Elite Recovery Tips from FAU’s Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Joey Guarascio

Welcome to Issue #1 of Edge, PUR-FORM’s monthly newsletter designed to help you discover the latest trends in fitness, strength training, cryo, red light therapy, infrared saunas and everything else you need for peak performance at any age.

One of the perks of having PUR-FORM’s headquarters on the campus of FAU’s Research Park is our close proximity to experts in the field of medicine, health, wellness and athletic performance.

On that last note, our office is only a few hundred yards from Howard Schnellenberger Field at FAU Stadium where the Owls play their home football games. A little further down the road sits FAU Arena, the home of the 2023 NCAA Final Four hoops squad. And the man helping to increase the speed and power of FAU’s elite athletes, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Joey Guarascio, is right next door.

And since our goal with The Edge is to showcase and share what you need to train harder, perform better and recover smarter, we reached out to Coach Guarascio for a few tips that he uses to help his athletes bounce back from a tough workout.

“The biggest thing we do is make sure that recovery is planned,” Guarascio says. “If you don’t make it mandatory, it won’t get done.”

The key here is the word ‘mandatory’. 

For many of us, whether we’re weekend warriors or regular runners or we play tennis or golf daily, we typically remember to warm-up before our activity, but far too often, we skip out on the equally critical warm-down and recovery period, which can lead to future injuries.

“For us, I think about what’s practical and what’s feasible,” Guarascio says. “After workouts we’ll do mobility work to get heart rate down and open up the range of motion. It’s all about pairing the best recovery method that people will utilize.”

This time of year, when it’s over 90 degrees every day in Florida, recovery for athletes who exercise outside means keeping an eye on their internal temperature to avoid serious consequences.

“When it feels like it’s 110 degrees outside, it’s critical to get your body temperature down post workout,” Guarascio says. “There is a lot of damage going on. You burn so many calories and sweat out so much water, we get right into recovery mode post-exercise because it’s a race to get back to homeostasis. After a warm-down we do cold plunges for recovery. Everyone heads right to the ice water and they soak for 8 minutes.”

Guarascio also pairs the plunge with a shake that has a higher glycemic sugar load to spike insulin and absorb carbs. 

“We give our guys tons of fruit after an outdoor summer workout,” he says. “And nothing beats eating right and getting quality sleep each night for recovery.”

In addition, Guarascio uses a host of modalities and recovery devices that you’ve seen patients use regularly at PUR-FORM.

“We use cryotherapy, hydrotherapy and recovery boots,” Guarascio says. “The recovery boots are really good to increase blood flow and we’ll use them pre-workout, post-workout or even several days after. Compression is really great for recovery. It can also help with tendonitis and soft tissue injuries.”

“I also love the red light therapy,” he says. “Getting in there for ten minutes, getting that red light on you. It does the job of a ten minute warm-up in five minutes. There’s a ton of research on how red lights are beneficial to mitochondria and cells as well.”

If you’re interested in a sneak peak into FAU’s training, follow Coach Guarascio on Twitter: @CoachJoeyG. He regularly shares videos of his team’s workouts, along with training tips and motivation.
And be sure to share this issue of Edge with someone who you think would enjoy it!


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