Five Ways to Recover Faster after CrossFit

heavinglifting

 

 

heavinglifting

 

Heavy lifting such as CrossFit can be very taxing on the entire body. Most people do not realize that physical stress, (not just mental stress) can also trigger adrenal fatigue. Not only do the muscles need to recover, but the entire body needs to heal from the stress induced by heavy lifting. Some of the most amazing athletes know that they need to rest and recover in order to maintain their strength, stamina, and ability to perform at their best. What are some things you can do now to speed the recovery process and heal faster?

 

1. Magnesium.

Magnesium plays an important role in the production of energy. Being deficient in magnesium can have a negative effect on sports performance. Magnesium is a calming mineral, and can turn the body from being in a stress-state or sympathetic state into a parasympathetic or relaxed state. According to this study, magnesium supplementation reduced the stress response in the body for the athletes. There are different many different forms of magnesium, but to help with muscle recovery and overall relaxation after a tough workout, transdermal magnesium massages and magnesium bath soaks are both great solutions! Soak for 20 minutes after a workout for best results.

 

2. Include gelatin in your diet.

All that heavy lifting can be taxing on your joints and cartilage! Although gelatin protein doesn’t necessarily support initial muscle healing (you need to include nutrient dense sources of protein, such as pasture raised meats and wild seafood which contain all essential amino acids), gelatin is great for the joints, and helps with stiffness and pain associated with heavy lifting. Gelatin contains high amounts of glycine and proline, which are both anti-inflammatory and great for joints. According to this research, gelatin was beneficial for symptom relief of osteoarthritis, and can stimulate change and enhancement of cartilage tissue. Try adding it to your morning coffee or tea, or even as part of your recovery drink.

 

3. Prioritize sleep!

In our ‘rush rush’ culture, sleep is often not a priority. Sleep is perhaps one of the most important means to recovery. When we are asleep, the body can heal and renew. Most of us are not getting enough sleep. For athletes, not getting enough sleep makes for slower healing time, increased stress, and decreased recovery. According to this research,  adapting appropriate sleep hygiene and healthy sleeping habits are important for optimal athletic performance. Sleep needs to become our number one health priority, rather than our last. A few things that can help ease into a good night’s sleep are to stay off of all screens 2 hours before bedtime, and to have a routine that includes reading, gentle stretching, a warm bath, or something you find relaxing. It’s important to keep the same routine and bedtime every night.

 

4. Take yoga.

There is no better way to stretch out those fatigued muscles and improve recovery than by taking a yoga class. Yoga enhances strength, stamina, and flexibility. According to bodybuilding.com:  

‘Yoga is the best medicine for preventing injuries and aiding muscle recovery and repair. When the muscles and surrounding tissues are lengthened and relaxed during yoga asana (Sanskrit word for postures) it creates more room for blood to flow.’

Yoga also forces you to take time to just ‘be’ without thinking. This can help significantly with emotional stress, which is also taxing on the body. Even one yoga class a week can really help athletes with recovery and performance!

 

5. Eat a sweet potato instead of an apple!

Glycogen depletion can cause fatigue for athletes. Low glycogen can be a limiting factor in both performance and recovery. It’s important to get glycogen directly to the muscle during recovery. Adequate carbohydrate during the recovery period is important in this metabolic process. However, the type of carbohydrate consumed actually makes a big difference! Fruit sources of carbs contain fructose, and fructose does not help with restoring glycogen nearly as much as glucose does. These researchers studied muscle recovery with glucose vs fructose. They found that glucose restores muscle glycogen 40% faster than fructose! They believe fructose is absorbed slower in the intestines, blood glucose is significantly higher with glucose vs fructose and therefore higher plasma insulin results in increased glucose uptake. Finally, fructose gives rise to more liver glycogen than glucose. This lowers muscle glycogen directly available for muscle glycogen synthesis. -Read more.

Fructose is found in fruit like apples, pears, peaches, oranges, etc. The better thing to reach for when recovering are starchy vegetables like tubers, sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, beets, carrots and squash. These are all great ‘read food’ way to get glycogen to the muscle. Some athletes find that white rice right after a workout works great for them as well.

*Remember not to overtrain, and to listen to your body. It’s counterproductive if you are not getting adequate sleep and nutrition, yet still training.

 

One Common (But Often Ignored) Sign You Are Over-Exercising-By Sean Flanagan

Sean Flanagan

Welcome back Sean Flanagan from SeanFlanaganWellness.com

Sean Flanagan

 

 

Whenever I see someone with an exercise schedule that is very busy (5-6 workouts per week for example), I always like to probe into what happens when they DON’T exercise. The answer is usually that they feel like crap. No energy and just generally feel poor. So in their minds, they are using exercise to remedy this situation.

 

The problem is that being exhausted is a sign that they are depleted – their exercise demands have exceeded the nourishment from their sleep and nutrition.   So in this state, using exercise to get more energy is a means of getting the body to run on stress hormones like we’ve discussed previously.

 

Your body was relaxing because it needed it…. and then BAM!   You add even MORE stress. Like a cup of coffee after a sleepless night, hardly the most beneficial scenario in the long term.

 

It’s normal and healthy to feel good and get an energy boost from exercise. The problem is creating driving yourself into a state where you NEED the exercise to feel NORMAL.

 

So if you find yourself getting to a state where you only have energy when you’re exercising, it’s probably time to embrace that low energy state more.   Let your body mellow out and recover.    Back off to a more reasonable exercise load (such as 2-4 sessions per week and maybe less intensity than you were doing previously) and start putting in more sleep in your newly freed up schedule.

 

Remember, if your goal is to have a healthy metabolism, it is absolutely CRITICAL to modulate stress – including exercise stress. Learn when to step back, sleep more, and perhaps increase your calories.

 

 

Sean Flanagan is a Health Coach helping women worldwide tap into greater self-nourishment and break from the traps of harmful dieting practices for long term metabolic health and body composition management.    He is also the creator of the Fit Body Blueprint program – a beginner’s guide to hormonally and metabolically sound exercise.   You can connect with him over at Facebook  and his website, www.SeanFlanaganWellness.com.

Guest Post from Mom’s Who Crossfit!

Primal Bliss (4)

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you the amazing Rachael over at Moms Who Crossfit! Rachael is doing a guest post for today all about Crossfit training from home. She is providing us with an overview of crossfit, some sample WOD (work-outs of the day) and the equipment that is helpful to have on hand. I am so excited to start these workouts from home. I plan to blog on my progress. I will keep you posted on my workouts, and how it works for a busy mama!

 

 

Primal Bliss (4)

It seems to me (given your interest in all things Primal), that unless you have gone waaaayyy Caveman and are currently living Flintstone Styles, that you must have heard of CrossFit. The sport of fitness that utilises constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements to achieve some fairly impressive results.

First and foremost what drew me to CrossFit and become a CrossFit L1 Trainer is that as a Health Coach, I feel CrossFit prioritises Health in a way many other fitness entities fail to (not all there are some decent ones out there if you really search). In addition WOD’s (Workout Of the Day) are entirely scale-able, meaning you can participate no matter your fitness or strength (or lack thereof), and injuries can be accommodated (don’t be letting anyone tell you a jump assisted pull-up isn’t perfectly legit’!).

However, it is as a single Momma that my full appreciation of this training methodology is realized (and is also the reason I am a remote trainer). Because I know that it is in between wiping snotty noses, cooking delish primal meals, working, and washing other peoples gruts that a girl needs to get in some exercise (apologies if you are a boy), meaning we can’t always get our backsides along to a Box (the CF equivalent of a gym).

Plus this girl does not want to take six months of working on some godawfulgymmachineycontraption (that does nothing to imitate how we move in real life) to achieve a fitness goal, when it really only need take half that, with some awesome CrossFit workouts (even if you do them at home!). And if you are of the married variety, most of the workouts can be done in the time it takes ‘him indoors’ to get the dishes squared away – BONUS!

The variation aspect of CrossFit means individual WODs may involve strength (lifting heavy stuff), fitness (doing things at varying speeds across differing time-frames to improve all metabolic pathways) and agility (think body weight exercises and gymnastics) aspects.

Don’t freak out about the gymnastic thing, I’ve often said the most ‘agility’ I did prior to CrossFit, was fighting my way back into skinny jeans too soon after baby (don’t be picturing that struggle for too long now will you!). All it takes is practicing a few things you haven’t done since you were a youngin’ and you’ll be walking hand-stand styles in no time.

Now, while I won’t bore you with the nerd-ology behind CrossFit programming, like anything worth its salt, there is solid science behind the way the elements need to be put together, for the athlete (that’s you boys and girls) to achieve best results. However, what I have done is put together a couple of WODs to get you started, that you can do anywhere and that will challenge your body in different ways.

So even if you don’t think you are fit, strong or agile, pull on your big girl knickers (even if you are a boy) and train your heart out anyway, because this isn’t about competing against others, it’s simply about bettering yourself day by day.

Warm up: (demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-azpnTj5X5Y )

WOD #1:

Every minute on the minute, for a total of 20 minutes do:

15 Air Squats (demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDktkAg8aEo )

10 Press Ups (demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1IfJmVjKW0 )

5 Sit Ups (demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhG_x1bLHwE you can use a pillow in lieu of an ab-mat)

Obviously the quicker you get through each round, the longer rest you have before each 60 second time-frame rolls around.

Scaling would be to drop the time frame back to 10 or 15 minutes depending on fitness levels, and if required dropping a couple of reps off of each element.

WOD #2:

5 rounds for time:

1 min hold at bottom point of an overhead squat (demo of full sauat – bottom position around 1.43min http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L38N3DHmlyc you can use a broom handle for the ‘bar’)

20 travelling burpees (demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX60BcsO_wE

. . . instead of jumping up in the burpee as is shown in the demo, do a long jump forward)

This WOD is done with a continually running clock and you record the total time it takes you to complete the five rounds. You may only be able to hold the bottom position of the squat in good form for a count of 20 before you have to stand up and rest, simply keep continuing the squat/rest process until you have a total count of 60sec at the bottom of the squat, then move onto your first round of burpees (repeat 5 rounds then record your total time).

I have included the squat hold because it will highlight flexibility issues, strengthens the core and is good for the plumbing (especially for the ladies). If you feel five rounds is too much for you to start at, do three.

Your Warm Down should incorporate static stretching of the muscles and you can also practise a gymnastics element. Don’t worry if your handstand looks like a halfcartwheelpikeythingy to start with, you will eventually get there! (YouTube: ‘CrossFit – Handstand Progressions’ there are a few good tutorials there)

Now while these WODs are good ‘starters’, purchasing a few ‘toys’ can add significantly to the variety, as well as the fitness and strength aspects of your workouts. What is preferable to get first, depends entirely on your budget and space. So I would choose the following pieces of equipment if you want things that are

1) at the cheap end of the scale,

2) are portable

3) have multiple uses or

4) are fantastic for ‘getting the puff going’ (especially if you need to exercise at home while the kids are in bed).

Gymnastic Rings:

:musclerings

. . . can be utilized for beginner through to highly complicated movements (check out ‘Muscle Ups’ on YouTube). Looped over a beam in your garage or even a sturdy branch, the rings add ‘instability’ to exercises, forcing you to recruit lots of muscles. Ring rows are often utilized when an athlete is not strong enough for pull-ups, and are great for encouraging back musculature to work as well as shoulders, arms and core.

Kettle Bells:

crossfitrings

. . . are great for cardio, strength and flexibility elements, often all in the one movement. They are highly versatile having a whole set of exercises all of their own (eg. Russian or American KB Swings) or as added weight in exercises you may be more familiar with (eg a walking lunge or static squats).

Speed Rope:

jumprope

. . . the ultra-fast version of the skipping rope you had when you were a kid. Because it is made of cable it turns faster, allowing two passes under with each jump (when you get proficient at it). With this piece of equipment you can greatly improve both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness and stimulate your nervous system, all in a few feet of space!

www.againfaster.com can hook you up with all of this equipment as well as anything else you might want for home WODs. You are also likely to have plenty of things around the house you can utilise for equipment, and other items you can make very cheaply. Who knows eventually you may build an entire ‘garage gym’ of your very own!

These kinds of work-outs may seem difficult at first, but if you stick with them you are likely to astound yourself with the improvements you make and I’d love for y’all to keep in touch and let me know how you are progressing, and if you are really keen on slowly getting a home gym set up and want advice or programming, feel free to get in touch.

Various ways of stalking me:

www.healthcoaching.co.nz

www.facebook.com/MomswhoCrossfit

www.facebook.com/HealthyNationNZ

admin@healthcoaching.co.nz

PS – Big thanks to Kathryn (world famous Primal Bliss momma) for having me ‘at her place’ – her stuff is rock-star! And high-5s, fist bumps and joyful bootay dances to you luurvalies for being here. Love that you care enough about yourself, your family and our world to take the time.

 

Conquering the Handstand Series #3

“You made the decision to be here, no one is making you do this” -Justin Wolfer, Yoga Teacher

“Some of you are trying to do a handstand on your fingertips!”-Justin Wolfer, Yoga Teacher

This week I made some great progress! I was able to make it up into a handstand position with assistance, and get up on the wall by myself. That was huge progress for me. However, this was not without many falls-and many laughs. I took a huge face-plant. I was able to laugh and move forward. I was also trying to lift my legs up into a handstand while planted on my fingers.  I had to be reminded several times to keep my hands firmly rooted, and not bend my arms. I am truly teaching my body to do something it has never done before. It’s not something I am retraining to do, it is something I have never done!

I took myself less seriously this week, yet I was focused and determined. What seemed to help me most of all was partnering up with someone and working together. It made a huge difference for me having a partner. I was much more confident having someone to spot me and help move my body into correct alignment before attempting to get up. I depended on someone else quite a bit, but by doing so I was able to make my own progress. I felt more confident knowing someone had my back!

We lean on each other in life as well. We go through times when we really need someone to be there for us, and that is okay. At times my partner was depending on me, and at times I was depending on her. Sometimes in life we let our egos get in the way, and we want to prove that we can do everything on our own. I realized that it’s okay to need help and lean on each other. I did so much better that way! We can learn from each other and find strength in each other. Our bodies and minds are all different and unique, yet we find ways to connect and be there for each other. It’s pretty amazing how we all dance through life as seemingly separate entities, yet find strength in each other. We really are all connected!

Justin ended class with a strength series of planks and push-ups. I felt very strong-I can see and feel changes in my body and I am proud of my individual progress!  Pictured below are my friend Tracy (who is also a yoga instructor-so I snagged her as my partner), Justin Wolfer (our instructor) and myself.

 

*Thank you my friend Melanie from Out of Eden Images for the pictures!

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