In this special guest post written by TJ Dillashaw, the UFC champion explains one of the most important aspects of training that most athletes overlook: recovery. Dillashaw shares his personal struggles with over-training, and how he uses the Joovv to optimize his recovery process after strenuous workouts.
Every athlete dreams about the glory at the end of all the hard work, whether it’s standing at the top of the podium with the gold, hoisting the trophy, or in my case, wearing the UFC Championship belt. Becoming an elite athlete takes years of grueling work and dedication, day in and day out, when no one’s watching. You need relentless training to reach the top of any sport, but there’s something else you absolutely have to have that almost all athletes overlook: recovery.
Too many good athletes don’t take recovery seriously enough or don’t think they need it until they get hurt or experience setbacks, but I think it’s just as vital as training. A lot of fighters can work their butt off in the gym every day, especially when they’re younger, but what separates the good from the great is longevity. We remember the athletes who were great over a whole career; we usually forget the names of the players who had 1 or 2 good years and faded away. There’s no doubt that athletes who take recovery more seriously are the ones who stay healthier and prolong their careers.
Just a few years ago, I was training so hard that I ran myself into the ground. I was exerting so much effort on training (without thinking much about recovery) that my testosterone levels were shot. My wife and I were trying to get pregnant, and it wasn’t happening. Our doctor recommended red light therapy, so I looked online, found Joovv, and started working red light therapy into my nightly recovery routine at home.
That was a year and a half ago. Since then, I’ve been using my Joovv every night because it helps me relax physically and mentally. I notice I don’t sleep nearly as well or wake up feeling as good when I don’t get my red light in the night before. Not long after I started Joovvin’ at night, my T-levels improved and my wife got pregnant shortly thereafter. And 9 months later, we had a healthy baby boy! I have no doubt that red light therapy helped make that possible.
You may be a great athlete, the hardest worker, a physical freak with all the tools. But no one’s invincible. In a tough sport like UFC, you’re rewarded for biting your lip and powering through the pain. That fire and drive is part of what makes a champion, but so is preserving your body for the long haul.
For every champion, there’s a lot more “coulda-been-great” athletes who got worn down, injured and never reached their potential. Don’t be one of them. Respect your body, play the long game, and start focusing more on recovery. Sitting in the sauna, cold tubs, and using compression therapy are all great methods too. But now, I’m absolutely sold on the recovery benefits of Joovv light therapy and don’t train without it now.