Functional Fitness Training (FFT) requires high level performance in power, sprint, strength, and endurance activities, in addition to the skill and technique required to performance complex movements. For this reason, performance is not limited by one physiological system or physical attribute. The Functional Fitness Athlete’s ability to perform at a high level is determined by their ability to consistently produce optimal power outputs, their resistance to fatigue development, and their ability to recover or adapt between training sessions. Increasing the body’s buffering capacity with PR Lotion will reduce the detrimental effects of hydrogen ion on force development and fatigue, thereby allowing the Functional Fitness Athlete to maintain high force and power outputs for longer. Further, PR Lotion may reduce post-training inflammation and muscle soreness, promoting recovery and optimizing adaptation to the training stress.
Demands & Challenges for the Function Fitness Athlete
Functional Fitness Training (FFT) or High Intensity Functional Training includes a large variety of exercise modalities. These include Olympic lifting, power lifting, repeated bodyweight gymnastics style movements, aerobic or cardiovascular exercise (i.e. metabolic conditioning), sprints, and flexibility exercises. These modes of exercise are performed in highly varied combinations, loads, and repetition schemes with limited or no rest and recovery between sets or exercises. Functional Fitness Training, therefore, involves high-intensity, resistance, and aerobic training mixed together with the aim of achieving well-rounded fitness or global performance outcomes.
Because of the large variety in the types of exercises, Functional Fitness performance is not necessarily determined by limitations in one single physiological system (i.e. aerobic or anaerobic capacity) nor one specific physical attribute (i.e. speed). Strength or absolute force production and both mean and peak power production may be highly correlated to performance in Functional Fitness (i.e. CrossFit) competitions. However, performance is ultimately determined by one’s ability to the consistently and persistently apply the optimal force and power required to complete the prescribed workout or combination of exercises. This means that an athlete’s ability to maintain high force and power outputs, without fatigue, and their ability to rapidly recover force or rate of force production during the limited periods of rest are essential for Functional Fitness performance.
From a training perspective, the goal for the Functional Fitness athlete should be to maximize training load while allowing optimal physiological adaptation. This requires adequate recovery between training sessions in combination with maintaining high quality training loads. It is worth noting, that in addition to strength, power, and endurance; an important aspect of training is in the development of the necessary skills and proper form required to safely and efficiently perform the exercises. The Olympic and Power lifts, in particular, require diligent skill development for proficient execution, not to mention the skill required for efficiency while performing the gymnastic style movements (i.e. muscle ups, etc.). The inability to recover between sessions or fatigue development during a training session can reduce the athlete’s ability to maintain both the prescribed training load and the skill / form required to safely and efficiently perform the required training.
PR Lotion Supports Optimal Training & Performance
Bicarbonate is a natural electrolyte that exists in the body and is especially important within the muscles (extracellular space) and blood stream during exercise. Bicarbonate is the body’s first line of defense for preserving acid-base balance and is crucial for optimum nerve and muscle function. Bicarbonate levels in the body can be increased through the ingestion of sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda. Decades of scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports improved performance outcomes with sodium bicarbonate ingestion prior to training or competition for high intensity training. So much so, that recent International Olympic Committee consensus statements on dietary supplementation and high-performance athletes includes sodium bicarbonate among very few supplements demonstrating “strong evidence of achieving benefits for performance”. Despite the evidence for sodium bicarbonate ingestion on performance outcomes, significant gastrointestinal distress limits its use.
PR Lotion is a topical product that delivers sodium bicarbonate directly through the skin, thereby bypassing gut limitations and any gastrointestinal distress. The lotion works by creating a safe and effective “pathway”, while at the same time encapsulates the sodium bicarbonate for effective delivery through the skin. Once in the body, the bicarbonate acts as a buffer to neutralize acid production during high intensity exercise, helps maintain overall pH balance, and aids in reducing the inflammation and tissue swelling that leads to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Increased buffering potential in the muscle, with PR Lotion, may allow the Functional Fitness Athlete to maintain high (or optimal) force and power outputs for longer periods during training and competition. An important function of bicarbonate is to buffer hydrogen ions produced by the muscles as a metabolic by-product of high intensity exercise or repeated bouts of high intensity exercise, like those common in Functional Fitness Training. Therefore, PR Lotion application prior to training or competition may reduce muscle fatigue development or the rate of fatigue progression which allows the athlete to maintain near maximal efforts for longer. Reducing fatigue progression, either during training or competition, will not only allow diminish the impact of fatigue on force and power output but will also preserve technique and/or skill required to safely and effectively execute the required exercises.
Unlike traditional weight training or Olympic Lifting and Power Lifting by themselves, a unique element of High Intensity Functional Training is the limited, or non-existent, recovery between sets or exercises. Adequate recovery between sets and exercises allows the blood to “clear” metabolic byproducts, like hydrogen ion, from the muscle. The limited time between sets and exercises with Functional Fitness Training restricts the effectiveness of this clearance. Therefore, preserving buffering capacity during the few available rest periods with PR Lotion can be crucial for maintaining performance during training or competition.
PR Lotion can improve recovery between training sessions in two ways. First, the alkaline environment provided by bicarbonate in the muscle can reduce post-exercise inflammation caused by high intensity muscle contractions. This means that applying PR Lotion before a high intensity or Functional Fitness Training session may reduce the muscle damage due to inflammation. Second, sodium bicarbonate may decrease the edema or tissue swelling that occurs in the muscle following heavy or long training sessions. It is this edema that leads to the feeling of muscle soreness 24 – 48 hours following a hard (or unfamiliar) training session. Combined, PR Lotion may lead to a reduction in the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) between training sessions that can be so debilitating. Improved muscle recovery and function following a hard training effort can only enhance the quality of the subsequent training session and optimize the adaptation from the prescribed training load.