Cross Training Workouts: The Importance of Half Intensity Weeks & Rest Days
CrossFit can be addictive because of the fun and the results it brings. However, all work with no play can undermine your results in the medium term and the long term. CrossFit workouts are so different from the traditional training methods. There is a certain level of intensity which necessitates that at some point in between you need a rest.
These are days you set apart on your weekly schedule to focus on recovery. At the minimum, you require at least a day off per week, but if you can have two the better. The interesting thing about CrossFit is that one size doesn’t fit all. The amount and quality of sleep you get, your age, your diet, and lots of other factors come into the spotlight when deciding how often you need a rest.
Younger folks tend to train for about 5 to 6 days per week while the older folks can do with 2 to 3 times a week. The rule of thumb is to train for a maximum of 3 days and then take a day off. If you go four days in a row, the 4th day will sacrifice your intensity, and this makes your day at the CrossFit gym less effective.
It makes much sense to take a day off and then come back stronger and ready to face the rest of the days. It helps to experiment with different schedules so that you can access which fits you best.
Test to See Whether You Need a Half Intensity Week
If your recovery tracker shows that you are treading in the negative zone, then it is time you took a rest. Also, waking up feeling sluggish and more tired than usual or feeling your heart rate much higher than normal, then you need to take a day off. Injuries can also be a pointer that your body is overworking and has minimal rest. It’s important you become observant and listen to your body. Instead of taking your rest days when you need them, take them before you really need them.
Half Intensity Weeks
In addition to the rest days, you can incorporate a half-intensity week once every four weeks. However, it’s important to ensure you don’t get lazy during the half intensity week. Looking at your calendar, you should have an idea of the days you work out. For most people, they tend to have a rather irregular CrossFit training schedule where they take some days off for a vacation or some hours attending to their family. However, if your calendar shows that you haven’t missed a day ever since you started your schedule, you may want to factor in a half-intensity week.
Remember, your CrossFit workouts vary from other people in your community and hence it is important to focus on your consistency, workout intensity, and recovery practices. It helps to take a minute and flip through your exercise log. Train hard, eat right, and take advantage of rest days to recover and enhance your performance.
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