How to survive your CrossFit gym Christmas Break?December 23, 2017
The gym will not be open on Christmas eve, AND Christmas day AND bank holiday AND only just a couple of hours the rest of the week AND on the 1st of January.
Some of us are already thinking of quitting CrossFit, as we are dramatically looping the traditional I am going to lose all my gains motto in our heads. Others are using this opportunity to take break from everything a.k.a deciding on having a cheat meal week.
While it is perfectly normal to feel apprehensive to the idea of having to modify our routine, it does not necessarily mean that we have to go to the extreme and give up on fitness, nutrition or recovery.
Muscle loss phobia
Just an impression
Muscle do not disappear magically, even when taking one entire week off. The impression of looking slimmer is due to the fact that our ‘nervous system (is) being a bit less “turned on”.’ We ‘also get rid of chronic inflammation in the tendons and muscles, both of which make the muscles look swollen, larger, and tighter.’
If we are worried that we might lose muscle mass during a two-three day break then it is probably all happening in our heads, as physically nothing will change during that short period of time.
Electronic muscle stimulation
Can we use electronic muscle stimulation as a workout replacement? Some athletes use a Compex or Power dot type of machine for their recovery. Unfortunately it only serves to activate muscles and do not replace a workout.
If the aim of the couple of days off the gym is to recover then we should leave the muscles alone.
Plan, plan, plan
This is where we make a difference and come back as fit as ever, full of energy, and guilt-free. We want to put aside the temptation of skipping a workout because it will not be similar to a real CrossFit workout. Over the Christmas period, we will inevitably make impulsive choices which is great, but we want to balance them out.
It certainly won’t feel like a heavy, intense workout but a home workout keeps blood flow active, heart rate up and nervous system alert. Our bodies are used to being in movement, it is vital that we give it what it needs.
We have been to enough CrossFit classes to programme ourselves a couple of bodyweight exercises! If we are unsure, here are examples of quick and effective home workouts.
Warm-up (Always, even at home and even more when the workouts are short)
10 jumping jacks, 10 push-ups, 10 V-ups, repeat 3 times.
Implement any of the following exercises into a 10 minute EMOM or in a TABATA.
Jumping Air squats, lunges, burpees, push-ups, hollow rocks, tuck jumps, mountain climbers, double-unders, shuttle runs, wall walks.
Another simpler alternative: 300 burpees for time.
A fridge filled with healthy foods and ready to eat meals are life savers in a CrossFitter’s household. Because it is easier to think of going back to counting macros than actually doing it, protein snacks help being vigilant in between festive meals.
Recovery, nutrition and supplements
Whatever we were doing prior to the break, we should keep doing. The routine should be even more thorough.
We are taking a break from intense training. It does not mean we have to quit taking our supplements, sleep less and skip stretching and mobilizing daily.
Month of January
The new year is an exciting time to set goals. The Christmas holidays allow us to take time to frame the year ahead, organize a new schedule, and reflect on last year. What can we do differently to guarantee better success? Working with a retroactive diary also works great. It empowers the vision to materialize in our minds and the objectives to unfold instantly.
Photo Credit: Reebok, Xwerks, Sigma CrossFit, Fitcetera, Power dot