5 Factors Crucial to Recovery in CrossFit (ft. Coach Marissa)March 7, 2016
As my schedule this month involves one night of coaching our fundamentals course, I found
myself staring at a group of athletes eager to learn, but fighting that sense of being overwhelmed
at the “whole new world” they’ve entered. Remembering what that feels like, I always try to keep
information to a Cliff Notes version and give them a foundation in which to build from.
With that in mind, one of the first and what I think the most crucial aspects of Crossfit (or any
heavy/intense training) is recovery.
“What exactly is recovery” you may ask. Bishop et al (2007) defines recovery as “the ability to
meet or exceed performance in a given activity.” I typically see athletes fall in love with this sport
and rush to get as much training as possible. You might initially see new athletes in class five
days a week, but til a certain level of efficiency is reached, there will come a time when the aches
and pains will build to a point that impedes performance and promotes a good chance for injury to
occur. Listed below are five tips in how to recover quicker, and get back to doing what you love.
HYDRATION – It’s fairly obvious that we need to drinking more water. Water is the foundation of
the body’s tissues. Everyone experiences fluid loss naturally throughout the day with regular
activity, add to that a 20:00 workout of wall balls, thrusters and rowing and you will find yourself
losing water an increased rate. A common hydration goal is to consume half an ounce of water
per pound of body weight. I sit at a current body weight of 142 lbs, so my goal would be 72
ounces of water a day (during intense heat, longer weights you would increase that as much as
one ounce of water per pound of body weight). For those who don’t have a desire to calculate
numbers throughout the day, a goal of two liters of water per day for smaller individuals and
larger individuals (or pregnant/breastfeeding females) can need up to three liters per day.
NUTRITION- Eating real, high quality food. This topic is one I could go for days on, as I find the
majority of people simply have not been taught a way of eating that supports health and fitness.
I’ve counseled athletes and had to basically start at a point of “what is a carb?” Clean eating is
also a hot topic due to the fact that high quality food is expensive and often hard to come by.
Educate yourself on nutrition or find a qualified professional that will lead you through the
process. I’ve found the easiest way to set yourself up for success is start with a plan for your
week. Menu/grocery list/shop..have a meal prep day where you cook meals for the next 5-6
days. Having good food ready and available makes it much harder to justify the “6 pack and a
pound” approach from Taco Bell. For those people pressed for time, there are many meal prep
services who will now do the work for you.
SELF CARE- There are a myriad of things that could fall in this category. I often tell athletes that
how well they take care of themselves for twenty three hours of the day will reflect on their
performance in the hour they spend with me. Training depletes the body of energy/fluids and
breaks down muscle tissue. Quality sleep is the most important time for recovery to take place.
Stretching/foam rolling/ yoga…sign up for our mobility class. Some way of taking each joint
through an entire range of motion will increases synovial fluid which decreases stiffness and
promotes high quality range of movement which is what you need to perform at a high level.
Get with a coach and learn more techniques, including our Marc Pro unit-which is a muscle
conditioning device which restores blood flow to the muscles.
REST DAYS-Taking an occasional rest day is perfectly logical to most people. With many
adrenaline junkies who consider Crossfit as barbell therapy..rest days seem counterintuitive.
No one wants to miss that “window of gains”. But the truth is training breaks down muscle
tissue. Strength and muscle are built as that muscle tissue heals, which only happens through
rest and recovery. When we constantly break down muscle fibers and don’t give them time to
heal, progress is halted and injury is likely.
BODY/MIND CONNECTION- This is an aspect of looking at the bigger picture, gathering insight
as to current state of your life as a whole. What is your current stress level? How do you feel
after training and does it affect you or your loved ones in a negative way? It is very easy and
common to get wrapped up in the mental aspect of training, but the hard truth is what you do in
the gym should enhance your life, not distract from it. If you feel like your training is starting to
effect you in negative ways, there may be a time when its necessary to take a step back, even
talk to a coach about how your feeling and the best way to approach it.
Thank you for taking time to read, if you have any questions feel free to contact me or any other
River to River Fitness coach via our website: www.mygymisdifferent.com
See you at the box,