Me Time: How to Recover Like an Elite Athlete

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We ended with 30 minutes on the CVAC (Cylic Variations in Adaptive Conditioning), a slightly scary looking pod that uses fluctuating elevation, atmospheric pressure and oxygen to essentially wring out metabolic waste and help the body quickly recover from a workout. It feels like taking off and landing from a plane over and over for half an hour. It’s not uncomfortable unless your biggest fear is your ears popping, but it lacks the treat-yourself feel of my glorious NuCalm rest.

Two weeks later I met up with Mr. Richey for a strength-building session that began with a water-filled ball with handles, not unlike a kettlebell, which I used for trunk rotations and squats as a total body warm-up. Then we moved on to lunges, chest presses using a cable, more lunges, balance exercises, yet more lunges and then a circuit of resistance exercises like push-ups.

For recovery, Mr. Richey zipped compression sleeves that looked like a combination of sleeping bag and boot onto my legs to minimize muscle soreness and inflammation. They felt like a gentle leg massage for 30 minutes and gave me the look of someone who means business, as if I were training for a marathon. Then I spent 30 minutes in the Sunlighten mPulse full spectrum infrared sauna.

While I would gladly take an old-fashioned cedar sauna whose heated air (via fire or electricity) makes you so sweaty after a few minutes that jumping into a cold lake seems like a good idea, that is not always an option in my quotidian urban life. Infrared saunas use heat from the inside out, so you sweat more like you do when you’re exercising than when you enter a steamy room. And the air isn’t hot, so you can stay in the sauna much longer and sweat that much more. Just drink a lot of water.

After my sessions at Recover, I felt lively and energetic, clean from the inside out, as if I had eaten steamed vegetables for a few days, and I never once felt sore the next day. I plan on going again, not necessarily for training but to book a day of active recovery. Who needs to recover from exercise when we can just recover from the grueling slog of life?

Recover

What to Expect The owners are some of the most skilled and personable personal trainers in the city, but the real reason to come are the numerous methods they have for active recovery, including an infrared sauna, air compression and NuCalm for a high-tech nap.

Prices Treatments cost from 30 to $130. NuCalm: $65 for 30 minutes; CVAC: $45 for 20 minutes; air compression: $30 for 30 minutes; infrared sauna, $45 for 30 minutes.

Recover, 360 Seventh Avenue, fourth floor, 646-883-2316; recover.nyc

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