Why do CrossFitters need rest days?


Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real effects of training take place.

Recovering properly also allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissue.  Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise.

Rest days are not only important for physiological progress but also psychological aswell.

Physiologically, rest allows the body to learn from and adapt to the recent physical stress, repair muscles, build and be stronger and better adapted for the next physical challenge ( in our case, a WOD). In CrossFit we believe in relative intensity and pushing our bodies most times to their maximum capacity.  The results of this is an adaptation that continuously tips the athlete toward stronger, faster and more skilled..

HOWEVER- the crazy part about all of this is…. This adaptation takes place during the REST and RECOVERY phase and not the workout..

Too much intensity and not enough recovery will lead to plateau.. And nobody wants that!!

Psychological benefits when “viewed correctly” give us a mental edge during the next workout we do.  Athletes often come back mentally stronger and more determined to go.  I used the term “viewed correctly” because most people feel guilty about taking a day off but don’t. They think it’ll be detrimental to their training.. It won’t!! Enjoy a day off. Let your mind and body rest. Make the most of it..

Having a recovery day does not mean go for a 5k run or ride or just practice hand stand push ups.. It means relax.. Kick your feet up, watch b grade movies. Sit in a park and read a book, hang out with partners and friends, just NO TRAINING.. You’ll be better for it trust me!!

Lastly – listen to your body as you know it best, schedule your rest days but don’t be scared to take an impromptu rest day as well if your body is feeling particularly beat up that week..

Happy training and HAPPY RESTING!!!

Coach Aaron – CrossFit Hawthorn East

CrossFit Hawthorn East is a physical fitness gym close to both Camberwell and Hawthorn.  We offer group fitness classes, personal training and regular workshops.  Email info@crossfithawthorneast.com.au to book your free intro class.

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