The 4 Horsemen will usher in a new age of fitness. The traditional versions of Conquest, War, Famine and Death are represented in our focus on Goals, Competition, Nutrition and Metabolic-conditioning. We firmly believe that strength, power and fitness are best achieved by utilizing CrossFit methods and the 4 Horsemen of Lifts: Squats, Presses, Deadlifts and O-lifts.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Over-training or Under-recovery
When performance drops the 1st question you need to ask is WHY? Most likely it is due to over-training or under-recovery both terms are basically interchangeable. When you are over-trained it is because you are have not fully recovered, therefore over-training is simply under-recovery. You must be very careful to not train in excess of what you can recover from, it is all about time management - how much rest do you need between workouts to be recovered. Will one day of rest allow you to recover from 1, 2, or 3 days in a row of hard workouts or do you need 2 days of rest for every 3 days of workout. Finding the right work to rest ratio is a tricky task and differs from individual to individual and also varies for each individual based on their current workload, nutrition and sleep habits. Workload or Volume is the sum of the loads you lift multiplied by the repetitions you perform (eg. 300# x 20 reps = a 6000# workload, 150# x 60 reps = 9000# workload), usually it is easiest to disregard the warm-up sets and only calculate this for the work sets. Depending on your program you may want to have a high workload (muscle gaining phase) or a low workload (right before a competition), but either way, the higher the workload the longer it takes to recover. Nutrition has a profound impact on recovery - you need to put the right building blocks into the body so it can repair itself (branched chain amino acids, glutamine, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, calcium etc.) not to mention you have to refuel for the next workout. For proper eating check out Foundations and Post-workout-feeding or check out Crossfit Cowtown's blog, or Robb Wolf's site. I recommend that my athletes eat a fairly "clean" diet (ie. as close to paleo as possible) to reduce inflammation and auto-immune responses caused by grains etc., to increase their rate of recovery. Protein:Carb:Fat ratios will depend on the needs of the athletes but most O-lifters can keep the carb intake very low. The last major aspect of recovery is sleep. As an athlete you need a minimum 8 hrs of sleep in order to recover I recommend 9-10 hrs for anyone wishing to be a highly competitive athlete. Make sure this is quality sleep - Super dark room (with no lights). When you are sleeping your body is performing the majority of the repair work. Workload, Nutrition and Rest are the main factors to recovery but there are also small things you can do to aid recovery. These minor aspects include - post-workout stretching, PNF stretching, foam rolling, contrast showers/baths, Epsom salts. The Most important thing is to listen to your body! If you are overly sore, tired, sleepy, or tight you might be on your way to being over-trained, remember it is better to take more rest than not enough. Use the rest-day to actually rest!