Greg Glassman is the owner and creator of CrossFit. When he began, he saw the need for an overhaul of the fitness industry. He had a group of men and women that he worked with as he was creating his fitness program. He originally began training them on a schedule of 5 days on 2 days off. He soon saw a pattern. By the fourth day fatigue and soreness were setting in and they weren’t performing up to par. He then switched to a 3 on 1 off schedule. This seemed to be the best suited for high intensity exercise and was better for optimizing recovery.
If you want to fully do CrossFit as prescribed this would be how you do it! For the most of us, this schedule doesn’t work as well. We have work, kids, sports, and obligations. So what is optimal for your training?
For those of you doing a 3x a week option, that is a great place to start. If you come in 5-6 times a week, does that mean you need to scale back? Maybe, but more than scaling back, it is important to listen to our bodies and allow yourself days to rest! Understand that you can not push as hard on day 4 or 5 in a row as you can on day 2. When we exercise, we are tearing down our muscles. When we rest and allow ourselves to recover our muscles are rebuilt, and this is how they get stronger. If you come 5, 6 or 7 days a week, it is important to take a day and use it as active recovery. Allow your body the time to recover and heal.
Gyms across the globe have taken the Crossfit prescription and adapted it as best they can. We, CrossFit Erie, are open 6 days a week. Making the 3 on 1 off prescription unable to be followed. If your schedule demands you workout Monday - Friday, find a day to scale back a little, or go lighter on the weights. Listen to your body. If you are feeling beat up, take a day off or do some mobility.
We are in this for the long haul. We want stay as mobile as we can as long as we can into old age! Make yourself stronger today so you are still walking around when you’re 90!