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What my Skincare Routine Has in Common With Your Training Routine

Originally sent to my email list on February 11th 2024. Sign up to receive all my emails directly to your inbox here!


It's been a minute since I've sent a catch-up email. I still need to send out a tournament recap email, because 2024 has been a much-needed and welcomed turnaround from 2023.


(If you follow me on Instagram you'll have gained a bit of insight into the physical and mental improvements that helped me get some big wins this year).


Anyway- this post has nothing to do with competition. Today I'm going to tell you what my skincare routine has in common with your (or anyone's) training routine.


Let me give you some context...


My skin has been struggling over the past couple months (and on and off over the past couple years). The harsh weather, hormones, and stress have caused my skin to break out, and it SUCKS.


When I was home over Christmas, I had a facial and was gifted some pretty nice, expensive skincare products. Over the last month, I've been using them but until last week, hadn't seen any improvement.


As you can imagine, this has been really frustrating. The money's been spent, the effort and consistency is there, but still no results. New and old spots kept popping up, and I felt really helpless.


It wasn't until I went into the Ordinary skincare store last Wednesday morning to pick up some moisturizer that things turned around.


I picked up my moisturizers and a few other items that I wanted to try and restock. The saleswoman asked if she could help me find anything, to which I politely declined.


However, when I was checking out, she asked if I needed help creating a regimen to include these products.


At first, I said no, because I had all of these other products at home, and I wasn't sure if she'd be able to take those into account.


Once she finished ringing me up (for a whopping total of $25!), I decided to take her up on her offer. I expressed my skin concerns, and the saleswoman proceeded to ask me which products I had at home, and promptly wrote up 2 morning and 2 evening skincare routines for me. As she wrote the routines, she explained why certain serums can go together, and why others should not be used together.


I'm not a skincare expert, so I still don't really understand exactly how they work together (and I don't really need to!), but having this clearly constructed, effective routine helped me feel better about using these products confidently.


Here's what really blew my mind...


Within ONE DAY of following the morning and evening skincare routine, I saw results.


Not only that, but the next day, I saw even clearer skin.


Now, only 5 days later, I can really see things starting to clear up. I don't have the regimens memorized by any means (the list is sitting on my bathroom counter, just waiting to be framed 😂), but I have the routine in front of me, I can tell it works, and this gives me confidence in the process.


WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TRAINING, YOU ASK?! I'll tell you...


  1. Cool fancy exercises (in this case, serums) are great, but only if you know HOW and WHEN to use them.

I see this going wrong all the time with power & jumping exercises such as box jumps. People try to place them in a heavily fatiguing conditioning circuit, where they really should be done to develop power on their own, with plenty of rest. Good exercise, wrong implementation.


2. The order and structure in which you do things MATTERS.


I learned that you must apply the "lighter" serums first, and finish with the heavier ones. When it comes to exercise, you want to do the most complex, highly-skill based exercises at the beginning of the session when you are fresh. If you put them at the end when you're tired, you're not able to get 100% out of yourself which demands that kind of attention to detail.


I get asked all.the.time what exercises are best for building lower body strength, for improving your backhand power, etc. There's no single exercise that is going to fix anything. It's all about the sequence of events and the rationale behind the programming.

This is why the workouts and exercises in the Squashletic app are programmed in a specific order. It's why mobility sessions and warmups differ from cool downs (even if they may seem very very similar).


Most recently, I've been seeing this concept proven with respect to nutrition in the Squash Shape program. Some participants felt like they were eating "healthy", but were actually missing the specific meal structure that was needed to keep them fueled and satiated.


All this to say, if you've been doing all the things "right", but are still not seeing results, don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Look at the order and the structure of what you're doing, and see if it is optimal. If you don't know (ie if you're guessing), then I'd recommend consulting a coach. That's what we are here for!


Happy training!

Nicole


PS. If you need some training guidance, check out the Squashletic Training Academy- my membership hosted on the Squashletic app which gives you workouts and programs to help you improve your squash fitness!



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