Workout of the Day:
Five rounds for max reps of:
Body weight bench press
CrossFit Invictus San Diego at 5:30  

Rest Schmest
Written by Michele Vieux

I have a couple of CrossFitting friends that just can’t rest. They workout EVERY day, sometimes multiple times per day, and NEVER take a rest day. You might think they are super committed to their training, but I think they are diminishing their returns on their hard work and might be setting themselves up for failure and injury. This is called OVERTRAINING and it is a medically recognized condition. YOUR BODY NEEDS REST. It is necessary to repair worn, tired, and injured muscles; to give time for the central nervous system to unwind; and for the body’s energy sources to be replenished. If you don’t schedule rest days into your routine, your body just might do it for you. Take one or two on your own or be forced into a break of a week or more.

It was just a couple weeks before the CrossFit Games Qualifiers that I injured my knee pretty severely whilst demonstrating an (aggressive) kip for a client. I know it sounds ridiculous to get hurt this way but I could barely walk. I could barely get around my house without pain, and my training was forced to a screeching halt. It was hard for me to deal with since the Quals just were just around the corner, but my body was getting worn and I knew it could only lead to more injury if I didn’t take a break.

I took one week (okay…6 days) completely off of exercise. I had been hitting it pretty hard for the two months leading up to the injury—grueling workouts, heavier loads, and multiple WODs per day—which most likely played a role in its occurrence.

During my week off, I spent time addressing one of the issues that most definitely contributed to my current injury as well as a slew of problems I’ve been dealing with for a couple of years—flexibility. I enlisted Calvin to help me rehab. He showed me a variety of stretches and exercises to help me strengthen the injured area but more importantly, to prevent future injury. 

After my six-day hiatus, I began to hit it every-other-day for the next week and kept up with the stretching routine as I eased back into my workouts. By week three, I was back on the regular 3 on 1 off schedule and I felt great. I could barely walk just a couple weeks ago and now I was hitting PRs on my Oly lifts and my met-con was still right where I left it. I felt strong, confident and invincible.

I have been “back on it” with the strict diet and ramping up the workout regimen since Memorial Day. Last weekend I was in Huntington Beach hitting a WOD with the SoCal Six (the other women who qualified from this region) when “pop!”—my hammie that’s been giving me trouble for a few months finally had enough on the downward motion of a SDHP. It was a partner WOD, there was a crowd, and I didn’t want to quit. I asked for a sub for the SDHP (the judges foolishly picked hang power clean) and I finished the third of four rounds. Just as I’m about to start round four, Julie (one of the owners of CFHB) walks over to me with a bag of ice and tells me to sit down. I was planning on finishing the WOD but, I complied.

Then I got the bigger blow—Coachie Poo (Sage) refused to train me at our regularly scheduled session on Monday! Now I am REALLY annoyed and plan my own workout session for the next day. Thank goodness I had a good night sleep that night so I had a chance to come to my senses and listen to my coach (and others looking out for me).

My body is telling me I need another rest. I don’t really have a choice in the matter—the hamstring plays a pretty major role in a lot of movements we do around here (and in our everyday lives). Maybe if I had listened to my screaming hammie a couple months ago and avoided activities that aggravated it I wouldn’t be sitting on the sidelines now.

My point with all of this is that you have to plan your own rests instead of forcing yourself into rest via overtraining and injury. And, “rest days” don’t have to mean you sit around like a lump. Think active recovery—go for a walk with the family, stretch, do yoga, or shoot some hoop.

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Nice post M!! 🙂

Michele Vieux
Michele Vieux

Extremely poor showing POS. Anything less than 175 is unexcusable. Not! Nice work homey.


M, Great post and I think we can all appreciate what you are going through. I must say that in the two and a half months leading up to the Northeast Qualifier I finally adopted the 3 on 1 off protocol and I must say it was very beneficial. But the mental side was difficult at first. I was and still am a WOD junkie who loves to look for unique workouts and I actually can’t really stand the ‘girl’ workouts even though I do them to measure my progress. It is still difficult to see a great workout posted… Read more »

Ali Incredible
Ali Incredible

Great post mgood!!


L-O-V-E the post. That’s why yer MMMMM Good. Currently on XFit WOD rest day number 8. I keep having lower back soreness and it’s always been directly related to my tight hamstrings. So Lame. All the technical training out the do’ when tight hammies prevent you from picking up the bar correctly. Calveeen is the shit and told me this a year ago 🙁 I am going to crawl into one of those pilates reformer things for the next few weeks at Bruno’s pilates place and work on hamstring flexibility so I can stop being such a pain in the… Read more »


wut wize words M! i wuz thinkin the same thing yesterday and ended up takin a day off from the WOD. see i don’t always not follow my own advice. glad you’re stayin active despite the hammie; go get them upper body gymnastics skillz!

Elizabeth Terris
Elizabeth Terris

Well that’s pretty much of a drag Michelle. It is super hard to listen to the little aches and pains (it’s not really PAIN right, just a little TIGHT, and besides it goes away after a warm up so how bad is it? not bad at all I’ll just do the WOD). AND for addicts it is really, really, really, hard to take time off. Luckily for me, I have two little terrorists that keep me from overtraining and keep me active on my rest days. (I walked around and around and around Legoland yesterday) I hope your hammy gets… Read more »


Michele ma belle:

You better take care of yourself! If you’re not healthy for the games, I’ll punch you in the neck.

If you can’t compete, what will I do with my tshirts: “I know Michele Vieux”
“Michele Vieux coached me once” and “I’ve eaten Michele Vieux’s cooking”

I’m going for cool points by pointing out to people that I have been in the same room with you.

Mark Riebel
Mark Riebel

Right on point, M. It took me almost a year to shake my stupid attitude of “more is better,” and cut from 11 workouts per week to my current 5. I was fully convinced that resting more would slow my gains and really cut my fitness level. Now that I sleep more and work out less, I’m seeing big strength AND metcon gains, and my back is finally on the mend. You don’t improve by doing the workout, you improve by recovering from the workout.

Great post.

Sage Burgener
Sage Burgener

great post Wedge! I agree with EVERY word. When I was competing in oly lifting, we would always go really hard for a couple weeks and then when we felt really tired my coach would have us back off for almost a week and we all came back and made prs. The body isnt made to go go go all the time. My dad always says that there is no such thing as overtraining, but there can be under recovery. Oh and its a good thing you listened or else I would have given you 40 rep squats when you… Read more »

FAQ - Workout of the Day (WOD)

What does WOD mean in CrossFit?

WOD stands for Workout of the Day. Most CrossFit gyms post one workout each day for their members and online followers to complete. Invictus currently offers THREE free programmed WODs each day (shown above)... and even more personalized and online supplemental programs through Invictus Athlete.

Which program is right for me? Can I move between them?

One thing that sets Invictus apart from other CrossFit gyms and online training programs is that we recognize everyone has different fitness goals, abilities and needs. Be sure to pick which programming is right for you so you can get a great workout that meets your needs.

What does 30X0 mean? (How to read the WOD)

Another thing you might notice that’s different about our programming is that we use ‘tempo training’ - almost always in the Fitness programming and in various cycles for the Performance and Competition programs. Those extra numbers (ex: @30X0) might seem confusing at first glance but you’ll totally get how it works and why we like to use it after reading this. Trust us, you’ll soon witness the many benefits firsthand. Learn more about tempo training.

I need help with some standard movements and warm-up ideas!

Whether you’re new to CrossFit or have lots of experience with the WOD, our coaches will help you get the most out of every workout. It doesn’t matter if you struggle with a particular movement or if your goals are pushing you toward the higher skilled and more elusive movements, our professional coaches support everyone with advice and feedback.

They have worked with all athlete levels and know what it takes to get people moving to the best of their abilities. Whether it’s burpees, double-unders, muscle-ups, or tips for the Assault Bike - we’ve got a coach who can help you.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your warm-ups covered, too. Our coaches are constantly learning from other modalities and love to use what they learn in innovative warm-ups focused on both preparing for the workout at hand and maintaining the body for a pain free life. Check out this full body routine to keep your joints functioning and free of inflammation. We also post warm-up suggestions in the Workout of the Day for each of the programs that are tailored to that day’s movements.

Workout on your own and don’t have much time for your warm-up? Here’s a couple of quick and simple ones for your shoulders, squat day, deadlifts, and everyone’s problem area, the thoracic spine.

What if I can’t lift the weight or do the movement as prescribed?

Scaling is part of the beauty of CrossFit because it enables workouts and programming to be tailored to anyone’s ability. When it comes to weight, you can and should ALWAYS scale the weight down if it is unsafe for you to lift it, or if it changes the intended stimulus of the workout.

Here are some rules of thumb for scaling weight in metcons (lifting for time). For gymnastics movements, there are some simple scaling solutions as well. If you are unsure, reach out to your Invictus coach! We are here to make sure you get the safest and best workout possible - proper scaling allows for that.

How many days per week should I train? / How many rest days should I take?

At Invictus, we offer programming 6 days a week, Monday-Saturday and we realize not everyone’s schedule - or training needs - are the same and therefore, you must use your best judgement and listen to your body when it comes to deciding how often to take a rest day.

If you have been doing CrossFit for a while now, you recognize that our program excels due to the high intensity component. With that being said, one thing you have to keep in mind is that you can’t sustain that high intensity every single day; otherwise your body ends up breaking down.

You can learn more about how often someone should take a rest day in this article.

What does EMOM stand for?

EMOM stands for Every Minute on the Minute. When you see that come up in a workout, you have up to one minute to complete the exercise required. Normally what’s prescribed won’t take the entire minute so you also have whatever is left of the time to rest until the next minute starts and you do the next set of prescribed work. And so on.

What does AMRAP mean?

AMRAP means “As Many Rounds (and Reps) as Possible” in a certain time period. For example, the workout might say...

AMRAP in 10 minutes of:

30 Double-Unders
20 Pull-Ups
10 Thrusters

So you would keep going through the cycle of those three exercises until the 10 minutes is up. Your score is the number of complete rounds plus any extra reps you did. So if you did four complete rounds plus 15 Double-Unders in the fifth round, your score would be 4+15.

What does OTM mean?

OTM stands for “On the Minute” and is the same thing as an EMOM. When you see that come up in a workout, you have up to one minute to complete the exercise required. Normally what’s prescribed won’t take the entire minute so you also have whatever is left of the time to rest until the next minute starts and you do the next set of prescribed work. And so on.

What does NFT mean?

NFT stands for “Not for Time” and means that you shouldn’t rush or try to go fast, but instead, focus on technique, skill, form or whatever you are working on for that movement.

How heavy should my first set be?

You might also be wondering where to start your first set if, for example, the workout of the day calls for 5 sets of Deadlift x 5 reps. Is the first set a warm-up or is that the first working set? Here’s our recommendation for how to properly build to your starting weight and what we consider warm-up sets and working sets.

How can I figure out my 1RM?

We frequently use percentage references in prescribing the number of reps to perform, so it’s essential that you have a good idea on most of your maxes.

Let’s say it’s been awhile since you have attempted a 1RM; maybe you had an injury a few months ago, or maybe you just somehow keep missing the 1-RM test days, or maybe you just forgot to write it down in your log book. If you have a multiple-rep max, you’re in luck. There’s actually a simple equation you can use to calculate an estimated 1RM based on the max number of reps you can do at a given weight.