With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
When you first started CrossFit, you were an average human being. For two weeks every single movement made you sore, and in one month you were fitter faster than you thought possible.
Now you are a CrossFitter; you are an athlete. You can perform feats only dreamed about by the normal people around you. You are a practically super human, and we know from Peter Parker’s tale that with great power comes great responsibility.
As you push yourself to the next level whether that is over 300 pounds on your deadlift or consecutive butterfly chest to bars, you have to take care of your RECOVERY. As you advance in level, the stress you place on your body is much closer to the biological potential that you hold than the stress you put on it in the beginning. You are as close as a normal person gets to approaching the capabilities of a professional athlete. Since you are more on the edge of your performance, everything counts. Basically RECOVERY happens as soon as we stop the WOD.
The harder you WOD, the kinder you have to be to yourself in RECOVERY so that you may continue to see amazing progress while avoiding injury. Most of the time when you stall out on your progress, it has to do with what you are doing in RECOVERY.
What do you need to RECOVER? You need to replenish your energy systems with top-notch fuel. I will give you a hint- Beer and Pizza is not top-notch fuel. Clean, whole foods will facilitate your RECOVERY. You need to replenish your system with fluids, electrolytes and other micro-nutrients. In this heat, you need to make sure you are drinking lots of fluid and increase your intake of electrolytes. In addition, you need to replace your stores of micro-nutrients by either eating or drinking more veggies or by taking a multivitamin.
The above are general guidelines day to day that not just improve your RECOVERY, they improve your overall health. More specifically, you must get a RECOVERY meal. This can be chicken breast and sweet potatoes, chocolate milk or a recovery shake, but it is imperative that you get it within 30 minutes of your WOD. Your body needs this to immediately replenish substrates and kick start the entire rebuilding process that is RECOVERY.
The other thing you need is sleep. If you do not get at least 7 hours of sleep, you are not able to adequately RECOVER to continue your high level of exertions. A special cocktail of hormones and other chemicals in produced during your sleep, and adequate sleep allows the dosage of this magic to be helpful. If you do not sleep, you may not be getting any of this healing magic at night. If you find that you are still not getting enough RECOVERY, try the night-time RECOVERY we have at the gym that is designed to enhance the natural RECOVERY activities of the body during sleep.
In addition to consuming top-notch fuel, timing your recovery meals and sleeping well, you need to be mobilizing and stretching. Mobility is your friend. Athletes spend lots of time taking care of their bodies. You are an athlete now, so you need to invest some time to learn the maintenance routine and the time to execute it so that you can continue to see the great results.