Rest and Recovery
“I see more sub-acute and chronic injuries resulting from inadequate recovery from exercise (especially with high-intensity programs), than resulting from an acute or traumatic incident. The primary fault lies with inadequate or improper recovery from exercise, not the type or intensity of exercise. (To put it another way, it’s not that you’re hurting yourself doing pull-ups – more often than not, it’s because you’re not properly recovering from those pull-ups.) I believe that a high-intensity exercise program is both effective and sustainable life-long only when combined with good nutrition and recovery practices.”
Dallas Hartwig, “All Banged Up”
DEFINITIONS FROM ONLINE SOURCES
- Cessation of work or activity; to refrain from exertion.
- Sleep or quiet relaxation.
- To be at peace or ease; be tranquil.
- To be, become, or remain temporarily still, quiet, or inactive
- A return to a normal state of health, mind or strength.
- To restore (oneself) to a normal state
- To compensate for
I think as CrossFitters we have a really hard time understanding the difference between rest vs recovery. CrossFit is our life and sometimes become an addiction. There are worse things to be addicted to, but as with any addiction, too much can potentially produce negative results. Your hands will not heal, your muscles will not repair, your mind will not relax and you will have no energy.
The words ‘rest’ and ‘recovery’ have very different meanings when applied to CrossFit, sports or just fitness in general. Rest is simple; we relax, refrain from exertion, veg out in the recliner or even just sleep. Recovery on the other hand is fundamentally different than rest. Recovery is the process that allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissue. Exercise and any other physical work (i.e. surfing, running, paddle boarding, or any recreational sport) cause changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of our energy stores glycogen. Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and tissues to repair and rebuild and decreases the risk of injury. Unless you’re Rich Froning you should reconsider two-a-days and working out 14+ days straight. It will catch up to you!
How do we recover?
Take two days off per week! More work does not = better performance or gains
Replace lost fluids
Spend time with your foam roller and lacrosse ball
See a specialist: massage, chiropractor, ART etc.
Take an ice bath
Get quality sleep – More on sleep to come.
“You don’t get fitter when you are training. Whether you CrossFit, or Zumba, or swing kettlebells, or run marathons… you get fitter when you are recovering from that training.”
If you have the time to train, you have the time to recover!