Learn when to recover


“I’m always tired.”
“I’m not seeing progress anymore.”
“I’m always sore.”
“I’m not enjoying my training.”
“I keep getting colds!”
“I’m injured all the time.”

Do any of the above sound like you?

CrossFit is a great way to get fit, ripped, and overall better. But there’s only so much most of us can take. Many of us doing CrossFit are trying to do way too much – to the point where we’re definitely not getting fitter or healthier.

More is not always better.

Why do you do CrossFit? Most of us do CrossFit to lose body fat, feel better, look better naked, and to be more confident.

If this is you, one session a day is enough.

So many of us are trying to train for the CrossFit Games whilst being 35 years old with a full-time desk job. We’re eating Crunchy Nut Cornflakes for breakfast and a packet sandwich for lunch, and wondering why we’re not elite.

At CrossFit GAIN, we give you a programme designed for members to complete five sessions per week at a maximum. Those of you with an older training age (people who have been doing full body strength and conditioning sessions for a consistent period of time and not someone who has been doing lots of running/rowing/pumping their guns in the gym) could possibly do more – though they probably don’t need to.

Doing too many sessions will burn you out physically and mentally. More importantly, it’ll take the fun out of training. It could even make you ill. I know this from experience.

A few years ago, I was training several times a day, pushing my body hard every session, whilst working from 6am to 9pm everyday and trying to run a business. Now, even though I still look really young, I was actually 37 at the time – and I ground myself to the ground. I picked up colds, which turned into a chest infection, which then turned in pneumonia. That’s some serious shit.

Looking back at that experience, I’m glad that it happened. Getting pneumonia scared me and made me reevaluate my “why” for training. It made me take my head out of my arse and look at what I was doing and what I was expecting of others. I have a better perspective on training and coaching others. I have an even greater respect for the recovery needed to be healthy and to progress in training.

We all want to be better and look better. But without sufficient recovery and fuel there is no chance of that happening.

Training should be fun, healthy and structured. Health and wellness is the goal.

(And abs, of course. We all want abs.)

Don’t be like I was and get ill when there was no benefit or point to pushing my body so hard. Learn to listen to your body. If you’ve had a tough day at work, eaten badly, and barely had any sleep for several days, is pushing yourself to the point of almost being sick going to be good for you? Of course not.

You are tired and stressed and your immune system is already working hard. if you then push your body to its limits, you are putting yourself at a much higher risk of injury or illness. Learn to be sensible, look after your body and be sure to recover properly.

Doing six CrossFit classes, two Barbell classes, gymnastics and a 10k recovery run in one week is ridiculous for most of us. That amount of work is only of benefit to those who have great nutritional habits (i.e., those who don’t have a few beers at the weekend), have trained quality volume into their bodies for a sustained period of time, are twenty-five years old with stellar genetics and totally injury-free.

Doesn’t sound like most of us, does it?

Four to five classes per week will have more benefit to most of us. To people who are just starting out, your central nervous system simply cannot handle much more than this. Two to three classes per week with days off inbetween will be more suitable until you’ve had time to adjust to the workload.

Have a think about your “why” for your training, and if your current schedule reflects this.

If you’re confused or feel like you may need a bit more guidance, then book a chat with me or another one of our coaches. We’ll always try to help and give you some perspective.


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