We have all heard that rest days are how our bodies recovery, repair and rebuild our bodies. I want to talk to you about a different kind of rest. The kind of rest that takes place in middle of that Constantly Varied, Functional Movement, High Intensity workout. You should be able to picture it. You are in the middle of your workout. You have your hookgrip, but the bar isn't moving and you aren't even holding the bar. You have a hookgrip on your shorts or special lululemon pants and you are bent over wondering why the guy next to you is taking all your oxygen! Let's talk about how we can turn that rest into a productive application of strategy to reach our fitness goals.
Those goals are different for each of us. You want to be a games competitor, best at your box, best at local competition or just not get beat by your wife in workouts. Your rest strategy is another piece to the puzzle of achieving those results that you want.
A little theory review that I will summarize from the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar (all rights reserved). CrossFit's single definition is Constantly Varied, Functional Movement, executed at High Intensity. We like functional movements because they have the unique ability to express high power relative to their non-functional counterparts. We can calculate the power output with the power equation of F*d/t = average Power. We know that by definition; Intensity is defined as or equal to average power. We like intensity because that is how we get results. We know we get results from looking at our log books with lower times, heavier loads, more reps. I want you to visualize that if you did Fran, all the work you did can be calculated with (f*d=work). If I know the exact amount of work (21-15-9 of Thrusters and Pullups) and I am trying to get high power, all I need to do is make the time (t) variable faster! Less rest = Results; and it is easier said than done.
It is important to have a strategy for your rest to ensure that you are getting the results you want. Talking with Margaux Alvarez, 4x CrossFit Games Athlete and co-founder of Prepare and Execute Training, says "In competition among the fittest, decreasing my transition times, i.e. rest between movements, has always given me an edge in a sport where every second counts!"
I want to talk to you about a tool/technique that may help you measure and control the amount of rest you take. The Breath Technique (Copyrighted 2016 - 15 mins ago). It is really a simple concept that allows us to put objective time frames on the amount of rest that we are taking during workouts. Here is the basic premise, You start with a certain number of breaths. For the example, we will say 4. This means that any time during your workout that you quit moving, doing reps, or drop the barbell; you are limited to 4 deep breaths during that period. That is 4 deep breaths through your nose out your mouth. Anytime that you rest during the workout for whatever reason, you get 4 deep breaths. Now we can objectively, over time, slowly progress so that we are taking less and less breaths "rest" and doing WODs with Intensity and unbroken.
P.S. The guy next to you is not stealing your oxygen ;)