I did my first CrossFit workout (at CrossFit Pablo Beach in Jax Beach) this weekend….and my ass and hamstrings are killing me!
New to CrossFit
As a devoted cross trainer, I’m very comfortable with my old friends; running, biking, TRX, body-weight exercises, weight lifting, aggressive core work, swimming, trail running and such, but now doing power lifts such as dead lifts, clean & jerks and squats haven’t been part of my workout routine since I was racing as a miler in college.
Fit and/or Healthy?
Enhancing our fitness is a quest for most of us while not getting injured is a key goal for all of us. Avoiding injures is not a passive process. It’s an active, conscious process which pays off in a big way by keeping you in the game.
I want to show you how easy it is to minimize the risk of injury so you can maintain an active at ANY age. I’ll use myself as an example with my new workout plan. The steps below are exactly what I did to help accelerate my recovery.
Avoiding Injuries: The Appetizer for Injury Prevention
Going into my first CrossFit workout I knew I’d be doing different types exercises which would significantly stress my muscles, tendons, joints, fascia and ego in a new way. I thoroughly reviewed the warm-up, strength exercises and workout of the day (WOD) beforehand. These are the steps I took to help me avoid an injury:
- Be Real – Understand the newness of the workouts so check your ego at the door.
- Break a Sweat – Warm-up the muscles and joints from your ankles to your neck with dynamic stretches, shadow boxing, arm circles,…etc. to start the sweating process.
- Rolling – I’m a big fan of soft tissue rollers. Using a roller on your legs, back, chest and shoulders needs be a part of your warm-up.
During the Workout
- Keeping it Real – It’s an entirely new workout so the stresses and loads on your body will be very different. Focus on great technique while you learn the details of the workout while keeping the weights low.
- Listen to Your Body – Trust your body, listen to your body. If something is wrong, your body will know it.
- Compete With Yourself – This is a perfect example of when you should compete with yourself with every exercise not the dude beside you. He/she is probably a seasoned CrossFitter so don’t risk an injury as a rookie trying to match up against Joe Muscle!
- Slow the Train – A 5-10 minute cool down doesn’t sound exciting but it important and it should be a part of every workout.
- Fuel the Train – Replacing fluids, carbs and protein within 30 minutes after a workout will help your recover and your future performances.
- Drain the Legs – Lay down and elevate your legs while continuing to bend your knees and pump your ankles. It’s a simple way to quickly reduce the lactic acid and waste products from your hard-working leg muscles.
The Day After
- Get Moving – Get out, move and get more blood into and out of those recovering muscles. Easy cardio, agility and stretching should be part of your routine the day after a workout. If you want a day off, do it 2 days after the hard workout.
- Repeat the Movements Minus the Load – Repeating a few reps of some of the exercises you did the day before with minimal, if any, weights. As I like to say: “If you want to get rid of soreness, do what made you sore.”
- Freeze the Spots – If any areas are overly sore, ice those areas to reduce the pain. Less medicine and more ice is typically a smart plan.
In closing, it’s as simple as planning ahead, be smart, progress slowly and recover aggressively.