A great post from our very own Blake Reynolds:
CrossFit is addictive. It’s fun AND you get results. There’s a sustained high from constantly improving yourself through hard work. You SHOULD be proud of yourself.
One of the main not-so-secret reasons CrossFit gets results is the intensity. But, with that level of intensity it is even more important we give ourselves breaks so that we can sustain those results.
There is a fear in CrossFit. A fear that if we do not keep doing what we are doing every single day that even one day off will mean regression to what we were before we were spectacular. A day off means a day of not improving ourselves. Of becoming a better version of ourselves. Of not advancing towards our goals.
CrossFit.com follows a 3 on 1 off program, which means 3 days of doing the workouts and taking the following day to rest. If you are fairly new to CrossFit I would recommend more of a 2 on, 1 off approach or even 3 days a week if you are just getting into the swing of things.
That day of rest is there to help you:
- Prevent Injury
- Mentally Refocus
- Continue to sustain intensity and achieve results
A rest day can take on many different forms and could mean working on mobility, getting a massage, going for a hike, reading, walking your dog, getting some extra sleep or even NetFlix & Chill. Your body and mind NEEDS that other activity to help you stay fresh and focused.
But what often happens is you don’t WANT to stop. You enjoy coming to the gym and accomplishing amazing things and making amazing friends so why not? I’ve done it myself. Some days I literally don’t know what to do with myself if I don’t workout.
More is not always better. Learn to listen to your body, learn to be ok with missing a day here or there in order to take care of yourself. You are only going to get stronger and faster if you allow your muscles a chance to recover.
Also, it is important to remember WHY we do CrossFit. In the long run most of us don’t exercise to be good at exercise. We exercise because life has so much to offer and we want to be prepared to take on whatever comes our way. We want to feel alive while we are alive.
Here’s what Coach Glassman, CrossFit’s founder, has to say on the topic:
Everything that isn’t exercise is recuperation, but for me the benefits of off time come not from enhancing athletic performance but from enhancing life. Exercise, fitness, sport, and even health are only important in that they serve a broader purpose – life. We are made more alive by exercise and fitness but reading, playing, studying, and loving also make us more alive and enrich us greatly entirely independent of our physical well-being. I wholly recommend that you focus the 23-½ hours daily of non-exercise not on increased physical performance but on enriching your soul.