REST? WHO NEEDS REST??
If you’ve done one… or a hundred workouts at the Cove, you know it works because of the high intensity you achieve with each WOD. But our bodies can’t withstand that kind of intense exercise every day – so we need to EMBRACE THE REST DAY. Here is some guidance we can offer, but you MUST listen to your body first and foremost!
CrossFit recommends athletes follow a 3 on 1 off program, which means 3 days of doing the workouts and taking the following day to rest. Most athletes will need that day of rest in order to allow the muscle tissue to regrow and the body to recover from the training. If someone is brand new to CrossFit, your body might not be able handle that much intensity/work initially. The Cove offers programming 6 days a week, Monday-Saturday, and while we love seeing each of you, we do NOT want to see you every day. Often times life schedules need to dictate workout schedules. We realize not everyone’s schedule is the same and some will come in on certain days, and some on others. Some folks like to come in Monday-Friday and take the weekend off (5 on and 2 off). This may work for some, but what needs to be monitored is how that athlete is responding to the training. On the 4th and 5th day in a row, are they still feeling strong and are they still able to hit the conditioning portions of the workouts hard and keep the intensity that we are looking for in order to gain results? Is soreness or muscle fatigue setting in. If that’s the case, go for walk, come in and row, stretch or ride the bike – but skip the WOD.
What tends to happen is you start enjoying coming to the gym so much because you are seeing results and you are making friends and getting connected to the community and you don’t want to take days off – but this can also lead to some nagging injuries if the individual is not listening to their body. We have seen it happen time and time again and, we too, have made this mistake more than once. So what does someone do on his or her rest day? Taking a full day off to do NOTHING is definitely an option but you could also consider some ‘active recovery’ activities (from our friends at CrossFit Invictus):
NOTE ABOUT ACTIVE RECOVERY – The activity selected must be restorative for you. It can also be an opportunity to work on a skill (like swimming or rowing), but the effort expended should leave you feeling energized at the end of the session, not depleted. I would also always prefer to see active recovery done as soon after rising as possible on the active recovery days. It’s an opportunity to start some blood flowing and aid your recovery.
Aerobic Restoration ( 25-40 minutes of work at a 60-70% effort – easy, restorative pace)
* Row (focus on mechanics, smooth and efficient with a very low stroke per minute pace)
* AirDyne (keep the pace conversational and relaxed)
* Cycling (get outdoors and enjoy the scenery as you ride)
* Hike (nothing crazy here, find a nice easy slope and go for a walk outdoors)
* Restorative Yoga
Mobility and Maintenance
Kelly Starrett is the mobility guru and has a solve for almost anything. Whatever your pain or sticking point, he’ll have a mobility drill for you. Google “Kelly Starrett (insert body part here)” and you’ll find a wealth of videos and information.
* This could be a lot of things, but think in terms of compression, contrast baths, salt baths, castor oil packs, etc.
* Ensure that you have quality foods prepared in the appropriate quantities to fuel your efforts for the remainder of the week.
* Different for everyone – could be meditation or could be gathering with friends; the key is to engage in activities that make your life full and help you recharge your batteries.
Regardless if you are a competitive CrossFit athlete or just someone looking to get fitter – remember more is not always better, but better is better. Learn to listen to your body, learn to be ok with missing a day here or there in order to take care of yourself. You are only going to get stronger and faster if you allow your muscles a chance to recover.