Friday, May 21, 2010


Yesterday was a less than perfect day for me.  I was exhausted, could barely keep moving and felt horrible.  My nutrition was good, I wasn't sick, I had been sleeping through the night...what was going on?  Let's break down my typical Thursday.

5am wake up.  530am at Grant Park to run bootcamp.  830am to 6pm at work.  630pm at Lincoln Park for bootcamp. 730pm Olympic lifting class and metcon.  Home at 845pm dinner at 9 pm. Blog, and take Mable for a walk...Bed at 1045pm.  Repeat this or a very similar variation 6 more times and you have my week.  I had been doing this for the past 2 months non-stop.  Yesterday I hit a brick wall.  All my energy was depleted. 

On top of my usual rotine and work load this week has been the Windy City Crossfit Affiliate Team Tryouts.  These days have been mentally and physically exhausting.  Pushing your body past it's breaking point day after day.  I completed the first three WOD's on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Thursday came and I decided to retake a rest day.  No WOD, the fourth WOD would wait until Friday morning.  I still planned on completing the rest of my usual day but that quickly changed.  It was 6 pm and I was supposed to be out of work but that did not happen.  I got out of work at 615pm and could not make to bootcamp.  There was not enough time for me to change and drive down to Lincoln Park...mainly because traffic at that time of the day is terrible.  I went home exhausted and pissed off.

When I walked into my apartment I went to find my trusty ole hound dog Mable and to give her a pet and play with her.  She is amazing.  She takes all of my problems away, I sit with her and pet her, throw her toy and she looks at me, drooling and wagging her tail and always wanting more.  What an amazing and simple joy to be the owner of a wonderful dog.  I love her to no end.  She has been by my side everyday for the past 4 years.  She was there when I first met my wife, when we got engaged, when we got married, when we moved to NC and back to Chicago...she has been there for everything.  She trusts me and I trust her...we are best friends.  Sorry to ramble.  She was laying on our spare bed and sleeping.  I walked over to her, she started to wag her tail for before I got there and I decided I needed to sleep.  I laid down next to Mable and I was out.  I woke up 4 hrs later to eat dinner at 10pm.  I needed the fuel to have energy for this morning's WOD.  I was back in bed by 1030pm after taking Mable for a walk and next thing I know it is 545am.  Time to get up, grab my gear, and off to Crossfit.  I felt great.  I was happy, I was recharged, and was ready to go.

I was shocked how I needed to rest.  Usually a rest day for me just means I don't do a WOD or lift.  I would still do all the other things in my day.  I guess a rest day means REST.  Who would have thought that?  Not me...I didn't get the point.  I thought that if I rested I would fall behind on my work or training...turns out that theory is completely wrong and stupid. 

It is incredibly important to rest on your rest day.  Not just from Crossfit but from everything.  Eat right, drink lots of water, stretch, and SLEEP!  Your body needs it and requires it for optimum performance.  Next time your rest day pops up think about it.  Are you really resting?  Rest is programmed into certain WOD's to deliver n desired effect.  The effect is be able to go to your max each round following the rest.  The same is true with your day of rest.  Take your rest day but get back into the box immediately.  Pick up where you left off and fire all your potential and effort into the WOD. 

Without rest all your training and effort will fall to waste.  You will not make gains, not hit PR's, and not be the athlete you should be.  You will be a frustrated and tired athlete.  Do not over train but instead train intelligently.  You cannot become Captain Crossfit by doing three a days every day for the rest of your life.  You will become a broken Crossfitter and will end up sitting on the side watching all your friends suffer.  Do not end up like me yesterday, barely able to function and a mess.  Take your rest, enjoy it, and breath. 

"Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.”
- Ralph Martson

1 comment:

  1. Rest days are the days you gain strength and fitness. They are the most important day for any workout junkie that wants to improve.