Welcome to Week 2 of our Strength Cycle! I saw a lot of people putting in hard work last week, and I want to encourage everyone to keep it up!
This week we will be tackling sets of 3 on our focus lifts. These will get fairly heavy at around 90% of our 1 rep maxes. Moving heavy loads like this can take a toll on our bodies so this week I want to discuss the topic of rest.
Although it is easy to believe that we make our gains in the heat of battle in the gym, the truth is that real progress is made in between sessions when we are resting. Specifically when you are working on building strength, there are several areas to think about rest.
1) Rest between sets - In order to maximize results, it is important to give your body ample time between sets. This allows us to spend more time moving heavier loads. A lot of the workouts and strength sessions that we will tackle during this cycle include built in rest time (EMOMs). Use this time to your advantage and remember that not every day is "Cardio" day. This rest should allow you to pick heavier weights for your sets.
2) Rest days - It is exciting to see elite athletes train non-stop for days on end, but we have to recognize where we stand in the real world. Beating yourself to a pulp will not help you make steady progress on your fitness level. From day one, CrossFit has encouraged no more than 3 days on / 1 day off for athletes.
For our strength cycle, it is important that you get a mid-week rest day. I have adjusted my schedule so that I am taking rest days on Wednesday and Sunday. This puts me in a good position to maximize each of my lifting sessions throughout the week. You do not have to follow the same routine as me, but I cannot stress enough that you should consider resting mid-week.
3) Sleep - On top of taking appropriate days off from training, it is also critical that you give your body sleep. This is the primary time in which our bodies recover from all the stress of the day (not just the gym!). The old 8 hours of sleep idea exists for a reason. You may not be able to get a full 8 hours due to schedule, but I want to encourage you to try to get to bed at a reasonable time.
Again, I am very proud of everyone for the last two weeks. Let's keep it up and try to get some rest this week too!