Where is your rest muscle and how do you train it? Most of the time people think that working out in the gym every day is the best thing they can do for their health, is this right, is it wrong, does it really make a difference? Well yes, it does! When you look at CrossFit or any sport/training program you can break it down into a triangle and each side of this triangle is very important for our performance in and out of the gym. One side of our triangle is TRAINING, our program or sport which we obviously take care of when we step inside the gym, another side is NUTRITION which is a topic all in itself. Now that leaves us with one more side, can you guess what it is? RECOVERY!
If your training and nutrition are on point, but recovery is lacking your triangle will collapse and you are no longer performing at full capacity. That means not only do you suffer in the gym, but also in everyday life. That means work performance, and extra activities suffer. When we go through a hard training session we tax our body by stressing the muscular, respiratory, circulatory, skeletal and endocrine systems. If we continue to do this day in and day out they don't get to recover and soon we are functioning at a continuous 50% instead of 100%.
Now I'm not saying go home and sit on the couch every time you feel a little sore, but if when you leave the gym and go back to everyday life and feel completely drained that might be a sign of a bigger issue, again this is assuming your nutrition and training efforts are in order (Since you're at Strong don't worry about the training, we've got you covered). Rest days are perfect for actually using your fitness, go for a jog outside, play with the kids or dogs, meal prep, yoga, or just go for a nice walk while listening to music. All these are great for recovering the body and the mind too! If you were to look at traditional programming from main site (crossfit.com) even that follows a “3 on 1 off” program, meaning 3 days of intense training and 1 day of rest. Why? Because it would probably be more harmful than beneficial to maintain a truly intense program for a longer period of time, now it probably could be done if your full time job was to be a professional CrossFit athlete, but we all don't have that luxury.
From all of this, I just hope everyone remembers that we are in the sport of health and wellness, in the end it's not always about the PR's or the benchmark times, it's about increasing the quality of life, to not be on a long list of meds, and to keep being great to yourself and those around you!
“Rest equals recovery, and recovery is the key to making consistent progress” - Bill Starr