Recovery and You

Hey guys,

So we need to talk about recovery a little bit. Crossfit is a very intense program that stresses your body in a lot of different ways. Now, a lot of us are doing Crossfit because we got tired of the easy, blah, generic routines we were doing in the globo gym. Crossfit is new, it’s fresh, and above all, it’s HARD. We like it because it’s hard, it challenges our minds, our bodies, and it gets us in great shape. Now before I go into recovery recommendations I will say that everyone is different and will have their own unique amount of “optimal” training time per week and this will vary based on where you are in your fitness journey, your goals, what other stresses you have in your life, to name a few.

Now how much is too much? Well….. that depends, yeah probably not the answer you were hoping for, well it’s just not that easy. As I mentioned above, we’re all different and that individuality will help determine how much is too much for you. Here are some warning signs that you aren’t recovering well from your workouts. First, you start feeling sick when there’s no other reason for it. It’s not flu season, no one else around you is sick, and you’re just feeling crummy and your throat is sore and your nose is runny, etc. Well your body is trying to keep up with the demands of your training and you immune system is taking a hit for it. Another could be that you just feel achy everywhere, in your joints, muscles, etc. Now don’t confuse this with your standard muscle soreness or possibly cramping which is par for the course, especially after a high rep metcon working some muscles you haven’t used much for a while. But I mean you come in and even after your warm up your shoulders and elbows are hurting a little bit while doing some light weight cleans or snatches. Or it could be your hips, knees, ankles and squatting.

The point is you’ll notice a difference and that’s your body trying to tell you it needs a bit of a break. Don’t be afraid to back off for a few days to a week and even after that period to ease back into your training. I hit this wall myself after doing Outlaw for 3 straight months a couple summers back. I ended up backing off the training and then just focusing on some basic lifts and not doing a crazy amount of metcons for a while and then I was back to normal.

Now to switch gears for a minute, I have to talk about recovery and the current strength cycle we’re on. I love seeing everyone do Wendler, it’s an exceptional program that I’ve always had success with whenever I use it (and I’ve been using it off and on since 2011). It’s nice to see people getting excited about their strength numbers when traditionally we’ve focused more on the metcons. After all, there are 10 physical skills that Crossfit says are needed for true fitness and strength is one of them. If you want to maximize the strength gains you’re going to see at the end of this program, I would urge you to think about doing the assistance work vs. just the metcon. Also, during our deload weeks, the metcons you are doing should be reduced. It doesn’t make sense to reduce the volume in your lifts but not your metcons as the point of this week is to ensure you’re recovered for the start of the next cycle so you can hit it hard. I know it feels weird to back off on anything as that not the norm or generally encouraged in the Crossfit culture but it is needed sometimes to encourage progress.

If you have questions about any of this stuff, ask a trainer. But I hope you found some insight for yourselves in this post.

– Nack

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