Don’t Call It A Comeback [to Training]
Let’s face it, we’ve all taken some time off of training before. Purposely. Or maybe not so much. When it IS time to come back, you know you’ll be facing a potential level of soreness you only remember the very first time you did CrossFit.
…if you don’t remember, it was probably a lot.
I had an incident in 2013 where I needed to take more than 4 months off of most any physical activity at all. Not by choice, but because I experienced a catastrophic injury and standing for more than 10 minutes was only gradually possible after weeks and weeks of recovery.
As an aside, before your mind goes straight to “this is dangerous,” this had to do with lifting heavy weights in a parking lot. The parking lot was slanted. We were lifting heavy weights on a slanted surface where my left foot was pretty substantially higher than my right.
In case I didn’t know this before that moment, I learned right then that this was not ideal.
Now, unless you’re like me where soreness is a fun thing and a badge of honor, it’s not fun. It makes normal things way harder and helps you to appreciate what muscles you actually use during daily activities.
Who knew getting out of bed was so hard when your abs were sore?!
When I did come back to training it was very gradual. It was piece by piece. And the volume, weight, time under tension, speed, and all of the other pieces came gradually as well.
Here are five (5) things to keep in mind to make sure you can move the next day after a hiatus in your training:
- Tell your ego to back off. Your mind knows what it’s doing and wants to jump right back into where it was. This is not a good idea. Lower the weight a little bit. Drop the reps a little bit (maybe a 10% drop, in fact). Work on restoring movement and working gradually so people don’t think you need a caregiver the following day.
- “RICE” won’t optimize recovery. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Now, I know this is typical protocol for acute injury [and that is a different topic for a different time] but resting is going to make the soreness last longer. Your body speeds the recovery and regeneration process through movement. So… get up and move. Take a walk. Do a recovery type of workout at the gym. But get up and move.
- “Now that’s some high quality H-2-O.” All jokes aside, water helps to filter out waste product from muscle contraction and your muscles produce waste when they contract. Put a small pinch of table salt in your water when you’re not eating with it. Otherwise, drink half of your bodyweight in ounces every single day. If you sweat a lot, drink more.
- Fuel your race car like you mean it. Working out and then eating trash food won’t help you optimally recovery. Good meats, lots of veggies, some fruits and starches, and fats will get you there. There should be lots of variety on your plate.
- Sleep. Yep. This one’s straight forward. Sleep is when your body rebuilds. If you don’t sleep, your body won’t be able to rebuild as fast.
That’s it. Keep it simple. And coincidentally, these suggestions will help you stay healthy and get even fitter.
This is all a long way of saying: if you have taken a break, if you’ve fallen off the wagon, or if you are trying something new, don’t be afraid to dive right back into it.
Just make sure you take care of the hardware that’s meant to take care of you!
If you do need guidance on how to train after a break, schedule your No-Sweat Intro with us and we will give you all the help you need!