CrossFit produces amazing results. There are many reasons why this is so : functional (natural) movement patterns, constant variety, high intensity, big range-of-motion, wide range of loads and time domains, the community (peer pressure can be good!)… many reasons and too much to discuss for this article. We know it can kick your ass – in a good way – and sometimes even in a bad way! I would like to step outside of what we think of as “CrossFit” and talk to you about the flip side of your training.
The beatings will continue until morale improves.
I’ve talked many times before about “active recovery” but I’m still not seeing enough of it being done. I hear some of you talk about being sore too often and wondering if the beatings will ever end. I even met a guy the other day who had trained at another CrossFit Box in town for 6 months before he quit! He said he was getting amazing results and having fun. Why did he quit? He said it was too hard. He was tired of feeling sore all the time. Some might think maybe he was just over-doing it but I suspect he really wasn’t doing enough.
Believe it or not, yes. I am about to ask you to do even more. Lets take a different approach to looking at your fitness/wellness regimen. If we consider that your workouts at the box are all you do, then you are likely to feel like you are coming in for your daily beating and that’s all there is to it. But what if what you think of as “CrossFit” was just a component of your total plan?
Show me the Money!
Let’s use your financial health as an example. It is pretty common sense (if there is such a thing) to think of diversification when it comes to investments. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!” But I think we all realize that investing is only one component of your overall financial “health”. You also need to consider: Income, Taxes, Insurance (lots of insurance types), Home Ownership and other assets, Credit, Debt, Cash reserves…the list goes on!
Now let’s think of your nutrition like your income and CrossFit is your investments portfolio. You might be right on track with both, but if you ignore your taxes- you’re screwed! What are your taxes? ACTIVE recovery.
What’s so active about it?
I call it active recovery because I’m not just talking about taking a nap. A nap might be a good thing but if you want to get the most out of any fitness program (not just CF) you need to actively pursue restoration. It begins the second that the workout ends, and it continues until your next one!
No Days Off!
I know I’ve talked about this before but I’m going to do it again because I feel this is the best way to embrace the lifestyle that will ultimately lead you to your highest potential for fitness & health. Kelly Starrett, DPT (K-Star) talks about this quite a lot. You need to think of your training as an every day lifestyle. There is no such thing as a day off- you only alternate between hard days and recovery days.
Bullet Points- dig it?
So let us get to the how-to. This is not, and never will be a comprehensive list because we are always developing and improving our methods but it’s certainly a great place to start. I’ll make a list of considerations, then we’ll wrap this up with a theoretical two weeks of training and see what it looks like when all the pieces are put together… Some recovery tools are:
- Post WOD Cool-downs
- SMR: Foam Rolling, Lacrosse balls, sticks etc…
- Manual Therapies: Massage, Chiropractic, Acupuncture etc…
- Ice, Compression & Elevation (did I mention ice?)
- DROM: Dynamic Range Of Motion activities like light sports/games, active stretching, swimming…
- Stretch! Yoga anyone? Ti Chi? How ’bout just stretching?
- Heat and Cold therapy, Dry Sauna/Cold Shower or Hot tub then Pool?
- Light workout: Bike, Hike, Swim, Row work on Skills & Drills, Technique Training etc…
That’s a Start – Here’s a plan…
(let’s call this first day the “CF format”)
Monday am- Foam Roll, Warm-up, Skills & Drills, CrossFit WOD, Light Rowing Cool-down, Stretch, Local Ice. (you can do this every time you come in to PXT)
Monday pm- Cool shower/bath, local ice if needed
Tuesday- “CF Format” plus a Yoga Class
Wednesday- ”CF Format”
Thursday- Light warm-up on Rower or bike, Foam roll and Stretch, 30 minute bike ride (easy pace), Stretch, Dry Sauna for 15 minutes, Cool Shower. Take a Yoga Class in the evening!
Friday & Saturday “CF Format”
Sunday- Family hike, Kayak, Frisbee in the park… just get out and move for at least an hour! Then 10 minutes on a foam roller. Cool shower or bath in the evening.
Monday- “CF Format”
Tuesday- “CF Format” followed by Yoga
Wednesday- Chiro adjustment and/or Massage, maybe a light skills & drills day at the gym!
Thursday- “CF Format” plus Yoga
Friday- Warm-up, Practice your double-unders, Stretch, Use a tanning bed, go for a walk, take a cool shower.
Saturday and Sunday- “CF Format”
Skinning the cat.
There are many ways to approach this, the above is just an example of what I’m trying to convey. I can promise you though, if you take an active roll in your recovery and implement restoration “workouts” into your lifestyle, you will recover faster, feel better, train harder, get leaner and feel better!
You finish this article…
We are hoping to get our Yoga program up and running again by the end of April! That is definitely a great tool for you to take advantage of. So here’s one more thought- what if we were to offer more “restorative” classes? If we offered a whole hour-long class on SMR (foam-roll type stuff) would you come in for it? What about a whole class devoted to just DROM movements (active joint mobility)? Or Ti Chi? Would you be more likely to implement all of the above tools if they were offered here at PXT?
3 RM Back Squat
7 min AMRAP
7 Wallball 20#/14#