After doing two workouts today, Prep member, Ron Barrett, is looking forward to tomorrow’s rest day!

If you happen to find yourself at Fury on a Thursday, you will notice that it looks an awful lot like any other weekday. There are barbells crashing to the ground, fly wheels spinning on rowers and muscle ups happening. What you should see on a Thursday is a lot less activity. Fury runs on a 3 on/1 off and 2 on/1 off schedule every week. That means that for the first 3 days of the week, and Friday and Saturday, we work our tails off with lifting, metcons and skill work. We beat ourselves up pushing our limits and leaving puddles of sweat. But Thursdays and Sundays are designed to be rest days.

6am Crossfit getting in Wednesdays WOD of rows and push press before their much needed rest day.

Our bodies can handle a lot of stress and challenge. They are amazing machines. But at some point, if you never rest, your body is going to switch to self-preservation mode. Your metabolism and body chemistry will change and your body will stop making progress and just struggle to maintain a status quo. During a rest day your muscle fibers heal and strengthen, your cortisol levels balance out and your hormones get a chance to chill out for a while. We want you to push hard, but the rest you take between workouts is just as important as the volume of work you put in.

If you have come in for 3 straight days of working out, you need to take a day off. It can be an active rest day where you take your kids for a walk, ride your bike or go swimming, take our Yoga class at 7pm but you should not get your heart racing. The same is true for Sundays. Take the day to work on mobility or just go enjoy some light outdoor activity. If you absolutely have to come into the gym on a Thursday, then work on a light skill movement. You should not be moving heavy loads or trying for a 20 minute hero workout.

CrossFitter, Carren Coffman, gets in some active rest recently on a pretty rigorous hike.

The same rules apply to a day’s workouts. We all want to make progress, but putting in 2 straight hours of intense workouts is counterproductive. Physical stress on your body for extended periods uses different energy systems and has a direct impact on your metabolism. Your body will begin to protect its energy stores rather than burn them. If you want to do extra work in a day, give yourself some recovery time. Spread the 2 workouts apart by more than 4 hours, eat a good meal and come back refreshed.

The scheduling and programming of Crossfit and of Fury is well proven and very effective. The short and intense workout is much more potent than 60 minutes reading a book on a treadmill. But ignoring your body’s need for rest is a recipe for performance plateaus. Get in 8 hours of sleep a night, rest 2 days per week, eat good food, try Yoga on Thursdays and hit each workout with your highest intensity. The results will happen.