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Old 06-30-2007, 02:07 PM   #1
Rich Stackon
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I have been CF'ing for about 2 months now. I am 40 years old and in better than average condition for my age range.
I started off doing a 3 on 1 off routine, and dabbled with a 5 on 1 off one week. I have found lately that I am feeling absolutely trashed after two days, and am needing to take an extra day off. This ticks me off, because I feel I am hurting my progress by doing this. The reason I take the time off is because I am so sore (thighs, in particular) I can barely move some days. I am also in the mentality that if you are sore and not resting, you are not recuperating, and may be overtraining. Is this something that I will eventually adapt to? I mean, am I being a wuss by not "pushing it", and going into the gym when I am dying, or am I being smart about it? I don't take two days off consecutively, mind you- at the very most I take one extra day off here and there during my cycle.
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:24 PM   #2
George Mounce
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My main questions would be:

Are you warming up enough?
Are you cooling down and stretching enough?
On your current rest days are you doing nothing, or doing active rest?

Warm up:
I usually will do the CFWUx3 after a good paced .5 mile run. I do the CFWUx3 as if it is a WOD, I plow through it to get a sweat. I know I need to be sweating before I hit the WOD, not just kind of warm. If a WOD is heavy on something that is in the WU I usually will do 1/3 of what I'd normally do on that exercise (I do 15 reps of each thing in a normal CFWU, so I'd do 5 pull-ups if it is a heavy pull-up day).

Cool down/stretch:
After a WOD I will more then likely walk for a good 5-10 minutes then stretch every single muscle group (I have a routine if you are interested based off the book Stretching Scientifically) substantially. My routine takes anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Some people like to go head to toe, others like to go feet to head. Whatever you do, it is very important to keep your flexibility.

Rest Days:
I warm up on rest days with range of motion exercises for the full body and a light jog - just enough to get a sweat going. In the 8 day cycle (3 on 1 off x 2) doing this twice a week helps a lot.
I will then usually run a 5k at 1/2 to 3/4 normal speed pace. I don't try to push myself, but I don't want to be able to have a happy-go-lucky conversation if someone is running with me. My goal is to keep the blood flowing and be ready for the next set of 3 days.

Let me know if this helps!
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Old 06-30-2007, 03:22 PM   #3
Karin Jonczak
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Definitely stretch more!! I try to do some light yoga on the rest days just to work the kinks out, plus some stretching during the week as well. That has made such a huge difference for me!
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Old 06-30-2007, 03:27 PM   #4
Connie Morreale
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after 2 months you should not be that sore every couple of days. every once in a while, something should "really be feeling it" even a day or 2 later.
not to dipute george, but research shows that post exercise stretching returns the muscle to resting length, but does absolutely nothing to prevent DOMS. Doms is a result of microscopic muscle tears and the only thing that makes it stop is time.
working out when you are slightly sore is alright and the blood flow to the muscle will probably alleviate the soreness while you are exercising and for a little while after.
but...if you are incompacitatedly sore, and after a warm-up still are hurting too much to move through a normal range of motion, then the answer is NO...you are not being a wuss..you are being smart.
my suggestion is to take off extra time right now, until all signs of soreness are gone. then do the last wod you did, paying extra attention to your muscle fatigue. it may be that your mind is stronger than your muscles and you push beyond thier limit. (most people have the opposite problem, they are stronger than they think and stop too soon.) a sure sign is when your form starts to go. the minute you begin to compromise your form, you are calling in other muscle groups to help out and begin grooving the wrong motor pathways for that exercise. at worst, this leads to injury, at best, you get pretty dang sore.
my 2 cents....go for an all out recovery. listen to your body during wod, scrutinize your form.
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Old 06-30-2007, 04:50 PM   #5
George Mounce
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No dispute from me on the DOMS issue. Though I have read that soreness most often occurs when there is much more eccentric action in a movement then concentric, i.e. starting at the top of a pull-up then slowly lowering yourself down. I promote stretching because people often forget that there is tissue that connects your muscle to your bones. People tend to only focus on the meat.

I guess I would add - the post workout shake/snack. Good to get something in the stomach and digesting immediately after you workout to help the rebuilding phase. I prefer whey protein with water, some fruit and ice blended with a little olive oil for good fats (I use the Zone amounts of each).

Chronic soreness may be a sign of something else. If you can't warm up without pain, and can't do WODs without pain, perhaps a week of rest is exactly what you need. I agree with Connie, whole-heartedly work on form. If form goes and you keep going, you are working beyond the safe limit of your body.
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Old 06-30-2007, 05:03 PM   #6
Luke Hope
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My question for you is: are you strong enough?

I'm only 29, and not crazy fit (above average doesn't mean much in this day and age!). After about two months of doing WOD's I hit a wall. Got injured, and also started to be really fatigued easily. I have also been doing lots of other exercise too.

I came to the conclusion that I just didn't have the strength base for CF. I could get through things, but I wasn't really recovering properly because I was "punching above my weight". I've now stopped crossfit for a few months to build up strength following Rip's Starting Strength program. I hope this will give me the capacity to go back to CF and maintain the 3-on/1-off routine.

If you have similar circumstances to me, then maybe pausing to follow a strength building program will improve your capacity. Eating more and resting more are important when you are trying to build up muscle reasonably quickly.
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Old 06-30-2007, 08:12 PM   #7
Rich Stackon
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Thanks all for your input.
To answer some of the main questions:
1) My warmup is virtually nonexistent- I stretch for about 10 minutes starting at the neck and working down. I don't break a sweat during this part, of course. Once in a while, I will do 10 pullups from a hang as part of the W/U.
2) After I work out, I stretch only my legs for about five minutes. I seriously think that the lack of my stretching is contributing to my excess soreness.
3) I feel I am strong enough to be CF'ing. I have lifted weights for 15 years, grapple, jetski/ wave jump on my off days.
4)My days off during the week consist of grappling once during my rest day. Generally, I don't do much else during the week...I work 42 hours a week, and sit behind a desk.
5) My weekends are very active- yard work, jetskiing, and maybe one day of grappling depending on how I feel. Due to the CF routine I follow, Sunday usually is CF day for me.

The worst soreness is in my thighs after squat days, and hamstring soreness after deadlifts.

I really don't hurt upper-body wise at all, aside from normal soreness. I guess my legs are just weak. I think I will need to work on some better stretching, better warmup, and build up strength in my legs. I am the typical "chicken legs" guy. I have a larger upper body, but my legs are weak. It has never been the same since my ACL surgery- my right leg atrophied a lot and never seems to catch up size-wise to my left.

Thanks again for the info. George, I am going to try your recommendations and see if they help.

(Message edited by rich67 on June 30, 2007)
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:58 AM   #8
Larry Lindenman
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Rich...haven't posted this in a while but this is the answer to your question:

1. Three weeks of WOD as hard as you could go.

2. One week, half volume: cut reps, weight, distance, or time in half (whichever makes more sense).

3. Repeat

4. After 12 weeks, take a week active rest.

There you go. The half volume week lets you recover physically and mentally, you come back stronger. You end up getting 4 weeks off a year. Mentally, you push harder because you know a half volume week is coming. Prior to the week of active rest, push as hard as you can, you'll be amazed at how fresh you are when you come back. I have been doing this for four years with very good results.
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:14 AM   #9
Ben Kaminski
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I would scale the WODs so that you are not so sore that your life is impeded. Being a little sore is fine, but if you have trouble walking or can't do your sports then that is too much soreness.

That balancing act is the HEART of the training process. Training is the idea of slowly bringing your system up to speed. Doing too hard a WOD before your system is ready is counerproductive to your goals, all things considered.

Hope this helps!

Ben Kaminski
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:48 AM   #10
Rich Stackon
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Larry, Ben, thanks. OK, so I need to cycle the intensity too over the course of the program. I have been doing something of the sort. I was hitting it real hard for 9 days (plus the 3 day offs) and then toning down for 3, then ramping it back up, etc. I also took about a week and a half off not too long ago, so maybe it was too long. My week and a half off though consisted of hiking, digging holes in the sand (anchor lines for a houseboat! LOL), and jetskiing, so it wasn't me sitting in front of the TV with a Corona (well, OK I did that too). I kept pretty active.
I am making CF a priority right now, since I have seen a vast improvement in my appearance as well as my fitness level doing it. I have thus scaled back on the BJJ, and may even put it on hold altogether.
Again, thanks for the help- I am going to implement some of these changes immediately.
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