How do we build a practice including all five survival stress tools appropriately?
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
“There are many approaches that help build quality practices over a long arc. They all require discipline...Build a routine that you will stick with; consistency is more important than intensity."
- Matt Soule, author of Fight, Freeze, Fast, F^ck, Breathe - Mastering the Stress Response
Each survival stress tool offers a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional benefits, when trained and applied correctly. When combined, layered or stacked together, the results are truly staggering. The timing of how and when we include them will contribute to an optimal practice.
Recall last week I offered a simple example of how to combine the Breathe tool and the Freeze tool found within the Wim Hof Method which does this very clearly. What about combining high intensity training such as the Fight tool with the Freeze tool? To stack these two tools together relies on different timing. I find it is best to separate these by several hours, and ideally with sleep in between.
Here's an example of my personal training regimen that I have used for years to great success.
I do much of my cold training in the mornings. This helps naturally boost my energy levels to tackle the day (and more as you will see below), while giving me a difficult, but manageable challenge to overcome first thing. Mentally and emotionally overcoming an obstacle in the morning helps me to overcome other resistance I meet later in the day.
Typically in the afternoons (and / or evenings) I do my high intensity training, usually utilizing the Fight tool - though I also rock climb, mountain hike, or other intense work too :)
This allows me to enjoy the benefits of high intensity training, followed by a healthy inflammatory response which aids in muscle tissue repair. I sleep that night which continues the recovery stage. Then in the morning, I go back to Freeze tool which signals to reduce inflammation, finalizes cellular repair, and gives me that burst of energy to start the process again.
This combination allows me to get the full benefits of all the training and the rest and recovery my body needs.
For this week, the takeaway is to follow these three steps:
Step 1 Learn the timing of how to use survival stress tools for peak performance. Today we discussed combining the Freeze tool with the Fight tool (also applicable for other high intensity training).
Next week we will learn how the breath and sex overlap to produce wild effects. Want more now?
Step 2 Take action. By taking action and implementing these tools in our lives, the information = empowerment! The result will be a tremendously positive influence on bettering our lives. Start today by checking out some of the upcoming training opportunities.
Check out opportunities at mattsoule.com/workshop
Step 3 Maintain the balance. High-threshold tools are powerful, which means that when wielded correctly— that is using them consistently but in short durations— they will serve us. Overuse them and you will pay the price which often leads to burnout, injury or worse. We are all at different starting places so respect the power of the tool as you calibrate your personal training regimen. If you are unsure about a particular tool, routine or anything around your training, submit your question and I will do my best to answer it.
This week's question
"I thought inflammation was always bad. Is that right?"
Not exactly. Inflammation is the body's natural signal that helps initiate repair for damage that has occurred. When this signal is working as intended it recruits blood and nutrients to the damaged area working to positively help the body recover. However, when this signal is persistent and unending, this can lead to negative outcomes. Retraining the nervous system through hormesis is a great way to help us re-establish a healthy inflammatory signal in the body.
Ask a Question
Do you have a specific question that you would like answered to help you with your training? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Instagram @soulemd and I will include your question and answer in a future newsletter or blog post.