It doesn’t matter whether you are a CrossFitter who is experienced or you are simply a beginner looking to curve your way out, the first few weeks of your exercises can be hurting. You need time to adapt so that your body can be in sync with the frequency and magnitude of your workouts. The pertinent question many people ask is how they should know they have optimized their recovery in between CrossFit workout of the day. Unfortunately, the answer is, there isn’t a way to tell.
There are no markers or signs to show that you have fully recovered not even the delayed onset of muscle soreness. This is why you can always enhance your recovery efforts even if you feel you are getting better at handling WODs. For every athlete, optimal recovery is a dynamic and systematic physiological process which changes as the athletes change. The following tips will help you in optimizing your next WOD.
Clean Up Your Diet
What you eat and how you eat it on a day-to-day basis is one of the major factors that will impact on your recovery. The WOD is simply a stimulus for growth. However, the body won’t grow during the workout because real growth happens in the repair and recovery process.
A clean CrossFit diet should include lean protein to support muscle growth as well as lots of fruits and veggies for the vitamins. Veggies and fruits contain antioxidants which are crucial in protecting your body against muscle cell damage. Similarly, the phytochemicals in the dark leafy greens can help in repairing connective tissue and reduce inflammation.
An excellent way to optimize your recovery is to lower as much as possible the amount of stress your body encounters when working out at CrossFit gym. To do this, you have to eat as much energy packed nutrients as you can before the start of your session. Even though every person handles pre-WOD snack differently, try and consume a small meal or snack an hour or two before the training. Aim at getting 250 to 350 calories particularly coming from non-sucrose carbohydrate sources.
When you finish your WOD at CrossFit gym, you can engage in some light activities so as to cool down. Go for biking, jogging, or rowing, or even some light gymnastics. This will continuously push blood through your vessels thus helping in circulating out any waste products from muscle contraction.
After Workout Massage
To reduce swelling for the affected tissues, go for physical manipulation of the muscle tissue using lacrosse ball, roller, or even better, partner massage. This breaks up the tightness of the muscles.
Inadequate sleep can sacrifice your growth and progress in the CrossFit gym. Research shows that much of the anabolic process takes place during sleep. Also, the regulation of growth hormones, cortisol, melatonin, and others which affect the adaptation of your muscles to training, takes place at night. Try about 8 hours a night of sleep and avoid intake of foods and drinks such as alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and water a few hours before your workout.
Remember to stay hydrated, supplement adequately, and ensure that you follow your post-WOD nutrition carefully.