Could I be overtraining?
Considering the intensity level of CrossFit, and as with any training or activity, the body needs sufficient rest to recovery and rebuild. The recommended schedule for a CrossFit athlete is 3 days ON and 1 day OFF to ensure an athlete is getting enough rest. Most athletes will need that day of rest in order to allow the muscle tissue to regrow and the body to recover from the training.
With that said, the 3 days on and 1 days off is not a “one size fits all” If your body is telling you to stop, then listen. It is okay to take two days off. It is okay to only workout one day and need a rest day the next. You should never be in perpetual soreness. Listening to your body is crucial.
So What if I told you that resting actually makes you stronger?
When you work-out, you are putting strain on your entire body. Your muscles tear, your joints crack and pop, and the strain breaks your body down little by little. You wake up, and are so sore from leg day that walking down the stairs feels like absolute torture.
When you give yourself rest, you give your muscles time to repair themselves and gain the extra strength that you have been working so hard to achieve.
If you are constantly training (7 days a week), then your body never actually has time to catch up and heal itself. That’s where injury comes in! If you want to recover and build up those muscles, then you have to let your muscles rebuild.
WAIT did I read that correctly…. Yes, you did, You have to let your muscles rebuild.
We all have goals that we have set out to reach, and it can be hard to talk ourselves out of being active for even a single day when we see a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a good thing to want to be active each day!
However, you should consider an “active rest day.” On active rest days, you find a low-impact workout to complete. This may include attending a yoga class, walking your dog, going for a jog in the park or swimming. Active rest day’s mean that you still get a little bit of sweat in, and you won’t be as sore and stiff when you hit the gym again.
It does not matter if you are a competitive CrossFit athlete or just someone looking to get fitter, NOTE that 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.
There are countless opportunities to be active while you are resting. Find something that you love to do, and gets your mind off of counting reps and maxes. Consider that at least one time a week instead of a workout and take the other rest day to do some mobility.
We promise that you will come out stronger in the end.