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

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Old 11-25-2011, 05:30 AM   #1
Scott Jenkins
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Are rest days REALLY necessary?

After completing my 115th consecutive day of training I have come to the conclusion that once you get to a certain level of fitness you no longer need rest days. Who says a 24 hour period = a full rest , which can actually end up being 48 hours between training sessions if you train the same time every day/night with the 3 on 1 off schedule.

On Sundays I train in the am, Mondays the pm, to me that is a rest day as its well over 24 hours between training sessions. All your doing by resting once every 4 days is slowing your improvements by a quarter. Crossfit is so diverse there is always something you can hit that is not hurting from the day or days before so lets all man up and finally drop REST DAYS.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:07 AM   #2
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Are rest days REALLY necessary?

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Originally Posted by Scott Jenkins View Post
After completing my 115th consecutive day of training I have come to the conclusion that once you get to a certain level of fitness you no longer need rest days.
How do you know you wouldn't achieve an even higher level of fitness if you took rest days? Maybe you could go faster and lift heavier if you took rest days. Are your times and PRs continuing to improve?
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:15 AM   #3
Brad Gerbrandt
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Re: Are rest days REALLY necessary?

I have wondered a bit about this as well. The Bulgarian method of Weightlifting doesn't include rest days and they have done very well over the years. Their athletes career span is generally really short, though.

I would never give up my rest days (mainly due to my schedule, work 40-45 hrs a week plus own an affiliate, plus wife and kid) but have thought about it for some of my younger athletes.

How long do you intend to keep this up?
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:44 AM   #4
Scott Jenkins
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Re: Are rest days REALLY necessary?

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
How do you know you wouldn't achieve an even higher level of fitness if you took rest days? Maybe you could go faster and lift heavier if you took rest days. Are your times and PRs continuing to improve?
My strength and metcon times are continually improving and also the amount of volume I can handle without being too sore is getting better. Probably more improvement in metcons and high rep strength than pure 1rm efforts.

Also your question on whether taking rest days would make me improve faster, I do have a two week holiday every year where I just keep very active with no real training and it generally takes me a week to get back to where I was at before afterwards.

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I have wondered a bit about this as well. The Bulgarian method of Weightlifting doesn't include rest days and they have done very well over the years. Their athletes career span is generally really short, though.

I would never give up my rest days (mainly due to my schedule, work 40-45 hrs a week plus own an affiliate, plus wife and kid) but have thought about it for some of my younger athletes.

How long do you intend to keep this up?
Someone did tell me about the Bulgarian method, also that it only works for the strongest of athletes, those that can put up with the onslaught of hard heavy training go on to do very well, whereas some just get broken down, another way I say of weeding out the strong naturally.

I also work around 40 hours a week with a wife and find it no problem to fit in my training, its only 1-2 hours per day and if I am really busy how can anyone not fit in a few tabatas here or there through there day.

My last rest day was after a Crossfit competition with 3 workouts in one day, the next day I was driving home for 4 hours so gave in and took a rest day. That was July 31st , my next rest will probably be December 9th which is my Christmas work party, even then I can see myself getting out of bed early and cranking out 100 push ups and 100 sit ups before showering and leaving for work.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:54 AM   #5
Brian Flynn
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Re: Are rest days REALLY necessary?

Scott,that's awesome, 115 days in a row?

I would say it depends on the individual, if you don't feel you need one, don't take one.

I need them, I never used to think so, I felt I was addicted to the stimulus of training. But I found myself stiff after sitting in the car too long, my knee would bark a little bit. Now I've learned to embrace them. Mentally it's tough at first because you feel you're missing out, but I"ve gotten used to it.

We're about the same age and size, so it's interesting what works for one doesn't work for others.

Keep it up!
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:08 AM   #6
Scott Jenkins
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Re: Are rest days REALLY necessary?

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Scott,that's awesome, 115 days in a row?

I would say it depends on the individual, if you don't feel you need one, don't take one.

I need them, I never used to think so, I felt I was addicted to the stimulus of training. But I found myself stiff after sitting in the car too long, my knee would bark a little bit. Now I've learned to embrace them. Mentally it's tough at first because you feel you're missing out, but I"ve gotten used to it.

We're about the same age and size, so it's interesting what works for one doesn't work for others.

Keep it up!
The affiliate I train at started up in June, just before my two week holiday so its been very exciting time to train, as you said I am very addicted to the stimulus and the competition I get every evening and at weekends.

At times I do feel like my whole body is sore and have found by pushing on and training at maybe 80% clears the lactic acid and soreness better. Although resting may do the same, just find that so much harder.

Well lets hope I can hold out right the way to 50 years old and onwards, there's currently no 40-45 age group for the games so need to train a lot to keep up with the youngsters.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:23 AM   #7
Daniel Wheeler
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Re: Are rest days REALLY necessary?

Scott I agree with you.

I've squatted in some form( ohs, fs, hbbs) 33 times over the last 4 weeks and change and it just feels right. I have no soreness anymore, my numbers are climbing and it just feels good.

I guess the only full days off I've taken are all nighter exam nights studying for school.

If you can adapt, then why not?
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:32 AM   #8
Scott Jenkins
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Re: Are rest days REALLY necessary?

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Scott I agree with you.

I've squatted in some form( ohs, fs, hbbs) 33 times over the last 4 weeks and change and it just feels right. I have no soreness anymore, my numbers are climbing and it just feels good.

I guess the only full days off I've taken are all nighter exam nights studying for school.

If you can adapt, then why not?
Exactly Daniel, I think its the first week or two of not resting that is hardest, once adapted its all good. Congrats on the squatting , thats more than once a day good work. I say to some people who have very busy lives that they should not take chosen rest days as they always seem to have rest days thrust on them with last minute work or socials that cannot be avoided, this way if you say rest Tuesday, then Wednesday you have no time to train, then resting Tuesday was a waste. Hope this makes sense.

Seen you post a few times on Mr Nichols log, he's another one who finds it really hard to rest.

One thing I have not mentioned yet. I eat A LOT, 80% paleo as in I will allow myself a sandwich if I fancy one and Saturday night meal with wife is freestyle, anything off the menu
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
Milton Brisson
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Re: Are rest days REALLY necessary?

Scot, I think you have the formula locked down!!!! I follow your log, and have seen that you have been progressing steadily for some time now - and this from a guy who was top 25 at the Europe Regionals (IIRC)!!!! You are smoking young bucks all over the place!

I know that you will listen to your body, if it tells you to shut it down for a day or two (although, I expect at first you will argue with it), but everyone's different - and you have found what works (VERY) well for you!

Stay the course!
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:18 AM   #10
Scott Jenkins
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Re: Are rest days REALLY necessary?

Good to see you on here Milt. Yes your right, its not for everyone, my training partner tried to keep up at Christmas once as we were both off work and he pretty much started getting injuries and niggles everywhere. The reason I put this up was because of the other side of the coin where some can get away with it and resting would indeed be a bit of a waste for them, you just have to try it out and discover if thats you.

I see on your log you have been having some recurrent germs attacking you lately, hope to see a good constant with your training once you kick them off.
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