you up in the morning or something stupid like that.  If your sleep hygiene is maxed out you won’t need caffeine in the morning, you’ll feel like doing a kip up out of bed. If you do use caffeine for training, use the smallest dose that gives you a better-than-normal training effect. I typically use 100-250 mg of caffeine and I’m over 180 pounds (80 kilos). On a related note, does anyone remember the Warp Energy Mint sampler I made? : )

Warp energy mints

Does anybody remember my old Warp Energy Mints tricking video from 2002?

# Always warm up before training.

# Cool downs after training aren’t necessarily a bad idea, but are mostly useless. Do them only if you like them.

# Do active recovery everyday! Warm up like you’re going to trick, but don’t! This is also an insanely effective strategy for increasing your training volume, because if you make it a goal to warm up for at least 30 minutes everyday, you’ll end up feeling better than you thought some days and will be fitting in bonus tricking sessions. Overtime this will give you big results (I’ve also found this to have an especially good impact on reducing body fat. Do this instead of cardio if you do cardio.)

# Get at least an hour of fresh air everyday. I know this is a lame tip but some people… seriously… don’t…

# Novice trainees are perpetually infatuated with static stretching for recovery. I’m sorry guys, it doesn’t help that much. But do it anyway.

# Despite whether you think it’s goofy or not, rolling all over a PVC pipe on your bedroom floor as a means of auto-massage does help, it helps a whole lot. Iron out those trigger points!

# As far as passive rest goes, use some of that time to watch tricking videos, visualize, meditate, etc, which all affect your tricking positively. Think of it as coding a program before you try running it during a tricking session. The way the program crashes (the trick) will give you feedback so you can work on fixing the bugs in the code during your passive rest time.

# Contrast bathing/showering is stupid. I don’t care what the studies say, it’s not worth the effort and it’s annoying. The results from bathing this way (the feeling you get from it) are comparable to taking 2 minute cold showers. Actually, I feel better after a 2 minute cold shower than a 10 minute contrasting shower; because I only suffer for 2 minutes – then I feel refreshed for an hour, while the contrasting shower just ends up angering me.

# The evidence and reasoning for epsom salt bathing is a bit more convincing, to me, than contrast bathing as a means of recovery. Still not terribly important in my opinion. I’ve not really noticed anything from taking them regularly, so I don’t bother with them anymore. If you already enjoy taking baths, you might as well toss in some epsom salt though. It’s cheap. 500 grams for a full bath will do the trick. Probably not a bad idea after a cold, rainy tricking session.

# Keep a positive mindset. This goes a long way with recovery and stress reduction. I have a small tip regarding cultivating a positive mindset that is specifically for tricksters.

# Have a reason for wanting to recover. Try leaving some loose ends when you finish a tricking session. Such as,

  • My axe2aerial is getting better every session! I need to recover quickly so I can keep this up.
  • I’m so close to the double whatever, but my ankles are shot. I need to start fixing them as soon as I get home so I can get back to this quick.
  • This is my last session before the gathering, I need to take it easy tonight and cut it short so I can get home and get some sleep.

# Treat recovery like a skill. Well, it is a skill! Learn to love doing the things that help you recover and you’ll get good at it. When you do, you’ll get incredible results and feel fantastic! Good luck!


  1. Vae_ Newbis says:

    Did you just fucking put ashes in your health potion ?

  2. STEVE YEAH! says:

    Question! I’m probably killing you with questions but you’re like the holy grail of answers and you’re like my dude.. so… i’m trying to lean out as much as I can for the summer.. I never have problems with this. Within 2-3 months i’m good enough for what I want and get rid of all of the fat I build up over the winter. My question is when I get to that point and want to put on bigger muscle over the fall/winter/spring time.. should I add calories slowly? I think my problem is I eat too many calories too fast when I want to get bigger (regardless if they’re healthy or not and they just add extra unwanted fat weight).. and did I just answer my own question? I noticed your transition took a couple years but it was always a nice slow gradual increase of that juji mass.


  3. STEVE YEAH! says:

    also.. if you did do this.. how many lbs were you trying to add say a week or a month?

    • Jon Call says:

      I think you’re asking me a question mostly related to “time psychology.” So here’s my answer: It’s better to think in terms of 2-3 year intervals than 2-3 months in terms of results, except you should be planning to do things you would do in 2-3 months in 2-3 weeks. I know this sounds like bullshit, but if you strive to do 1 year’s worth of work in 12 weeks (for example) and plan for those 12 weeks instead of the 1 year, every.single.week matters at that point. Then you start really strategizing your 1-2 week periods instead of pushing shit out perpetually in these pathetic long term plans. Do this and you will see results immediately, but after a 2-3 year interval passes, you will reflect and realize the result was a layering of ups and downs. It’s not one cut and one bulk that matters it’s several one after another. It’s not one year after another that matters, it’s four dozen 2 week periods after another. I hope you catch my drift haha.

      • STEVE YEAH! says:

        Ahhhhh so I see! So it’s almost like you’re shocking the body every few weeks. I think i’m slowly understanding. I will apply this to my training! Thanks!

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