You know how to train. You enter the #BOX and you dominate the #WOD. Nobody can touch you. Your workouts are organized, intense and effective. You’re seeing the gains in strength and stamina that you desire, so you know your efforts inside the gym are working. And it’s not just the training part of cross training that gets your attention. You dedicate equal thought and effort to your nutrition. Meals are planned and prepared ahead of time, and you make sure to enjoy adequate proteins, carbohydrates and fats to meet your body’s needs for training, recovery and growth. You think you’ve covered all of your bases – but have you? Are you planning your recovery with the same detail and precision as you give your training and nutrition? Or is this ever-important part of the equation an afterthought? Let’s look at some of the precautions and steps you can take to ensure you are giving you body the resources it needs to bounce back fast from tough CrossFit Training.
First off, you have to ensure you aren’t overtraining. How many days each week have you been training? You should be training 3 to 4 days each week. Use a “2 day on, 1 day off” routine once you’re in good shape, but start with a “1 day on, 1 day off” training protocol as you get started. If you find yourself getting sick often, tired and worn down, or just plain disinterested in what is otherwise very exciting training, then there is a good chance you are currently overtraining already. Cut back your workouts, and you’ll actually see greater results from your training! Never train when you’re overly sore of feeling any injuries or undue pain. learn to listen to your body!
Now, let’s take a look at your sleep patterns. How many hours each night are you currently devoting to sleep? Do you take a nap some days? The normal untrained body needs 7 to 7.5 hours of sleep each night for normal, healthy function. The CrossFit body often needs much more rest. Bump up your sleep, and your performance in the gym will most likely climb as well! Even hours spent up late reading, cooking and planning workouts is time you’re robbing your body of sleep.
In addition to these active forms of recovery, you’ll also want to dedicate some of your time to mental recovery. Don’t think about work 24/7. If your “down time” is dedicated to reading about work or training, are you ever truly giving your body the resources it needs to unwind and rebuild? Spend time doing things which completely remove your body and mind from stress. Hiking, stamp-collecting, or just plain watching sitcoms on Netflix – Find a way to let your body rebuild. Continual stress through rest is a self-defeating proposition.
Those who are driven to CrossFit training are often the most intense and hard-working individuals around. The only problem with people like that is that at times, they find it hard to force themselves to slow down in order to rest and recovery. Attack the CrossFit recovery process with the same focus, tenacity and intensity that you’ve always used for your training and nutrition, and you’ll love the results!