I talked a lot about “recovery” in the Post-Workout Nutrition blog; shakes are absolutely vital for getting the most from your workouts. But what about when you aren’t working out? Should you be doing anything to help prepare you for when you get back to the gym? Or is simply resting enough? There is an important distinction between resting and recovery. Knowing the difference will keep you ready at all times for any workout CFK throws at you.
Rest = Nothing
I liken the term “rest” to its much less attractive counterpart “nothing”. Essentially, that is what we are doing when we are resting, isn’t it?. We are taking time away from strenuous activity and giving our bodies a much needed break. And while this is important, it isn’t exactly optimal. Ever notice that even when resting you become more and more sore as the days go by? When we perform intense workouts, the effects are often felt days afterwards. In fact, it isn’t at all uncommon for members to experience the most intense soreness 2-3 days later (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). We beat up our bodies and then we leave it in pieces expecting it to fix itself with time. Resting is the equivalent of asking/waiting for soreness and pain to find you. This is what most of us do, and, unfortunately, it’s putting us at a disadvantage.
Recovery = Rest + Maintenance
Instead, we should all start thinking about our off-time in terms of recovery. You can still rest (refrain from WODs), but why not perform simple maintenance steps at the same time to ensure your muscles, joints, ligaments, etc. are rearing to go for the next tough workout? Recovery should also cut down on the amount of actual rest time needed in the first place. Where merely “resting” might take you 2-3 days to return to full strength, “recovering” could have you ready to go the very next day. And the more often you’re able to get into the gym, the faster you’ll be able to achieve solid results. You might even notice yourselves enjoying your off days much more. Take care of your bodies and you will be rewarded.
***The best CrossFitters around set aside ample time for recovery techniques and practices.
Below are items that can be used to help you transition from the rest mentality to the recovery mentality. Make using them part of your daily routine (pre and post workout as well as away from the gym). If you have any questions about how to use any of these tools, please ask a trainer. All are made available to you at the gym.
Voodoo Floss Band
Ditch the resting! Start recovering!