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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 10-26-2010, 07:50 AM   #1
Sebastian B. Vaneria
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Rest Days For Elite CrossFitters?

There's a ton of information on the boards and CrossFit blogosphere about the importance of rest/recovery days. There's a general consensus that the average CrossFitter needs approximately two days off per week, in addition to a full week off every now and then.

My question pertains more to the elite Games competitors. How often do they rest? How do they structure their schedules? I've heard on a few videos that the elite competitors are doing 12-14 workouts per week. Is that type of volume sustainable, even for the cream of the crop?

Coming from a basketball background, I can say that teams practice six days per week. That often includes additional shootarounds, workouts, and individual skill work. You don't really hear about players "overtraining" when they're playing team sports.

How does this carry over to CrossFit? Should elite competitors be, at a minimum, doing skill work every day?

I'd love to get a general idea of the weekly schedule for one of the guys/girls who regularly place at the top of events. Does Mikko Salo take rest days? Please advise.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:03 PM   #2
Scott Donchak
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Re: Rest Days For Elite CrossFitters?

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Originally Posted by Sebastian B. Vaneria View Post
There's a ton of information on the boards and CrossFit blogosphere about the importance of rest/recovery days. There's a general consensus that the average CrossFitter needs approximately two days off per week, in addition to a full week off every now and then.

My question pertains more to the elite Games competitors. How often do they rest? How do they structure their schedules? I've heard on a few videos that the elite competitors are doing 12-14 workouts per week. Is that type of volume sustainable, even for the cream of the crop?

Coming from a basketball background, I can say that teams practice six days per week. That often includes additional shootarounds, workouts, and individual skill work. You don't really hear about players "overtraining" when they're playing team sports.

How does this carry over to CrossFit? Should elite competitors be, at a minimum, doing skill work every day?

I'd love to get a general idea of the weekly schedule for one of the guys/girls who regularly place at the top of events. Does Mikko Salo take rest days? Please advise.
A couple factors play into this sort of training.
1) Genetics. Some people have the capacity to train harder and faster without overtraining.
2)Nutrition. If you ever listen to some of these guys' interviews, they tend to have pretty flawless nutrition... When asked if he drank beer, Mikko responded that he had one after winning the CF games and hasn't had one since.
3) Hard Work. If the goal is to attain a 6-1 weekly WOD split, get sleep, eat well, and train hard and eventually you'll adapt. Then you can make it 7-1, 8-1, etc.
4) Age. If you're pushing 60 and haven't worked out in years, 12 WODs a week is a tad unrealistic. If you're in your 20's, well that's obviously going to help.

Depending on the level of the team sport, the workouts probably aren't as explosive/intense as crossfit. (Obviously professional athletes are excluded from this generalization). A shootaround = / = Fran. Ergo, more workouts become doable becuase they are lower intensity.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:11 PM   #3
Shane Skowron
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Re: Rest Days For Elite CrossFitters?

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Originally Posted by Scott Donchak View Post
Depending on the level of the team sport, the workouts probably aren't as explosive/intense as crossfit. (Obviously professional athletes are excluded from this generalization). A shootaround = / = Fran. Ergo, more workouts become doable becuase they are lower intensity.

Not quite. More workouts become doable because they do them more frequently. If you do something frequently, you adapt to it and recover from it more quickly.

On the other hand if you haven't done something like walking lunges in a month or two (about as frequently as the mainpage programs them) then you're not going to be able to handle a very high volume.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:48 PM   #4
Sebastian B. Vaneria
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Re: Rest Days For Elite CrossFitters?

I don't want to get into another discussion about the risks of overtraining and how training relates to nutrition/sleep/recovery. There's a thread right now I believe called "Controversial Views on Overtraining."

All I want to know is how much volume the top Games competitors are incorporating into their routines. I've heard some are doing 12-14 workouts in a week and I'm wondering how they go about breaking those workouts up throughout the week.

In Mikko's documentary, he mentioned rowing/running 30 minutes each morning, and then doing strength plus one or two METCONs in the evening. Is that every day?!?! That would be a ton of volume. Then again, an NBA player participates in a shoot-around/walk-through in the morning, does some individual/skill work in the afternoon, and then plays in a game at night.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:21 PM   #5
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Rest Days For Elite CrossFitters?

I'm not an elite CFer by any stretch of the imagination, but my own experience is that two workouts in one day with a full day off is easier to recover from than working out every day with no breaks. YMMV.

A number of the CF Games competitors have said that they only do multiple workouts in one day during the period immediately before a competition, not year-round. As Scott mentioned, though, a low-intensity 30-minute run is not the same as a competition-speed Fran. For their purposes, strength and skill work may not "count" as multiples.

Katherine
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:24 PM   #6
Ben Kissam
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Re: Rest Days For Elite CrossFitters?

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Then again, an NBA player participates in a shoot-around/walk-through in the morning, does some individual/skill work in the afternoon, and then plays in a game at night.
I read once Derrick Rose does his offseason lift, then goes and works on his game for an average of six hours a day. This is all on a diet of mountain dew and candy as well, haha. Amazing.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:09 PM   #7
Aidan Macdonald
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Re: Rest Days For Elite CrossFitters?

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Originally Posted by Ben Kissam View Post
I read once Derrick Rose does his offseason lift, then goes and works on his game for an average of six hours a day. This is all on a diet of mountain dew and candy as well, haha. Amazing.
I heard that Mountain Dew can do magical things to your T levels!
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:08 PM   #8
Jay Rhodes
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Re: Rest Days For Elite CrossFitters?

I've only been doing this stuff for a year, and have not yet competed in the Games, but am getting to Games level performances in a lot of WOD's and the amount of volume I do in a week is pretty similar to what you mention.

For example I'll take the last 10 days from my log:

Oct 17
Wallball / Muscle up WOD
Death by Kettlebell

Oct 18
Max C&J
Grace
Handstand walking WOD

Oct 19
Back Squat, max, 3x3
Push Press, max, 3x3

Oct 20
Rest

Oct 21
Front Squats
Air Force WOD
HSPU Ladder
Alternating GHD's / C2B Pullups on the minute

Oct 22
Deadlifts
Mary

Oct 23
Front Squats

Oct 24
rest

Oct 25
Max Snatch
Max 500m row
5k run

Oct 26
Front Squats
J.T.

Oct 27
Haven't gone in yet.

That's 19 separate efforts whether it be strength/skill/metcon. It's a lot of volume, but I've conditioned myself to be able to handle it. There is no way I would have been able to handle this type of volume 6-8 months ago. I've been CF'ing for a year, and the first 4-5 months I was pretty beat down from just the main page.
As far as rest, I usually go 3 on 1 off, but I listen to my body. If I need it after 2 days, I'll take it. If I feel good, I'll hit a 4th day in a row, or just maybe do some skill work.
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:27 PM   #9
Justin McGinley
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Re: Rest Days For Elite CrossFitters?

Jay, what were you doing before you started CrossFitting?
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:34 PM   #10
Jay Rhodes
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Re: Rest Days For Elite CrossFitters?

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Jay, what were you doing before you started CrossFitting?
400m runner for about 10 years, fairly high level (48-49 sec), and played football for 6-7 years as a RB.

Stopped running competitive track in 2007 and went through a phase of inactivity. I did a little running here and there on my own, and lifted, more bodybuilding style. Definitely had at least a year and a half where I was at all time lows for fitness, and all time high for weight (~20lbs heavier than now)
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