Workout of the Day:
Five rounds for max reps of:
Body weight bench press
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.