It’s Open season once again in the CrossFit community. As you train your strength and skills to prepare yourself for your best performance yet, remember the importance in recovery as a ‘next gear’ tool to earning your success.
The training leading up to the CrossFit Open is often a time of high energy, high volume and high stakes. This gateway competition gets increasingly more competitive each year as top athletes contend for a qualifying spot to Regionals. Even for those who are casual participants to this community affair find excitement this time of year and find themselves pushing harder through workouts. Because of this increase in volume and intensity, it means that it is equally as important to make sure that the body is adequately recovered from training, too. Though we may all try, you can’t ferociously burn the candle at both ends and expect to perform at your best.
Recovery can mean many things, but some key practices can help you structure a responsible lifestyle that maximizes the benefit of your hard work. Though you may spend four hours in a gym, the other twenty are the ones that count.
Simply learning to value and budget your time more wisely will have an impact on your sleep, work efficiency the relationship you hold to your responsibilities. How much time and energy are you wasting right now on social media? Do you drag through a 30 minute warmup everyday? If you are effective with the things you need to accomplish, you will leave more time for recovery practices and rest time.
Visualization and Mindfulness
The intensity of training for most athletes entering the Open season does a lot to tax the nervous system and the mind. Taking time to reflect on what is learned from training and how to increase a competitive mindset is just as important as the training itself. Take time to remember moments of success and visualize your goals.
Open prep often means repeating a lot of movements over and over in order to master efficiency. This can sometimes cause inflammation of the joints, tendons and ligaments and cause aching or soreness. Natural anti-inflammatories such as turmeric or beets can help with these pains, but also making sure that the connective tissues remain mobile.
Soft Tissue Mobility
Not only do our primary muscles get tight from training, but also the interconnected fascia that surrounds all of our nerves and organs, too. Exercises with a lacrosse ball, foam roller or yoga can be a good practice to maintain health of the soft tissue. Types of compression therapy or the use of an NMES device can help maintain blood flow in the tissue as well.
At some point, you will have to take responsibility for the fuel you put into your body. Supplements alone will never do the trick and learning healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes to the way you eat will help you increase the impact of your training. Find experts of the field and learn to test things for yourself to find the best building blocks for your body.
The Open isn’t just a test of will power and strength, but about who is able to sustain health and focus through five tough weeks. Make sure you’re prepared for this years excitement by committing to your recovery as much as you do your training.
The preset Resistance program is the most “bang for your buck” among the training programs. By activating both Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fiber types, you can help to maximize the muscle contraction and get the greatest strength gains. Although this program can be used as a stand-alone routine (yes, even while you sit on the couch!) it may be best utilized in conjunction with some body weight exercises such as squats, push-ups, or calf raises depending on what you want to train. By taking your body through range of motion during each contraction, you’ll get even more benefit of the program to help increase your squat, vertical jump, and increase muscle mass!
Active Recovery Program
The moments immediately following a tough workout can be some of the most critical for recovery in a number of ways. Using the Active Recovery program within thirty minutes of your workout can help reduce lactic buildup, muscle soreness and fatigue so that you’re better prepared for the next session. By starting at a higher frequency and gradually tapering down, this program can be used as an effective cool down method.
Recovery Plus Program
In the hours and days following a workout, using the Recovery Plus program will have the most benefit to ensuring your preparedness for the next session. Using a low frequency pulse, this program helps to increase local blood flow back to the muscle tissue to help keep it mobile and fight muscle soreness. A perfect rest day choice, stick on your electrodes for a relaxing weekend as you plan out your next week in how to continue towards your goals.
We know you’re ready to put in work this New Year and Compex is here to help meet your fitness goals. Train, recover and PR with Compex into 2018!
At Compex, we know we’re not your only electronic fitness device. Nowadays, you can get customized workouts, track your diet, map your morning run and more right from your phone. According to Business Insider, health and fitness apps grew 62% in usage between December 2013 and June 2014, compared to apps overall which grew just 33%. More and more people are using their technology to live healthier. With so many different fitness apps on the market, we’ve put together some of our favorites.
Fitstar is the perfect app if you’re looking for a training program. The app designs personalized workouts for you and tracks your progress. Adjustments to the workouts can be made in order to accurately track your input and results. Share those results with friends and family for encouragement or to have them help you stick to your goals. Fitstar also ties into wearable devices like the Jawbone Up or the FitBit.
Available for free on iOS
If you’re an avid runner, you probably already know about RunKeeper. One of the most popular running apps, RunKeeper features everything a runner needs. It tracks your distance, monitors your speed, maps your location via GPS and keeps tabs on your caloric output. If you’re into other outdoor activities like swimming, cycling or hiking, you can track those activities with RunKeeper as well.
Staying fit is more than just going to the gym a couple times a week; it’s a lifestyle choice. Your everyday activities can contribute to your overall fitness. Track them all with Moves. Not only can you track your workouts but also how many steps you take and calories you burn doing things like running errands.
There are many benefits to practicing yoga from building strength and increasing flexibility to relaxation. If you find you’re not making it to your classes as much as you’d like to, try Yoga Studio. The top-rated Yoga Studio app is designed for all levels and has over 16 hours of classes ranging from 15 minutes to an hour. Each class has modifications if you need them. This is the perfect way to work on your practice wherever you are.
Available for $3.99 on iOS
Sleep is arguably one of the most important parts of being healthy. Sleep is not only when we recharge, but also when our muscles rebuild after workouts and our brains store all the information we absorb during the day. Sleep Cycle is a bio-alarm clock designed to help you understand how much sleep you’re actually getting and wakes your at the best time. It analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you when you are in the lightest sleep phase. Waking up during the lightest phase of your sleep cycle helps you feel refreshed and relaxed, ready to take on the day.
7 Minute Workout Challenge
Currently one of the top fitness apps in the iTunes Store, 7 Minute Workout Challenge gives you no excuse to skip your daily workout. Pioneered by Chris Jordan, the idea is to work out smarter not harder through high intensity interval training. The app comes loaded with 36 exercises and 12 additional workouts that you can customize and modify to create your own program.
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal
Losing weight or maintaining your weight can be a challenge for some. MyFitnessPal makes it a little easier. Track your calories and see where you need to make changes in your diet. The app has over 3,000,000 foods loaded into it so finding what you had for lunch should be a snap.
Any apps we missed? Is there a fitness app you’ve been using that you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments.