Why recovery is critical for CrossFitters
Sometimes, fitness can feel complicated. We are often given various bits of advice from various professionals regarding how often to workout, what to eat, when to sleep, and how we should approach overall recovery. In regards to the latter, as a CrossFitter recovery is not only necessary, it is crucial.
“No Pain, No Gain”
CrossFitters go hard. That is no secret. It is also not a secret that CrossFitters enjoy pushing through the pain cave and coming out on the other end sweaty but victorious. An often used phrase in the fitness community is, “No pain, no gain.” In CrossFit, this can feel especially true. However, there is a difference between the deep-pain you feel in your lungs midway through Fran and pain that is worth stopping for. If you want to perform your best while at the box, you have to listen to your body. For a CrossFitter, rest and recovery are just as (if not more) important as the workout itself. Listening to your body is crucial if you want to avoid overuse injuries and adrenal fatigue.
Why Is Recovery So Important?
While form is perfected through practice, your body’s tolerance to certain stressors grows with rest. Your body uses the time between training sessions to better prepare itself for your next workout. If you do not give it the opportunity to repair torn muscle fibers and to bring elevated cortisol back down to normal levels, you will find yourself faced with chronic injuries or an overall body burnout. Even elite CrossFit athletes like Mat Fraser place a high emphasis on recovery.
What Is Recovery?
Recovery is a blanket term for anything that you are doing outside of the box in order to keep your body happy and healthy. The cheapest and best form of recovery that also happens to come naturally to every human being is sleep. If you are going to dedicate your time to getting to a CrossFit box on a regular basis, sleep needs to become a priority. Aside from strengthening your immune system and balancing out your brain chemistry, the muscle-building hormones HGH and testosterone increase during sleep. If there is one thing to take away from this article, it is that sleep trumps all in regards to recovery.
Nutrition (this includes overall hydration) is another thing to consider when you are in recovery mode. Be sure that you are fueling your body properly between training sessions and steer clear of any foods that may cause inflammation (for some, this may be dairy or grains). Finally, in order to become a high-powered human engine, you need to care for your body the way you would a car. Routine maintenance is important. If you can, consider seeing a massage therapist every so often to break up scar tissue, knots, or trigger points. If you have a nagging injury, see a physical therapist based in Sioux Falls. Buy a foam roller and make sure you are rolling your muscles out frequently. Additionally, don’t neglect the power of mobility. Supplement your training with activities like yoga that help to increase overall range of motion.
At CrossFit PhosWest, we take recovery seriously. Stop by the gym at 101 N Kiwanis Ave. to learn more about CrossFit and what a proper CrossFit recovery routine entails.