CrossFit is no longer just a workout. With competitions across the globe involving hundreds of thousands of athletes, CrossFit is a sport in itself.
Just like any sport, the increased interest in CrossFit culture and it’s uber-challenging regimens comes with increased risk of injury and overuse.
Whether you are a consistent CrossFitter or new to the game, there are a few key principles to keep in mind to safely reap the benefits of this rewarding workout.
If you want to see results you have to start with a strong foundation. Poor form increases risk for injury and ultimately, leads to an ineffective workout. Proper form will also help you reach your goals faster. Take the time to ask your instructor for help and feedback.
Haste Makes Waste
CrossFit is not a race. In fact, going at it too fast can lead to premature fatigue and burnout. When your muscles can’t keep up, your form will suffer. As form falls apart, a weakened body can pave the way to injuries by overcompensating for burned-out muscles that ran out of gas in the first round with 19 more circuits to go. Perform as many repetitions as possible at the fastest pace that still allows perfect form. Over time, trust that your performance will progress as your endurance and strength builds.
As workouts go, CrossFit’s refreshingly challenging, kinetic atmosphere can be both refreshing and, yes, a bit addictive. The thrill of crushing your goals can be delightfully habit-forming but with that comes a risk for burnout and over-doing it.
If your CrossFit regimen noticeably coincides with altered appetite, unusual sleep patterns, increased irritability, flagging motivation and/or a performance plateau, you have likely discovered your overtraining threshold. No matter the fitness program, recovery matters. Taking time for proper diet, sleep, hydration, corrective exercises and soft-tissue work without a workout is non-optional.
For your own sake, set aside at least two mandatory days each week when you don’t go anywhere near a box and let your body recharge its batteries for the next session. Who knows? Your body and mind may both thank you for the breather by coming into the next workout doubly amped-up after a day or two without a “fix.”
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