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The Short Guide to CrossFit Recovery

So you overcame your first few CrossFit workouts and you’ve finally started to earn the respect of the strong athletes in your local gym - awesome! If you’re reading this, it probably means the more difficult workouts you’ve started doing are leaving you pretty sore. Don’t worry, here at Atomic we’ve come ready to help with science-based information to help you achieve your goals.  


5 Ways You Can Recover Faster from CrossFit Workouts

CrossFit workouts (or any high-intensity exercise) are very demanding on the body. 


In a 60-90 minute workout, you are taking your body through an extreme range of motions with high amounts of weight. Recovering from these workouts is the name of the game - especially when you promised your training partner you’d be at the next workout in less than 24 hours. 


If you’ve noticed you are fatigued when you start a workout, or you have moderate muscle/joint soreness going into a workout - this blog is for you. Let’s break down 5 important ways you can recover faster from a CrossFit workout. 


1. Track Your Progress

Every successful athlete knows the importance of tracking your progress. Writing down your weights, RPE level, and potentially even your food intake that day are essential. 


Think about it this way - if you were investing your money, you would have a plan. You would develop a portfolio to ensure you are diversified and safe. Your workout is no different. You want to track your workouts to see what’s working well, and specific exercises/workouts that make you really sore. 


In fact, research shows that a periodized training program has “a significant impact” in the weight room when compared to non-periodized training. 



2. Prioritize Mobility & Dynamic Stretching

Walking into the gym and immediately getting under the barbell is probably a bad idea. I mean, do you think world champions like Dimitri Klokov only lift? Definitely not. Strong athletes take care of their bodies and prioritize mobility. 


Ensuring your joints and muscles are ready for exercise is critical. Research shows that exercisers that completed a dynamic mobility-based warm-up performed better in dynamic movements like jumping (very similar to heavy lifting) than those that performed static stretching. 


The same can be said for post-workout mobility. Stretching and relaxing your muscles ensures that your body retains the elastic properties that lead to heavy lifts and a pain-free lifestyle. 


3. Take Care of the Joints

Most people who workout think that it is all about the muscles. It’s true, the muscles are important to your overall strength, but if your joints cannot handle the stress you are putting on them - we might enter into injury territory. 


The best way to take care of your joints are:


  1. a) Use Modalities

Cryotherapy (ice therapy) is the most common modality to help reduce inflammation - aka, bringing down the swelling on your joints following an intense CrossFit workout. 


  1. b) Wholesome Nutrition

Nutrition for joint health is all about consuming a low-purine style of diet. This means restricting foods that are high in purine like anchovies, organ meats, fish eggs, and yeast. 


According to the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Edition 3), consuming a diet that reduces alcohol, increases complex carbohydrates, and reduces fat may help to promote lower amounts of joint inflammation. 


  1. c) Proven Supplements

Supplements take the place of concentrated nutrition. The most effective supplements to assist in joint health are Glucosamine HCL, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and clean hydration from Coconut Water Extract. 


Lucky for you, our premium post-workout, FALLOUT contains a potent dosage of 500mg of Glucosamine HCL. 


|   MUSCLE AND JOINT RECOVERY - BUY FALLOUT POST-WORKOUT


4. Control Lactic Acid 

Lactic acid is a by-product of exercise. You cannot get rid of it, but you can try to control the amount your body creates. 


Lactic acid is created when your body is using too much oxygen. Your body will convert glycogen (in the muscle) into energy, but this buildup of lactic acid can actually fatigue your muscles. 


The most effective way to control lactic acid is to use a buffering agent. According to a meta-analysis, Beta-Alanine helps to reduce muscle fatigue by lowering lactic acid levels leading to performance increases of up to 10.5%. 


5. Get Plenty of Sleep

The unsung hero of the weightlifting world ‒ sleep. A study on sleep found that a lack of sleep may result in a central nervous system imbalance ‒ simulating an overtraining response. This means that those that get less sleep may feel like they are overtraining even if they are following a periodized program. 


The science behind this is actually pretty interesting. The majority of free testosterone in your body is released during certain cycles of sleep. Those that have longer, deeper sleep generally have more free testosterone ‒ a critical element in the CrossFit recovery process. 


CrossFit Recovery ‒ Consistency is King

Remember, consistency is the name of the game here. Just as you won’t hit a PR after one workout, recovery doesn’t happen after one session of foam rolling. Your journey to recovery will take time, dedication to mobility, clean supplementation, whole foods, and consistent sleep. 

|   MUSCLE AND JOINT RECOVERY - BUY FALLOUT POST-WORKOUT



References


Behm, D. G., & Kibele, A. (2007). Effects of differing intensities of static stretching on jump performance. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 101(5), 587–594. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-007-0533-5


Evans, J. W. (2019). Periodized Resistance Training for Enhancing Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength: A Mini-Review. Frontiers in Physiology, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.00013


Fullagar, H. H. K., Skorski, S., Duffield, R., Hammes, D., Coutts, A. J., & Meyer, T. (2014). Sleep and Athletic Performance: The Effects of Sleep Loss on Exercise Performance, and Physiological and Cognitive Responses to Exercise. Sports Medicine, 45(2), 161–186. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0260-0


Hobson, R., Saunders, B., Ball, G., Harris, R., & Sale, C. (2012). Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. AMINO ACIDS, 43(1), 25–37. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3374095/


Page, P. (2021). CURRENT CONCEPTS IN MUSCLE STRETCHING FOR EXERCISE AND REHABILITATION. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS PHYSICAL THERAPY, 7(1), 109–119. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/

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