Did Relaxing Help Mayweather Win Over McGregor?

On August 23, Floyd Mayweather successfully defended his title against Conor McGregor. His hard training paid off in the fight but a head massage before the event may have also contributed to his win. While most of the media attention has been on Mayweather’s success, the internet has grown excited over his pre-fight routine. In particular is his own scalp massage before the gloves go on.

Floyd Mayweather retired with an impressive 50-0 record with his win over Conor McGregor. He beat the long standing record of Rocky Marciano, 49-0, and gained a reputation as the best defensive boxer in history, as well as being the most accurate puncher.

It has been reported that Mayweather has been practising yoga and other relaxation methods in his training routine. Since 2012, he has been a regular student of yoga and daily massage to attain  greater muscle relaxation and better range of stretching.

This is quite unexpected considering the amount of name calling the two combatants have been putting out leading up to this fight. Why would he do something so opposite of getting hyped up? In actuality it probably helped him out more than we think and other athletes should take note.

The primary effect of massage is to increase circulation but if it is applied in slow repetitive motions it has a calming effect on the nerves. This can be especially vital when in a high-stakes situation. By taking even just five minutes to relax, this is allowing your heart rate to even and your cortisol (the stress hormone) levels to drop.

But why massage on the head as captured by the media before the fight? By calming his nerves on his head this leaves his body still warmed up and excited. In other words, it gives him a cool head and hot fists. And the result is in the pudding.

Massage has also often been used for post exercise recovery. A study in 2016 from Cardiff Metropolitan University found that one group of athletes who were given a short 10-minute massage post exercise had decreased levels of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) compared to the group who did not receive massage. Massage is also effective in pre-exercise if used to help stimulate the muscles and increase their circulation thus preventing injury.

Certainly the evidence of Mayweather’s win seems to support the use of relaxation techniques such as yoag and massage therapy as a winning factor. Being relaxed in any stress situation can no doubt lead to better performance; whether it is in the ring or the office. Why not book a massage today to find out how it can enhance your win factor.

Contributing Author: Keenan Viau is a Registered Massage Therapist at MCA Wellness Clinic in Toronto, ON.

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