I’m still fairly new to CrossFit. BUT I completely understand what it’s going to take to have longevity in CrossFit. My goal is to be an 80 year CrossFitter. HA! I love the enthusiasm and the excitement when you hit a PR. OR those butterflies you get when the workout is about to start. I fricken love this sensation. I haven’t felt those sensations since I was a volleyball athlete in college. Actually even then I have never felt these sensations. I don’t want this CrossFit love to end. So, I now strategize my workouts and my self care.
As massage therapist, yoga instructor, AND being over 40, longevity is so important. Add in Cross Fit! WHEW! That’s a good body pounding everyday.
Here are my 4 tips to longevity in CrossFit…
#1 REST REST REST
You go in workout hard…maybe even PR. You are sore the next day. You go in again AND welp? You are sore again and again again and again. Your muscles need rest so that you can gain MORE strength for the next hard workout. You are breaking down muscle fibers in every workout. Resting for a minimum of 24 hours isn’t going to hurt you. It’s not going to make you weak. If anything, it’s going to make you stronger. Rest doesn’t mean do an “off day” workout either. Rest means a FULL 24 hours of doing no workout, not even hiking….just lay in bed, watch a great TV series to veg out on and just nap like you’re 5. Wouldn’t 3 excellent hard workouts be better then 7 crapping workouts. With rest you may just PR more or faster!
My rest strategy: Rest as much as possible. A minimum of 24 hours in between workouts. Workout every other day vs every day. Then at the end of the week rest over the weekend getting a full 48 hours of rest. First day of my workout week, I ease back in because my first workout of the week is always the hardest. So, I may do Power Yoga or Yoga Sculpt.
#2 STRETCH STRETCH STRETCH
Stretching improves your range of motion(ROM). It can also help improve athletic ability allowing workouts to feel stronger. For example, when you’re trying to get into your overhead squat…hardest move on your shoulder and Thoracic mobility for sure. Not only will you be able to get into your overhead faster. But it won’t feel like your body is going to break when doing the squat portion. I can attest to this! Stretching not only improves your ROM, soreness will be reduced, it improves athletic performance, and prevents injury.
My Stretching strategy: I come into the gym about 30 minutes prior to my workout, if my schedule permits. I will do more dynamic stretching. This means I’m doing more mobility movement with stretching in between the moves. After my workout, I stay 10 minutes after class to do static stretching. I do one full yoga class once per week to help with soreness. Yoga is important since sometimes I don’t have time to do dynamic stretching before my class. Anytime I get a chance I will stretch my hips or shoulders in between clients. I make a conscious decision to stretch as much as I can.
You ask, “Isn’t stretching mobility?”. Yes and No. Stretching is something that will be more of a static movement. It will be focused on muscles. Mobility will work not only on the muscle, but it will work on joints. For example, you will gain range of motion in your shoulder joint. Mobility is being able to move freely in your body and is often referred after you have an injury. Which is why you go to a Physical Therapist. They are going to help you gain mobility after your injury. But after your Physical Therapy is done you will need to continue your mobility work. Scar tissue will form around any injury; small or large. To help break the scar tissue build up around your joints, you need to keep the joints moving freely as much as possible to continue making your workouts strong. You can do this with dynamic stretching, a massage gun, or foam rolling.
My mobility strategy: I incorporate mobility in my dynamic stretching, killing two birds with one stone. I use yoga as my mobility as well. So I attend a restorative or Yin Yoga. Heated Yin yoga is my favorite. If I’m not able to get to a yoga class, I have a massage gun (I personally have the Kraft Gun.) that I will use. I will also foam roll my muscles. It gives a delicious discomfort sensation but then I feel how mobile my limbs feel and Im ok with it.
#4 Self Care and Injury Prevention Strategy
What is self care and injury prevention? This includes not just stretching, mobility work, and rest. Self care is paying attention to the body as a whole to prevent injury. This means listen to the whispers from your body before it starts yelling at you. Self care includes, massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, meditation, and having fun!
My self Care and Injury Prevention Strategy: I personally get some sort of self care every Monday. This will even include having fun with friends to pampering myself with a facial, to getting my bodywork. I strategize my finances to be able to do this as well. I put aside $100-200/month. I also have a self care credit card I use only for self care. I don’t use that very often. It’s more for when I injure myself; helping purchase a package if needed. I then makes sure I preschedule because I always say, “If it’s not in my schedule, its never going to happen”. Also, the really good bodyworkers/chiropractors/acupuncturists are usually full; not allowing same day scheduling. I even schedule my workouts because my schedule shifts so much. I give myself no opportunity to make excuses on my self care.
I hope these strategies help you in caring for your mind body and spirit.
Be sure to schedule your massage with me today! Let's get you started on your wellness regimen.