Your Body Talks…Listen!

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By Coach Becca

In CrossFit – more is always better, right?  More weight, more reps, more days of training!  I mean, that’s what all the best CrossFitters and people with rockin’ bods out there seem to be doing: double days, long and torturous workouts, heavy weights, etc...

I will admit – this is absolutely how I used to think when I first started CrossFit – the more I did, the faster I’ll improve.  Gosh it couldn’t have been further from the truth. 

Here is the thing – you may think you’re different or that you NEED to work-out that much to help you reach the goals you have (weight loss, muscle gain, improving with a certain skill).  The truth is – your almost every day workouts or constant desire to push past what your body is telling you might be doing more harm than good.   

There are some things a lot of people don’t know about muscle development:

1. Muscles literally cannot grow/develop strength/get further definition without proper rest. 

2. It is during sleep where growth hormone (GH) levels are highest.

3. If proper recovery time (rest) is not given, the body cannot regenerate.

4. Proper rest time, nutrition, sleep, stress management, and recovery methods (stretching, body maintenance, etc.) all play a very important role with how well your training produces results.

When we train hard, which I know you all do, we are conditioning our body – which helps our bodies to:

-Improve efficiency of the heart

-Increase capillary size to help blood flow and oxygen levels

-Increase glycogen (energy) stores

BUT – if proper recovery/rest time is not given, then our body cannot produce these results, or they are produced to a lesser extent.  The body will store less glycogen, your performance will plateau and possibly even decline, and worst of all – you run a greater risk of injury.  None of these things sound very good – right?! 

So how do we start learning to listen to our bodies – how do we know what they are saying?  Some signs of over-training include:

-Easily irritated – Know whether you are generally an easily annoyed person, or if you truly see a significant difference in how quickly you have been snapping at people lately.

-Mood Swings – Again, are you usually moody – or are you just straight up crazy lately!? When was the last time you took a rest day?

-Trouble SleepingYou need sleep to recover, but if you haven’t even been able to get much sleep because you keep waking up in the middle of the night – might be time to take a rest day.

-Loss of Desire to TrainSometimes a simple day off can make all the difference in KILLING your workout the next day. 

So next time you feel run down, overly moody/irritable, or have a crappy training session – take a look at when the last time you took a day off was.  Or better yet, develop a routine if possible with days you train vs. days you rest – try to have at least 1 rest day every 3-4 days of training.  Especially if you feel like those specific training days have been especially hard. 

All in all – listen to your body and treat it well (sleep, nutrition, rest days)!  It will thank you with better endurance, strength development, and a rockin’, defined physique!

Action Expresses Priorities

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By Coach Zach Riberdy Action expresses priorities. - Mohandas Gandhi When thinking of what makes something a priority, your individual approach is a determining factor. I have a tendency to make priorities more personal, which allows me to create a bond with them. Everyone has different priorities; all of them are very grounded and fundamental. When I say that, I do not mean that certain priorities are more important than others. What I mean is that our core priorities tend to be the same; i.e. work, family, friends, religion, etc. When a new opportunity presents itself, something that can potentially have a lasting effect on a person’s life, the idea of making it a priority can be hard and intimidating. Trying to find time or make time for it, realizing the amount of dedication it may take or the sacrifice that needs to be put forth. Every reason, whether valid or a meager excuse, plays a vital role in turning a new activity, relationship, job, whatever into a priority. Every day, more and more people allow a negative thought spiral turn something with positive energy into another form of “Well I wanted to do this, but…” Most people, myself included, have a tendency to be reserved when approaching new challenges. CrossFit can and is one of those things. Joining a new gym, having to get used to an entirely new system of training, having to get used to an entirely new group of people; all of these things and a list of others present a potential hurdle or negative thought loop that could cause you to regretfully say the phrase “Well I wanted to, but…” This is when the importance of placing value into a priority becomes necessary. Holding onto something of value, from a personal memory to something of monetary wealth, the value is what keeps it close to you. Why not make your own personal well being just as valuable? Taking the time out of a busy schedule to make a commitment to yourself will add value to what you are trying to reach long term. That same value will then translate into the importance factor, which will directly lead to making your everyday fitness goals a priority. Make your CrossFit priorities match your personal goals. I have never heard from someone that hard work put towards one priority did not transfer over into other priorities in their life. The more value placed in priorities, the stronger the bond is held within them. The strength of the bond with that priority, the closer it is to your heart. This ultimately brings with it the greatest the reward. Seeing a child walk across a stage to receive a diploma, doing your very first pull up with no assistance, eating a series of healthy well balanced meals for a long duration of days turned into months, going back to school to get a degree that should have been completed years before, signing up for a 3 day commitment to a brand new gym with all new programming, or finally getting the courage to move a barbell in a direction you never thought imaginable. Every day activities hold the ability to make you humble, grateful, scared beyond belief, or bursting with pride. The strength of the bond to that activity is what makes it a priority. Allow your actions to grow stronger so they may demonstrate your priorities to more than those close to you on a personal level. Let the strength of those bonds be your reasons to taking charge of your life, and not letting life take charge of you. It is very easy to follow someone else’s lead, but often times being the example has so much more benefit.