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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 03-27-2008, 08:32 AM   #1
Ben Moskowitz
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Recovery

A few days ago, Eva T was talking about recovery in one of the homepage's short videos. She was saying how
  1. Most people who complain about how weak sauce one WOD a day should be training harder. Like, a lot harder.
  2. Most people pay no attention to recovery. They expect improved performance by just trying hard a bunch of times, but neglect to acknowledge that actual improvement comes when resting/recovering.


So, what's CrossFit's stance on recovery modalities?

To my knowledge, there is no CrossFit Cooldown. There seems to be a spectrum of sucking wind while lying on the floor to doing some stretching or something.

Hear are all the recovery modalities that I can think of.
  1. Nutrition - We know that going on the Zone, Paleo, or whatever suits your training often results in a performance skyrocket.
  2. Sleep - Critical. Not enough quickly sends performance down the toilet. Bulgarian Olympic weightlifters sleep 9 hrs/night plus a 3 hour nap between training sessions according to Dan John.
  3. Active Recovery - Easy, fun, physical activity. Non-strenous to your level of conditioning. Biking, swimming, rock climbing, whatever.
  4. Social Time - Hanging with friends/family/significant other. Having fun. (So does 4 hours in the mall count as relaxing..?)
  5. Alone Time - Prayer, meditation, thought gathering, journaling.
  6. Cryotherapy/Contrast Bath/Contrast Shower - a nice tingly way to ease soreness and improve recovery. Featured in the Performance Menu.

So......what's the CrossFit stance? What should I/we be doing?
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:54 AM   #2
Trent Phillips
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Re: Recovery

Nice summary of some important recovery techniques. I think you answered your own question. Only thing I would add is, Do what works and as much of it as you can.
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:21 AM   #3
Doug Holland
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Re: Recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Moskowitz View Post
A few days ago, Eva T was talking about recovery in one of the homepage's short videos. She was saying how
  1. Most people who complain about how weak sauce one WOD a day should be training harder. Like, a lot harder.
  2. Most people pay no attention to recovery. They expect improved performance by just trying hard a bunch of times, but neglect to acknowledge that actual improvement comes when resting/recovering.


So, what's CrossFit's stance on recovery modalities?

To my knowledge, there is no CrossFit Cooldown. There seems to be a spectrum of sucking wind while lying on the floor to doing some stretching or something.

Hear are all the recovery modalities that I can think of.
  1. Nutrition - We know that going on the Zone, Paleo, or whatever suits your training often results in a performance skyrocket.
  2. Sleep - Critical. Not enough quickly sends performance down the toilet. Bulgarian Olympic weightlifters sleep 9 hrs/night plus a 3 hour nap between training sessions according to Dan John.
  3. Active Recovery - Easy, fun, physical activity. Non-strenous to your level of conditioning. Biking, swimming, rock climbing, whatever.
  4. Social Time - Hanging with friends/family/significant other. Having fun. (So does 4 hours in the mall count as relaxing..?)
  5. Alone Time - Prayer, meditation, thought gathering, journaling.
  6. Cryotherapy/Contrast Bath/Contrast Shower - a nice tingly way to ease soreness and improve recovery. Featured in the Performance Menu.

So......what's the CrossFit stance? What should I/we be doing?
Thats it.

The title should be. Here is how to recover for CF.


DOug
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:28 AM   #4
Richard Vanmeerbeek
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Re: Recovery

That's exactly it Ben.

Furthermore, Larry Lindeman also covered the fact of taking a "back off week", a half volume week, every 3 weeks. Which means that on your 4th week of training, you would either half the weight, the distance, the reps, or the time of the prescribed WOD. Definitely better for your body, considering you gave 100% for 3 weeks prior to that.
In addition to that he advocates a total break week on the 12th week.

I'm going to put it into practice after the next 3 WODs for sure !
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:55 AM   #5
Jean Carmona
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Re: Recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Moskowitz View Post
A few days ago, Eva T was talking about recovery in one of the homepage's short videos. She was saying how
  1. Most people who complain about how weak sauce one WOD a day should be training harder. Like, a lot harder.
  2. Most people pay no attention to recovery. They expect improved performance by just trying hard a bunch of times, but neglect to acknowledge that actual improvement comes when resting/recovering.


So, what's CrossFit's stance on recovery modalities?

To my knowledge, there is no CrossFit Cooldown. There seems to be a spectrum of sucking wind while lying on the floor to doing some stretching or something.

Hear are all the recovery modalities that I can think of.
  1. Nutrition - We know that going on the Zone, Paleo, or whatever suits your training often results in a performance skyrocket.
  2. Sleep - Critical. Not enough quickly sends performance down the toilet. Bulgarian Olympic weightlifters sleep 9 hrs/night plus a 3 hour nap between training sessions according to Dan John.
  3. Active Recovery - Easy, fun, physical activity. Non-strenous to your level of conditioning. Biking, swimming, rock climbing, whatever.
  4. Social Time - Hanging with friends/family/significant other. Having fun. (So does 4 hours in the mall count as relaxing..?)
  5. Alone Time - Prayer, meditation, thought gathering, journaling.
  6. Cryotherapy/Contrast Bath/Contrast Shower - a nice tingly way to ease soreness and improve recovery. Featured in the Performance Menu.

So......what's the CrossFit stance? What should I/we be doing?
This is a good post, I took an early rest day today because my body needed it. I feel guilty somehow but I think that sometimes is better to slow down a bit to go further later. Also a lots of guys/girls doing CF are much younger than me, and no matter what amount of sleep or good diet, somedays my body feels CF a bit more than it should. Like I have said, the guilty thingy is hard to swallow, maybe on a day like that I should do something a bit more recreational.
JC
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:09 PM   #6
Steven Low
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Re: Recovery

Good post.

With nutrition you can definitely add in some stuff with Zone/Paleo like fish oil supplementation, proper hydration, etc.

With 6.. or beyond definitely add massage, epsom salt baths, and other stuff.

Possibly add in some sort of prehab (and I think you already covered stretching).
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:07 PM   #7
Steven Anderson
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Re: Recovery

Even us younger guys need to recover (28 y/o here). After years of working out hard I am just now starting to discover the benefits of recovery. Though I have not figured it out completely yet, I am getting there. I have always just lived by the "I'll rest when body can't go no more" ideaology. But, I am starting to realize that it's better/best to schedule days of recovery. Eva's interview really hit home.

Some recovery days should be spent doing something active and some spent doing nothing at all. Working out really, used to kind of be my life, now not so much. I am not a professional athlete, nor will I ever be, it just took me a while to realize that. I am however, a professional firefighter/paramedic and I love to do all kinds of other fun physical acitvities. I utilize crossfit to keep me in better shape for those activities and to incorporate days of recovery to better my performance and prevent injury whether it be for crossfit or my profession.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:26 PM   #8
Ivan Wolfe
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Re: Recovery

Mostly, I've discovered it's just listening to what your body is telling you.

I'm such a driven guy that I hate to miss workouts, and even if my body is telling me "no" I can push past that. That can be a good thing, but not when you're in danger of overtraining. My biggest fear was that I would use "listening to my body" as an excuse to start skipping workouts, eventually stopping altogether. Than I realized I'm not that much of a lazy@$$. So now, there are times (not often, but they happen) when I have to pull back or skip a day or just do the warmup but not the workout, or when I row instead of run because my ankles are telling me that they need some rest, or whatever.

It's hard to be honest with yourself (either by skipping too many workouts, or working out when we shouldn't) but if you can learn to do it, it helps a lot with recovery.
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:24 AM   #9
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Recovery

If I may Ivan, I would like to respond to your post with a personal story.

This past fall and winter, I trained myself into the ground. For several months.

In July, my front squat 1RM was 200 lbs. A few months later in a WOD, I posted up 155 lbs. for a 5RM. Come late January, my front squat 5RM was 135 lbs. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I was so upset that I got really anxious about working out.

Listening to friends, family, and coaches, I took a few weeks easy. I swam easy laps, did lots of stretching, ate good food in an stress-free manor, and got back on track.

Next thing I know in February, my front squat 5RM is 175 lbs. Funny how these things work out!


p.s. I would just like to add that for me, flexibility is a great recovery modality. You get all the benefits of relaxing while simultaneously making your workouts
  1. safer
  2. more effective (more useful application of force through improved ROM and improved technique)
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:04 AM   #10
Matthew Doyle
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Re: Recovery

You'll never make gains while working out. Gains are made in the other 23 hours in the day.

For me, I find taking a week at half intensity once a month or so (try to do the last week in every month, but other things come up at times) allows me to make consistent gains.
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