CrossFit: On resting, scaling & ultimately, doing neither

Sometimes, and only sometimes, I have insightful things to say. My ramblings can be absorbed by another human being, and they might actually benefit them.

And then there’s the other times. When I completely ignore everything that is logical & reasonable, and do stupid things. Well, today… it was a stupid day.

I went into today pretty sore. I worked out hard on Saturday, and even harder on Sunday. The rest of my weekend was a blur, and I barely had any time to rest. On Saturday, we ran 6x300m sprints before we even started the teamer. Needless to say, when it was over, I could feel my calves burning (and that doesn’t happen often, as my legs are used to taking a beating).

Sunday was team practice day. Lindsay, Sam, Phil & I are competing in Battle of the Boxes this coming weekend. So we ran through the workouts, each doing 2 WODs with about 15 minutes rest in-between. And we pushed it… hard.

Enter Monday

Clearly, today should be a rest day. My legs knew it. My shoulders knew it. My left tricep knew it. And even I knew it. I woke up looking forward to a day off.

Annnnnnd then Danielle posted the workout. Wall balls, box jumps & toes-to-bar (which we often scale to hollow rocks). It was almost too easy to scale, so I talked myself into it. Stupid me.

Rest means rest. As in, do nothing.

Scaling is not the same as rest. And more often than not, true rest will deliver more benefits to your fitness than scaling a workout when you’re tired. Especially when it’s obvious that your body needs the rest & recovery time.

Scale all or scale none

Just as rest means do nothing, if you’re going to scale, you scale THE ENTIRE WORKOUT. Not part of it. Not just the things you don’t like to do. Not just one body part or muscle group. You scale the entire workout.

So here is my stupid self, scaling wall balls to air squats (high five!), toes-to-bars to hollow rocks (nice, safe choice)… and then I set my box up for 30 inches (MORON!). “But I love doing box jumps, and I’m really good at them, so I should totally be jumping 30 inches.” Wrong. Dead wrong.

Long story short, I strained my right calf 12 minutes into a 15-minute workout. And it had nothing to do with the jumping. It was because I stepped down with my right foot every time, and put a lot of strain on that calf because of the 30-inch drop, and the angle it created on my lower leg.

It doesn’t matter how I did it. The point here is that I was an idiot. Well, aside from that, the point is to listen to your body. You’ve heard it a million times. And by now, most of us have a pretty good understanding of our bodies, and know when it’s telling us to chill out.

Do as I was too foolish to do on this particular day, and listen to it. Find the self-control to say no to the workout, and yes to your body.

So, yeah, about that competition this weekend. Well, with 4 entire days off (and yes, I mean true, 100% days OFF), I should be well-rested 🙂