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Good Decision

Friday, March 29, 2013

I knew I liked the CrossFit box I chose, but when I read something like this that they post on Facebook... I am all the more confident I have chosen very well.

I feel like this is super important for EVERYONE to keep in mind, no matter what workouts you do. I know that I have had times when I was overtraining with my home workouts (Bodyrock, Zuzka, Loving Fit, etc).

It's so hard sometimes, when you love to work out, to take breaks and rest but recovery is truly the most important component of any fitness routine. Seriously.

"Guys, please read - more is not better in CrossFit!

Let’s talk about training, recovery and adaptation for a moment. The reason we train is to elicit an adaptation; one of improved fitness, body composition and ultimately health. At the box, this adaptation is triggered via stress; the stress of the WOD. In 1936 Hans Selye, M.D. wrote a paper called A Syndrome Produced by Diverse Nocuous Agents; this paper looked at how cells changed following exposure to “nocuous” (harmful) stresses. The point to take from this paper is you as the athlete; experience the same stages in response to a stressor (training) as the cells he examined.

There are three basic stages to this adaptation: alarm, resistance and exhaustion. We as coaches strive to keep you in the first two stages and you as athletes should work to remain in the first two stages; we’ll talk about how you set yourselves up for success in a moment.

Alarm – this is the stage where you experience a new stressor or an increased level of a stressor. An example would be to go from being sedentary to working out (a new stressor) or to go from running three miles twice a week to five miles three times a week (an increased level of a stressor). During this stage, your body’s goal is to cope with the new stressor. This stress is critical in improving your fitness; no increase in stress means no improvement in fitness – this stage is critical to initiating fitness gains. Part of CrossFit’s magic is the constantly varied nature of the WODs; they do an excellent job of ensuring new and increased levels of stress to drive your adaptation.

Resistance – also called the adaptation stage; this is the stage where you begin to have metabolic changes to help you deal with the stressors you are exposed to. This can take anywhere from days to months depending upon the frequency and scale of the stressor (training). This is the stage where demonstrable fitness gains occur, a new deadlift PR, stringing together thirty double unders, etc.

Exhaustion – this is the stage we NEVER want to find ourselves in and yet it’s super easy to slip into it. This is the stage where the frequency and / or magnitude of the stressor overwhelms or exhausts your ability to adapt to it. This is “overtraining”.

Overtraining is counterproductive; it results in injury, and inability to make progress (adapt) and a decrease in fitness and health. You will hear your coaches tell you time and again that more is not better! They are trying to protect you from yourself and overtraining. Your adaptation does not come during the training; it comes during your recovery. Blunt your recovery and you blunt your adaptation / improvement in fitness / capacity. Most of this is under your control – nutrition, sleep and amount / volume of training being the primary ones. CrossFit is unique in the variety of movements, loads and time durations it asks the athlete to perform under. It does a superior job keeping you in the first two stages, when properly applied. It’s very easy to think an open gym day means you should come in and work snatches for an hour or double unders or another goat or time spent before or after class is well used for this as well but that is not always the case. If you are not progressing as you want or you are beginning to get a tweak here or there, LESS volume is what you need. Dial in your nutrition, get 8+ hours of sleep a night. Nothing outside of steroids is more anabolic than proper nutrition coupled with adequate sleep; allowing for full recovery. Rest days, nutrition and recovery allow you to train harder and see the results of your efforts. The path to general physical preparedness is a slow and steady one that takes time. Do not be impatient; understand how the training affects you physiologically and set yourself up for success by ensuring you don’t slip into the “exhaustion” stage of overtraining! – Don"

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far :)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for sharing this! I love it.
    1845 days ago
    That was very, very interesting, and good information. Thanks for posting that. It's always good to be reminded to take care of ourselves!

    1847 days ago
    I'm an absolute believer in that, especially for ST. It's tough to do, but the more I learn about it, the more convinced I am that it matters.

    Here's a twist as well. When first starting out, your recovery times are fairly short....a day is easy. As you get more athletic, as your body is accustomed to being under stress, the rest and recovery required between major stressors (say setting a PR with weights or at the track) is longer....maybe a week or 2 of less strenuous exercises. That's why bodybuilders lift heavy maybe once every 2 or 3 weeks.

    I forced myself to take 2 straight days in a row off because I recognized felt weird, but it was my smartest move in a long time!
    1847 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/29/2013 9:28:36 PM
    This is interesting. Totally not what I think of when I imagine Crossfit. Glad you found your home!
    1847 days ago
    A good reminder not to over train! It can be a hard lesson that rest is an important part of the training cycle.

    Sounds like you have a pretty good place to work out!
    1848 days ago
  • CHEMCHIC2006
    good advice :)
    1848 days ago
  • CAALAN23
    Cool. I enjoy reading things like that. Works the brain. I'll have to remember this when feeling guilty about a rest day.

    1848 days ago
    Such a good remider!!! Not to feel guilty on rest days.. I have been doing Hiit or Zu workouts 5 days a week 3 weeks and then that fourth week I can't seem to get to them so I have a cardio week then get back at it after that!!
    1848 days ago
  • MJRVIC2000
    Remember, that what we sow we shall reap. God Bless YOU! Vic.
    1848 days ago
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