CrossFit forever!

Here at Progenex Europe we love CrossFit almost more than we love the taste of our Peanut Butter Recovery. Not only does being a CrossFitter mean more power, strength and mobility, it usually fosters a special kind of determination and resilience that can have a positive impact on the rest of our lives, and all from a sport that’s just sixteen years old! The issue is that, like most teenagers, CrossFit can be volatile and, if pushed too hard, bite back - resulting in injury, fatigue and even full-on burnout. That’s why we put together these four pointers on how to make CrossFit work for you long-term:

 

1) Pay attention to injury when it occurs

Nobody likes injuries, nor annoying aches and pains for that matter. We all know how tempting it is to ignore that nagging pain in the wrist, or excessive tightness around the knee, in the hope that tomorrow it will be gone. However (sorry but it’s the truth) the strong likelihood is that it won’t disappear at all - in fact if you continue to train on it it’ll just get worse and worse until it forces you to take time out. On the other hand, if you treat those aches and pains like small injuries (allowing them to recover), and small injuries like big ones (consulting a sports doctor immediately), then you’re more likely to move through the recovery process faster and with less frustration.

 

2) Be hyper-vigilant about overtraining

One of the most dangerous things that can happen to an athlete is that they begin to think they’re invincible. Yet even Achilles had his heel just as Superman had his Kryptonite! The truth is that whoever you are - superhero, Rich Froning or a total CrossFit beginner - you’re still not immune from overtraining. As to what, exactly, constitutes overtraining… Unfortunately (or fortunately, perhaps) overtraining is endlessly subjective. What one person can take in their stride could knock another over completely, and that’s not just related to experience and fitness. Each individual is affected by his or her history (eg. injury history, emotional history or resilience), lifestyle (eg. diet, working hours and sleep patterns) as well as any other stress they’re going through (eg. a grief, break-up, house move or job redundancy). Therefore it’s your responsibility to start being curious about any personal signs that you’re starting to overdo things. Cutting back on your CrossFit for a little while is one easy way to reduce stress hormones coursing around your body.

 

3) Plan rest weeks or months

Want to be treated like an athlete? Start behaving like one! The majority of sports include an off season - a phase during the year where training and competitions eases for a number of weeks or months. During this time both body and mind get to heal from the intensity of what’s gone on before. Without due diligence however, CrossFit can become a year-round competitive sport, and so it’s every athlete’s responsibility to factor recovery days, weeks or months into their schedule. Really, you’re best asking a coach for advice, but as a ballpark we’d advise including de-load or rest week every 6-8 weeks and a full month off CrossFit at least once a year to give all those ligaments, tendons and lingering muscle tears the chance to truly repair. Also, recovery doesn’t have to mean couch-potatoing. If you struggle with guilt and endorphin withdrawals when not exercising lots, perhaps give this break a focus such as building core strength via PIlates or developing flexibility through yoga.

 

4) Be open to new ideas.

Here at Progenex Europe we don’t profess to understanding everything about the body. Yes, we’ve done a lot of research and our scientists work hard to make sure we produce the highest quality products on the market for our athletes. But, just like most other people, we’re still figuring out how CrossFit operates in the human world. That is, nobody really knows how CrossFit will affect its devotees over a period of, say, 30 or 40 years because it hasn’t existed that long. That’s why it’s important to remain open minded, to be curious about new research, information and opinions that may arise and be flexible about what kind of exercise schedule is right for you.

Tagged with: Crossfit training

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