The kind of training required to take part in strongman competitions is grueling and most definitely not for the faint of heart. And it turns out the process of recovery afterwards can be brutal in its own right. Eddie Hall, former winner of World’s Strongest Man, just posted a YouTube video showing the physiotherapy that strongmen go through to look after their muscles, including a deep tissue sports massage which brings tears to his eyes.
Surely a massage can’t be that bad, we hear you say? Well, we’re not talking a bit of light kneading at the spa to ease away the week’s stress; this is a proper hammering designed to break down muscle tissue.
“I’ve been told this one’s vicious,” Hall says at the start of the video. See for yourselves.
The physiotherapist starts by applying deep heat on Hall’s legs to get the blood circulating, then takes to his leg with a rock blade. “It’s like getting a tattoo,” he says. “A persistent sort of pain that you have to put up with.”
The use of the rock blade, the physio explains, is to “break down the muscle fascia to enable better blood flow through the muscles.” It also, as you can probably imagine, hurts like hell, so it’s pretty apt that it resembles a knuckle-duster. “That is horrendous,” Hall says. “I think I’d rather get fisted in my arse than that. It’s just terrible.”
“I swear that just took an inch off my kidney,” he adds, once the rock blade is applied to his back. “Can I have some more lube please? Fucking hell.”
Once the ordeal is over (complete with a head-to-toe going over with a percussive massage gun) , Hall follows it up with a trip to the gym for hot and cold treatments in the sauna and pool, then a dip in the hydro pool to stretch out all those muscles that just took such a beating.
“I didn’t think that hour was ever going to end. Oh my days,” he says. “I’m absolutely battered and bruised all over. She was pretty harsh.”