The Importance of Rest Days
Recently I've talked to a couple of folks who have mentioned that they wanted to start CrossFitting every day. Others have mentioned that it was their 5th day in a row at the box. First of all, we're thrileed that you love your WOD so much that you want to be here all the time.....but be careful that you're not doing more harm than good by working out too much.
The idea behind gaining strength is that muscle is broken down during a workout, and built back up through rest and recovery. If you don't rest enough, you're WASTING YOUR WOD. Not only that, when your body is very worn out, you're more prone to injury.
So how often should you workout? We reccommend that you do not workout more than 3 days in a row before taking a rest day. If you following the programming on "Main Site" (www.crossfit.com), every 4th day is programmed as a rest day. On the 4th day, your body can be so tired that you end up "going through the motions" of the WOD and you're missing one of the things that makes CrossFit work so well - INTENSITY. There's nothing to be gained by a half-way attempt at a workout, so stay home and come back strong the next day. Besides, if you're realliy hitting it hard when you ARE at the gym, you should feel like you need a rest day.
Have a plan each week for work days and rest days, but be willing to be flexible. If you're feeling fatigued, don't workout. If you feel great, come on in.
On your rest day - REST. If you just really want to see our beautiful shining faces and hang out in an unconditioned room full of sweaty people, by all means, bring it on! Don't workout, though - mobilize. Grab a foam roller, or a band and mobilize while you cheer the class on.
"But I watched a video of Rich Froning and he works out every day!" First of all - are you Rich Froning???!! The man is a freak of nature. He's the exception, not the rule. Listen to your body and don't worry that if you take a day off you're going to lose all of your hard work, or miss a skill that you need to work on, or anything else. Rest days are required elements of any type of training, and you'll find yourself a better athlete for it both physically and mentally.
30 lunge steps with dumbells in farmer carry position
20 poor man's bench press
10 pull ups