One of the questions I hear most often, especially with people that are just starting out, is:
“How often should I come in?”
I respond how I respond to most questions, “it depends!” (if your coach doesn’t say this to most of your questions, you need a new coach. More on that later…)
Just like everything, your workout schedule should revolve around you. There is no one size fits all, cookie cutter plan that works for everyone. You are a living, breathing human being with physical, mental, social, and professional obligations that always need to be taken into consideration before coming up with a plan!
The original CrossFit Journal articles posted by Greg Glassman back almost 2 decades ago outlines the ‘ideal’ training schedule: a 3 day on, 1 day off rotation. This provides enough work in that 3 day period to make the body adapt, and frequent enough time off to help the body recover. This would work awesome and would be used much more often if there were 8 days in a week! Unfortunately the folks that came up with the calendar were not keen on easily divisible weeks and months. There are other ways we can go about this though.
For someone just starting out, going just once is a win! After that, we recommend 3-4x a week for a beginner. Because we have to pay attention to volume, loading, and how the body adapts, it’s important to not go out the gate too hard, too fast. For the average American, three 60 minute training sessions is enough to change their life. For the 5-day work week, this is easily done by resting either Wednesday or Thursday, as well as the weekend. OR resting twice during the week and coming in on Saturday.
It is critical to pay attention to the body and not let any nagging overuse injuries arise and get neglected.
For the more experienced athlete, it’s ok to bump up to 5-6x a week, however it is still critical to pay attention to the body and not let any nagging overuse injuries arise and get neglected. The body requires rest in order to adapt to everything it’s put through – and that gets overlooked more often than not. Taking a page from Glassman, I typically recommend to not let the full training days extend more than 3 days in a row without a rest day. Even the best athletes in the world, whether that’s in CrossFit, Basketball, Olympians – rest frequently. Always remember: What you do in the gym is just a stimulus. Getting stronger, bigger, faster, all happens outside the gym while resting.
What do I do on rest days?
Now I’m not saying to lay on the couch and watch Gilmore Girls on the rest days – it’s important to still stay active, we just want to keep the heart rate down and unload the joints. Take out the kids or dog for a 30 min walk, get outside and bike, go learn how to swim, hit a yoga class (preferably here on Wednesdays at 7:15!). Biggest thing is to just👏 keep👏 moving👏.
Have any questions about this or want to come in and talk about a plan that would work for you? Book your free intro today and come talk to us! Everyone needs a coach. Get yourself one that knows you, your schedule, and come up with an approach that would work best for you.