A Solution To Your Problems That Is Often Overlooked
Are you at your ideal level of fitness? Does your body feel good most days of the week? Or do you feel kind of beat up? Do you experience chronic feelings of fatigue/tiredness? Are you not progressing as fast as you would like to?
This week, we are going to talk about a box that is often left unchecked and unmonitored by many a CrossFit Athlete. For the purpose of this article, a CrossFit Athlete will be defined as anyone participating in regular workouts at a local CrossFit Affiliate like ours at CFN.
The box we are going to be discussing has one of the biggest impacts on our overall capacity for both performance and life. This box is the SDS box or Stress/Diet/Sleep box.
First, we have to understand, that each of us has different levels of capacity, or the maximum amount that something can produce. In this instance that something is work. When we train in the gym, our purpose is increasing that capacity, and the best way to do it is the minimum effective dose necessary to stimulate adaptation or change.
Once we work to stimulate that change, our body then needs to recover in order for that adaptation to take place. You see, it isn’t during the actual work or workout that the adaptation happens. In fact, quite the opposite takes place during, and after the workout, our bodies go into what’s called a catabolic state (breakdown mode) and it’s only through rest and recovery (R&R) that it begins to build back up (an anabolic state).
Imagine that you personally have a maximum capacity of 10. You sleep 5 Hours two nights in a row, so you really have a max capacity of 6 now. You neglect to eat breakfast and lunch bringing down that max capacity to 4 instead opting for some fruit snacks at 2 PM before your intense workout at 3 PM. You then do your best in the workout (which feels like crap the whole time) and it takes 5 points of your capacity to do. Your back hurts after. Remember that we started with a capacity of 4?
Exceeding your capacity is a quick way to many things we would prefer to avoid in the gym, including injury, burnout, loss of motivation, and more.
So now imagine this scenario. You sleep for 7.5 hours. It’s not 8, but its quality sleep, you wake up feeling good. You’re at a 9.5/10 you eat balanced meals all day. You even fuel a little at 2 pm before that 3 pm workout. You’re maintaining that 9.5, the workout takes 5 capacity points. You get done with 4.5 points left. You then go home, and have a good dinner, sleep 8 hours, and wake up and stretch. You wake up at a 9.5, you take a rest day. You eat well, the next day you wake up with a capacity of 11! We’ve improved your capacity.
Now, the above examples are grossly oversimplified, but properly express that for every 1 part that we work out we want to recover 1.1 parts. What does this mean? What actionable steps can you take to recover properly?
- Sleep 8-9 Hours nightly, if you aren’t able to do this then how close can you get to this consistently?
- Hydrate properly as a general guideline drink ½ your body weight in oz of water daily
- Take 1-2 Rest Days weekly with 1 one of those being a PURE Rest day, NOT an Active Recovery day
- Eat balanced meals, don’t fear carbs, and don’t skip out on enough protein
- Ask a coach, if you’ve been experiencing chronic fatigue, nagging pain, or aren’t satisfied with your progress so far come have a FREE conversation with one of our coaches so we can help you identify how we can resolve some of these issues.
I hope you found value in today’s post and that you now understand the importance of R&R.
Looking to find out more? Book a Free Consult HERE