It’s Wednesday, and you walk into to the gym to find that you’re doing burpees yet AGAIN! Or worse, Thrusters! YUCK! “BUT WE JUST DID THOSE ON MONDAY!!!” you yell. Should athletes really repeat the same movements more than once a week? Absolutely! Without a question doing full body movements every day is widely accepted. As people we are built to use our bodies each day, we wouldn’t wake up and say, “I walked yesterday so today I will only crawl!” However, the intensity of which we move each day is important. I would never urge anyone to run 13 miles each day or sprint everywhere you go. It’s up to each individual athlete to be smart in their approach to exercise.
Exercise Science 101
It’s important to know the science behind how we become better athletes. An athlete’s fitness improves by giving the body an unaccustomed stress such as exercising instead of binge watching tv, running instead of walking, or lifting heavier than usual. The body adapts to the stress by improving its function, known as the General Adaptation Syndrome. The basis of this theory explains that stressing the body to a tolerable limit promotes adaptation and improves function. Various important factors influence how the body adapts to the stress of exercise: Degree of overload, Specificity, individual differences, progression, and reversibility. In more layman’s terms it’s how hard you push yourself, training specifically for your sport (GO CROSSFIT!), your genetics, applying exercise stress gradually, and finally using it or losing it! If you stop squatting your numbers will go down. Your body craves movement, and fitness components such as speed and power improve with intense training but too much of the same repetitive activity or stress does not allow for adequate recovery.
Be Smart in your training
This is where our exercise science knowledge comes into play when focusing on the degree of overload we can be more specific in our approach to doing thrusters, wall balls or burpees multiple times a week. It is extremely difficult to recover from too many difficult workouts, therefore rest and moderate intensity exercise sessions are key. Doing shorter more intense workouts on some days, and longer less intense intervals on other days, allows the body to recover fully. This allows you to train hard when it’s called for. More intense training improves fitness, while less intensity leads to a decline in fitness. Your goal is to find a beautiful balance between rest, intense and moderate exercise. So next time you do your burpees thinks back to how quickly or slowly you did them two days ago. Was it slow and consistent? Great, try fast short intervals this time! Are there only 3 thrusters each minute? GO HEAVY! Are you doing a fast-intense workout? KEEP IT LIGHT and push that sprint! Change it up and I promise those wall balls will feel different going slow with a 20 pound or lightning fast with a 10 pound. We are the masters of our own bodies, and each of us is unique, listen to what your body is telling you and push yourself to make the same movements feel like an entirely different workload! Keep up the good work team!
B.S. Exercise Physiology