timthumb.jpg

LETS TALK ABOUT REST DAYS

When we talk about the longevity of health, there is a vast difference between volume in training and intensity, and more isn’t always better.

The template in which we see the best results are the two routines below.

  1. 3 DAYS ON, 1 DAY OFF, 2 DAYS ON , 1 DAY OFF
  2. 2 DAYS ON, 1 DAY OFF, 2 DAYS ON, 1 DAY OFF

But why? What can’t you just go 5 days in a row? Bi’s and Tri’s, Back and Shoulders, Legs and Abs, and repeat! Wrong program guys !

uchr_02_img0126.jpg

ATHLETIC MOVEMENT IN YOUR BODY IS PROGRAMMED BY YOUR CNS (CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM) WHICH INCLUDES YOUR BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OUTPUT OF MOTOR CONTROLS FROM YOUR BRAIN TO THE REST OF YOUR BODY.

“Any time you move the brain lights up with nerve impulses generated by chemical activity. A stream of these impulses flows from the brain to the working muscles, causing them to contract. We call this flow of nerve impulses ‘central drive’, which we can measure through various methods of arcane science. After some kinds of intense training, we see that central drive is reduced; causing a kind of fatigue even if the muscles are fine. “Credit – http://www.myosynthesis.com/cns-handle-stress

The most damaging movements to your CNS are explosive weightlifting movements i.e snatches, deadlifts, squats, cleans, push jerks, thrusters ect. This could be achieved at higher reps, or higher weight or a combination of both. It doesn’t just happen when you go for a 1RM which is a common misconception.

WHEN YOUR CNS BECOMES FATIGUED, WE GO THROUGH A PERCEPTION AND SENSATION THAT THE EXERCISE BEING PERFORMED IS MUCH HARDER THAN IT ACTUALLY IS.

Have you had those days, where you don’t understand why you can’t hit a lift that you have hit hundreds of times? Or that you can’t push through a workout? That you have no “GO” or drive?

It may not be your muscles that are truly fatigued, it’s your CNS, and your body’s response to what you want it to do is impaired and slow.

So now that you know that, what does this mean for your training?

You need rest. Recovery is important, and really the time when you are building muscle.

The largest issue with training with a stressed CNS is that your at an increased risk for injury. Your body lags behind your brain- a second delay in a box jump or a olympic lift becomes dangerous and its probably the biggest reason to take a day off.

“BE IMPRESSED BY INTENSITY, NOT VOLUME.” –GREG GLASSMAN.

intensity_duration_curve.gif

GREG GLASSMAN’S QUOTE IS SO SIMPLE YET SO IMPORTANT.

If you feel like you need to do two workouts in a day, your wrong, and you didn’t go hard enough in the first one. You need to step up your intensity and you will get WAY more out of your workouts. The beauty in CrossFit is the duration and intensity of the work. And the fact that you DON’T need to spend hours in the gym to achieve success, so why are you adding in more volume to your week? I can tell you that high level CrossFit Games Athletes don’t add volume for more than 3-4 months out of the year, and that ramps up around games time. This is a seasonal approach, and only needed for the stress they undergo during 4-5 days of competition. Competition isn’t healthy in a general sense; it’s not something that lasts a lifetime.

Daily-Stressor.-Relievers-1024x442.png

STRESSORS VS. RELIEVERS

If we look at Stressors and Relievers as a table, we can begin to understand how these effect our performance and daily life. Workouts shown as a stressor require proper repair and nutrition to get stronger.

At the end of each day, or even each week you should try to be in the positive, meaning your relievers outweigh your stressors.

You can create values for these characteristics however you see fit, and weigh them depending on how much they help or hinder your daily life. Here is a general template I use. The goal is to start thinking about your life in a holistic approach to health and fitness.

Maybe this means, if you don’t get a good nights sleep you need to take a day off. or you need to really focus on nutrition.

Starting out, make this a monthly goal, and if you master that, make it a weekly goal, and then a daily goal. Then you will have balance between workouts, and volume and days a week mean nothing, and your intensity and recovery mean more.

More than likely, you will be seeing more gains, FEEL better in workouts, and learn to understand how your individual body operates.

RECAP:

VOLUME MEANS NOTHING. BALANCE, NUTRITION; RECOVERY AND INTENSITY SHOULD BE YOUR GOAL.

IF YOU JUST CAN’T STAY AWAY FROM CFS, WHICH WE LOVE AND UNDERSTAND J , COME IN AND DO A MOBILITY DAY, AND CHEER EVERYONE ELSE ON!