We enjoy training and it can be addicting. We love to see our strength numbers climb, and our speed numbers drop. We ring the bell and celebrate PRs! But sometimes we get caught up in wanting more now, getting stronger now, and being faster now. We think the way to get there faster is to come in as often as possible or even put in two workouts a day. However, more often than not, LESS IS MORE.
To maximize the work you put in, focus on the quality of the work and your recovery. Recovery work includes physical (and mental) rest, as well as mobility work. Rest allows our bodies to make the physiological changes that are needed to adapt to the demands put on it during training. Training without rest days is the same as asking a question over and over, demanding an answer, sometimes even asking louder and louder, but never stopping to listen for the response.
For more on the quality of work, see our blog post: http://crossfit-johnscreek.com/back-to-basics-mechanics-consistency-then-intensity/ and remember, your last rep should look just like your first rep!
CrossFit HQ recommends training no more than three days in a row. On the fourth consecutive day, you can begin to lose intensity and the quality of the work you put in can be diminished. Age, sleep, diet, family responsibilities and many other factors can determine how many rest days per week you may need. There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer. Experiment with different schedules to see what works best for you.
Life is all about finding balance; you should avoid overtraining as much as you avoid not training enough! How do you know when you’ve overdone it? Your body will tell you that, but you have to listen. You may feel fatigued, have decreased performance or intensity, or start to feel nagging aches in your joints or muscles. However, the idea is to take rest days before your body is telling you that you need it!
Rest days are perfect opportunities to do more than just sit on the couch! Use this time to focus on mobility. RomWOD (www.romwod.com) and MWOD (www.mobilitywod.com) are great resources. You might even want to try a yoga class or get a massage.
Think of ROM WOD as a short yoga program for athletes that you can incorporate into your daily life, in the comfort of your own home. Get a free 2 week trial here: http://bit.ly/2ip1ALq
We all need to incorporate rest days into our training so that we can continue to make the most out of the hard work we put in!
I will admit, I have not always been the best example of taking rest days. However, my recent injury has taught me that rest days are a MUST to give our bodies time to repair. Stay tuned for a future blog post where I dive into what my injury has taught me….because it’s been one long journey!
WRITTEN BY: Janna Davis