How much should I CrossFit?
Once a week? 3 times per week? Everyday?
This is one of the most common questions we get asked by new athletes coming out of On Ramp. Of course, as with all questions, there must be clarification and considerations. For the purpose of this article, we will make some assumptions.
You are talking about well programmed, well coached (scaled, modified, corrected) fitness focused (as opposed to competitive focused) CrossFit
You want to get fit in as little time as necessary
You don’t want to be sore as hell every day
First I’ll just say what I usually say. It’s hyper simplistic but still kind of true. If doing CF makes you fitter, and you spend 3 days a week getting fitter, how many days a week are you spending getting unfitter? 3-4=-1 Not good.
Of course this is not a rule, but it kinda does work that way. I really suggest athletes come all 5 days a week or possibly miss Thursday if they are going to train on Saturday.
Now let’s go through the Assumptions and why they are important, and the we will finish with the REAL decisive factor.
Assumption 1 is important because although CrossFit is constantly varied, it should not be random. This means each workout is programmed with specific components of fitness in mind, weather body weights, weights, or cardio, long, medium or short time durations, high, medium, low repetitions, and heavy/complex, medium, or light/low complexity movements. All of this is taken in consideration with what came yesterday, and what comes tomorrow. If you habitually avoid a certain type of workout, you will be missing an important component of fitness. If you are finding yourself not achieving a certain goal, chances are it can be traced to this.
Assumption 2 is important for the obvious reason that you will be moving more. However, you will also be learning faster which will allow you to progress in complexity and loading faster, leading to an upward spiral of adaptations.
Assumption 3 seems counter intuitive but think about it. The second part of strength and conditioning is CONDITIONING. This simply means getting used to it. The more you train, the more used to training your body will get which equates to less soreness! I do not envy people doing CrossFit once a week. That is a sure fire way to make sure you are always excessively sore from your workout.
And now for the REAL decisive factor. RECOVERY. You should CrossFit as much as possible, based on your recovery. What does this mean?
Getting fit is a cycle. What we do in the gym actually breaks you down and makes you less fit. Think about redoing a workout you just did. Won’t do as well right? The other part of the cycle is recovery. This is when the changes get put in place. This is also how highly competitive CrossFitters are able to train so often. They are recovery machines!
So what effects recovery? Very simply, nutrition, hydration and sleep. The more and better these are the more you will be able to recover, the more you can CrossFit!
There is so much more to this question but hopefully that helps some of you guys out with making your CrossFit schedules.