A lot goes into assuring your body properly recovers after intense workouts (sleep, nutrition, hydration, mobility, etc..). However, it is a common misconception of both long-time and new CrossFitters that they need to train hard and/or work on skills every day of the week to improve their performance and get stronger.
Most people find themselves wanting to be at the gym as much as possible. They’ve discovered something new and exciting and are driven to see gains in that new endeavor and see them quickly. What they don’t realize is that most physical gains come from rest days. Whether it’s the high reps of pull-ups or the heavy squats, you are breaking down the muscles in the body, this is a good thing BUT only if we allow those muscles appropriate time to rest and regrow. Most tweaks, strains, pulls and injuries in programs come from overuse which can easily be avoided by getting on a relatively strict schedule of work and rest days. By doing this you will allow your body the appropriate amount of training and recovery.
Below are a few simple things to take into consideration:
- Have a plan. Put yourself on a set schedule that allows at least 2 rest days for every 7-8 days. For example, Ryan likes to work out on the weekends, so he rests every Monday on Thursday. With our box’s hours, Sunday is the only day we are closed, so you could schedule, for example, Sunday and Thursday rest days. We do believe it is good to set a plan and consistent schedule for these rest days. Almost like clockwork, every week you should know how hard to push yourself and when to rest. Knowing when your rest days are coming allows you to push harder during those work days and, trust us, you will be looking forward to having those rest days!
- Be willing to take an impromptu rest days if you’re feeling really beat up. Also, be willing to add an additional work day if you’re feeling fresh, but try to stick to the basic template of at least 2 rest days every 7-8 days.
- You can still come into the box on a rest day. Grab a foam roller, or band, or lacrosse ball and spend that time mobilizing. YOU CAN NEVER MOBILIZE ENOUGH!!!….and you can never be at CF727 enough, so come on in, chill out and support those that are on work out days.
- REST DAY MEANS REST DAY!!! Rest day DOES NOT mean “ACTIVE REST.” Working on handstands and pull ups is NOT rest. Rest days are for recovery, eat some good food, get some additional sleep, mobilize sore/tight spots, buy a puppy, read a good book and further your knowledge but REST!
Moral of the cracked myth is simple. Training week to week and flying by the seat of your pants is NOT the path to full potential. Get yourself on a schedule, work 110% on work days and rest 110% on rest days. If you need help regulating, DO NOT hesitate to ask Ryan or Dana for more information or to help get on a schedule.
*Article adapted from Endeavor Crossfit