You are going to get run down here and there doing any fitness program. Its the body working through a lot of hard work and rebuilding itself to a stronger version. I’m sure you know what I am talking about. We have all had the morning after struggle to get out of bed after a real tough workout the night before. I’m sure you all have gotten to know how Friday morning is going to feel after a good week at the box.
There are some important things to consider, however, when assessing what the body is telling you when things aren’t feeling quite 100%.
Unfortunately injuries can happen while working as hard as we do. Though they happen very infrequently, it is important to know the difference between every day soreness and aches/pains and actually being injured where you should take some time off or do some modifications. Two easy ways to assess if you are injured: Are you experiencing pain that you didn’t have before? Is there new pain that limits your range of motion and/or your ability to perform a certain movement in or out of the box?
If you feel you have injured something make sure you talk to one of the trainers, especially in a particular class you are attending. All of us know many ways to modify movements or can create an entirely new workout for you if you cannot perform the work as written. We can also give you our professional opinion on whether you should take some time off and/or see a specialist to get you better and back in action.
Soreness is a more common aspect of Crossfitting. Working hard makes you sore. Usually soreness is a good thing. It shows that your body is being pushed past where it has gone before. Make sure you are refueling properly with good amounts of water and recovery foods. Again, ask any coach for advice on pre and post workout nutrition.
While soreness is usually a sign of good hard work, it can be annoying and sometimes detrimental to doing more hard work. Mobility, pre and post workout, is a key part of avoiding excessive soreness. Ask a coach or hit Coach Andy’s mobility class for some moves to help hit those achy spots and help alleviate the end of the week Can’t Get Out of Bed-itis.
If you are really sore from a hard couple of days or just a long workout that hit you harder than you expected, make sure you talk with your coach before class to make sure you don’t overdo it. We are capable of working through soreness, especially once we get the body moving, but we want to make sure the tired body is ready to do what you ask of it.
The most important thing to know is when your body is telling you it is just too tired to do what you want it to do. Maybe you had a long week a work, or a long night and short sleep, or just a combination of a busy life schedule has run you down. This is when you can cross the line from working through aches, pains, and stiffness to actually hurting yourself and causing injury. The best advice I ever got when thinking about when to rest and when to workout was “listen to your body”. While we all like to keep a schedule of work v. rest days, sometimes your body might just not be able to do that 3rd, 4th, or 5th day in a row that you usually do. You know your body better than anyone else.
If you aren’t sure but think you still want to make it in and work through it, then make sure you make smart choices when choosing your level in class. There is no shame in scaling a weight down and trying to move faster in a workout. Moving a lighter weight very fast will get you a great workout even if it is lighter than you usually might do it. More importantly, when your body is close to being run down and you start to sacrifice form for a heavier weight, injuries tend to happen. If you are injured you can’t workout, plain and simple. Like I said, listen to your body, use your coaches for guidance, and make smart decisions when it comes to your fitness.