In light of the recent clean challenge, most athletes in the gym have taken their fitness to the next level making a big push for results. Though this enthusiasm is welcomed by teammates and coaches at Sanitas, the topic of rest and recovery is sometimes overlooked. I can attest to this myself because I have been a victim of over-training. We spend a very small portion of our day working out and breaking our muscles down so we can become stronger, faster, and fitter. Most of us don’t think about the 23 or so hours we spend not working out and allowing our body to rebuild muscle we have just broken down. Optimizing recovery time will allow you as an athlete to come back faster and keep up your intensity during WODs.
How Often Should I Train?
Following the program for the clean challenge makes it easy to not over-train in the sense of too many WODs/week. I have found that following the 3 days on/1 day off, 2 days on/1 day off schedule works great. 5 days of CrossFit workouts a week, with either 2 full rest/recovery days or 1 active rest and 1 full rest. I encourage you to try a schedule that works best for YOU. Remember, just like the diet, everything is relative and pertains to you, not the masses. Make sure to include proper mobilizing during days you workout AND days you don’t!
Don’t Overlook Sleep
As well as managing workouts throughout the week, sleep, hydration, and proper fueling are just as important. Sleep is crucial for prime athletic performance, proper hormone regulation, and overall human functioning. Shoot for 8-9 hours of sleep, especially when in the midst of being on a rigorous training schedule. I sleep best when my room is dark and cool, no lights no sounds, just like a cave 🙂 With work schedules and family this is something that is not attainable sometimes. Do your best to catch up on sleep during the slower days of the week and weekends.
Drink ALL the Water!
Hydrating and fueling our bodies sufficiently is the last part of basic effective recovery and maintenance on the body. Make sure to keep good carbohydrate intake up when training hard, proper protein (supplements for those of you who take them) after WODs and good fats throughout the day (especially in the morning) to keep your body satiated. For hydration, a liter or 2 a day is of water is all you’ll likely need. Best rule of thumb, drink when you’re thirst! I always have a water bottle with me that carries a specific amount so I can easily keep track of my water intake during the day.
These are some of the simplest forms of recovery but sometimes are overlooked. Be sure to stick to your program; train hard, rest hard. Keep up the good work guys!