Maximize Your Potential as a CrossFit Masters Athlete
Written by Nichole Kribs
As many of you who have been born before 1987 know, your body doesn’t feel quite the same now as it did when you were 20 years old. At 20, you can roll out of bed, feel great even though you put your body through a beating the day before, and hit a new PR with little warm up.
However, once that aging process starts to set it, that roll out of bed turns into 10 minutes of slowly telling your body it is time to move and the beating you put yourself through the day before has you feeling like you were hit by a freight train. Well Masters athletes, I promise you there is a happy medium! While I can’t promise that you will feel like you are in your twenties, I can tell you that there are ways to maximize your athletic potential while aging.
Tips for CrossFit Masters Athletes
Here are my Top 3 Tips for maximizing your potential as a CrossFit Masters Athlete!
Tip #1: Prioritize Recovery
Recovery is not for the faint of heart. When you start getting older the recovery process becomes more and more important in your daily routine. In fact, I would arguably say that recovering is more important than training. If you aren’t recovering well, then your training is going to be poop. There are a whole slew of recovery tools, but here are my favorite ways for all athletes to recover:
Sleep. Sleep is one of the most beneficial tools for recovering. It is the time that your body restores itself, repairs your muscles and brings your hormones back into balance.
Supplement. I am a huge fan of supplementing with Vitamin D, Magnesium and Fish Oil. It seems that across the board athletes are generally deficient in one or all of the items above. If you can get your blood work done then do so to see exactly what you are deficient in so you can properly supplement.
Hydrate. Hydration helps a tremendous amount with recovery and is highly underestimated outside of actually training sessions. Set a goal of water intake and work to reach that goal daily. You’d be surprised by how good you feel and how recovered you feel when properly hydrated.
Tip #2: Know Your Body
I can’t emphasize this enough. This is especially true when following an online program where you may not get immediate feedback from your coach. You have to listen to your body to know when you need to push through and when you need to pull back on the throttle. The biggest hinderance to maximizing athletic potential is constantly being injured. There are times during training where you need to feel out yourself when you get to the gym and be HONEST. Be honest with how that nagging shoulder is feeling and if you need to change up some of the program to not aggravate it. Be honest with how your back is feeling and if it is okay to push or needs to fully recover. You need to be a mature athlete and make these types of assessments in the gym so as to avoid injury and maximize your potential in the long term.
This also goes for the mind. Sometimes you may need to assess how your mind is doing and the stress in your life. Taking a day off can actually be a huge benefit to training and get your mind to refocus so don’t feel guilty if you need a mental restoration day.
Tip #3: Mobilize
As you get older it seems that the mind becomes more supple but the body doesn’t! Making mobility a habit is key to becoming a phenomenal Masters athlete. The amount of mobility needed to be an effective weightlifter, to do gymnastics without pain and to squat without creating knee issues is tremendous. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of mobility needed so to create the habit of mobilizing daily for a set amount of time is important. Have a regular mobility routine every time you walk into the gym and make sure to always do it, even if it means cutting down a little bit on your training session. Prioritizing your mobility will set you up to avoid injury and help you move more efficiently. Moving more efficient will help you conserve energy in training and will put you in better positions, which will help you overtime to not wreck your body. Not wrecking your body and not feeling like you’ve been hit by a freight train = winning.
There are all kinds of ways to make you become your best Masters athlete, like following a training program that will elevate you, but the above items are hands down my favorite ways to be your best. Think of it like the base of the athletic pyramid. Before you start adding lots of fancy things to your training pyramid, make sure you have laid solid foundation of good habits. This will surely help you become your best as a Masters athlete!
Invictus Masters Program
Jump into this cycle as we prepare for The Open! The Masters program has progressions for different age groups and ability levels so if you are not competing in the Age Group Qualifiers you can still join this next cycle. As always, mobility and activation will continue to be a focus to help athletes of all ages reduce the risk of injury. Get started today!
5 Recovery Tips for Masters Athletes
Recovery is more than just muscle repair. It also involves chemical and hormonal balance, nervous system repair, mental state, and more. For all athletes, especially Masters, it is crucial to take your recovery practices just as seriously as your training protocol. We have had much experience working with both competitive and recreational Masters athletes and notice how much progress they make when they prioritize their recovery compared to those who don’t.
We want you to be successful in your athletic journey! So we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 recovery trips based on our extensive work with Masters athletes. Below you will find the list – Download our FREE guide for all suggestions for each of the 5 tips!